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Thread: The funniest book or story you can remember

  1. #31
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    My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad had me in absolute fits on every second page. The characters are painted so lovingly!

  2. #32
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 fountains View Post
    Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye contains a lot of humor. Some of it appeals to me; some doesn't.

    I came across Our Admirable Betty by Jeffery Farnol quite by accident. The characters are quaint, but funny, and the main character, Betty, is very engaging.



    Shakespeare has a lot of good comedic moments; I think the funniest of the comedies is The Taming of the Shrew; the movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is EXCELLENT.

    But the funniest book I have ever read is Dickens' Pickwick Papers. It starts off kinda slow (you could even skip the first chapter altogether and not miss a thing), but it gets better as it goes along. The last half had me laughing out loud several times. There are many memorable scenes, but my favorite is in Chapter 33 when Sam Weller requests his father's advice and comments on a valentine that he has just written

    '"Lovely creetur,"' repeated Sam.

    ''Tain't in poetry, is it?' interposed his father.

    'No, no,' replied Sam.

    'Wery glad to hear it,' said Mr. Weller. 'Poetry's unnat'ral; no
    man ever talked poetry 'cept a beadle on boxin'-day, or Warren's
    blackin', or Rowland's oil, or some of them low fellows; never
    you let yourself down to talk poetry, my boy. Begin agin, Sammy.'

    Mr. Weller resumed his pipe with critical solemnity, and Sam
    once more commenced, and read as follows:

    '"Lovely creetur I feel myself a damned--"'

    'That ain't proper,' said Mr. Weller, taking his pipe from his mouth.

    'No; it ain't "damned,"' observed Sam, holding the letter up
    to the light, 'it's "shamed," there's a blot there--"I feel myself
    ashamed."'

    'Wery good,' said Mr. Weller. 'Go on.'

    '"Feel myself ashamed, and completely cir--' I forget what
    this here word is,' said Sam, scratching his head with the pen,
    in vain attempts to remember.

    'Why don't you look at it, then?' inquired Mr. Weller.

    'So I am a-lookin' at it,' replied Sam, 'but there's another blot.
    Here's a "c," and a "i," and a "d."'

    'Circumwented, p'raps,' suggested Mr. Weller.

    'No, it ain't that,' said Sam, '"circumscribed"; that's it.'

    'That ain't as good a word as "circumwented," Sammy,' said
    Mr. Weller gravely.

    'Think not?' said Sam.

    'Nothin' like it,' replied his father.

    'But don't you think it means more?' inquired Sam.

    'Vell p'raps it's a more tenderer word,' said Mr. Weller, after
    a few moments' reflection. 'Go on, Sammy.'

    ...and it just keeps going.
    Interesting choices, 108 Fountains, it made me remember the times when Dickens made me laugh to tears.
    Two typical Dickensian funny traits appear also often in Brazilian comedies, maybe because of his influence:
    this playing with different levels of language comprehention and usage.
    Peculiarities in pronunciation and grammar creating a specific language for certain characters.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 04-23-2016 at 02:34 PM.
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  3. #33
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adonais View Post
    My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad had me in absolute fits on every second page. The characters are painted so lovingly!
    An iranian Napoleon:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Uncle_Napoleon
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  4. #34
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    Ah 108 you know comedy when you read it. Great stuff!

  5. #35
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    As I Lay Dying was pretty comedic in a dark way.
    "History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awake"-Stephen Dedalus

  6. #36
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    Catch 22
    the world according to Garp

    both had me howling!!!

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    hello:

    For me, MoliŤre's Imaginary Invalid. More than once I burst out laughing

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    Registered User WyattGwyon's Avatar
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    William Gaddis' JR is absurdly funny from start to finish.

  9. #39
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    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book. The speaker is Hunter Thompson. He's referring to his attorney: There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
    Last edited by wcc-curtis; 05-20-2016 at 12:01 AM.

  10. #40
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    The funniest book I have read in the last few years was Lionel Asbo by Martin Amis. That was quite dark as you would expect from him. I thought Scoop by Evelyn Waugh was pretty funny, the only book of his I have liked. David Lodge's Small World was his funniest. I've read plenty of other books that made me laugh, but I cannot remember them all. Some of the stories in the James Herriot books were pretty funny, I seem to remember. I quite liked George MacDonald Fraser's Private MacAuslan books and Spike Milligan's war diaries. I thought Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was funny, as well as clever.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  11. #41
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    'Right ho Jeeves' by PG Wodehouse, 'Decline and Fall' by Evelyn Waugh (the funniest writer in the English language imo), and 'Crome Yellow' by Aldous Huxley.

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    There are a few lines from an Ernest Hemingway short story called Out of Season. The speaker is the town drunkard. The drunkard and two other people are on their way to go fishing. Fishing is illegal at that location:

    "No one will make any trouble for me. Everybody in this town likes me. I sell frogs."

  13. #43
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    I loved Dostoevsky's "Bobok." It is a short story and provides a social commentary of nineteenth century Russia. Even without a background in Russian history, I think it captures how various people moan about their status no matter which class they are.

    Although it is not a book, I highly recommend Gogol's Inspector General. It is a play which humorously deals with corruption and bureaucracy in 19c Russia. Gogol is one of my first recommendations if someone wants to read humorous works in Russian literature.

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    I discovered this book in a charity shop and I found it hilarious. I have lent it to friends and they all agree.

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    Also I really enjoyed 'A short history of tractors in Ukranian' by Marina Lewycka.

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