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Thread: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

  1. #31
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have called Waugh Pollylannaish at all. There's a very dark side to him. Have a skim of Vile Bodies, for an early Waugh novel which has a more obvious dark side to it. But it's probably not your thing.

    (And although he was indeed born in the reign of Edward VII, his early novels belong to the between-wars period. His later novels aren't so funny.)
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User Red Terror's Avatar
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    I'm still reading it, which is a surprise to me. I have less than 100 pages to go. I still do not like it.
    There has never been a single, great revolution in history without civil war. --- Vladimir Lenin

    There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. --- Vladimir Lenin

  3. #33
    Registered User Red Terror's Avatar
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    Finally finished reading Scoop several days ago and my opinion has not changed. I won't be reading any more Waugh's novels.
    There has never been a single, great revolution in history without civil war. --- Vladimir Lenin

    There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. --- Vladimir Lenin

  4. #34
    Gerardo 7 Reyes
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    Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
    The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

  5. #35
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I thought George MacDonald Fraser was sometimes funny. He wrote a series of Flashman books about a Victorian calvary officer who's a coward and a cad, but always ends up looking like a hero. His Private McAuslen books were very funny too.

    Small World by David Lodge was very funny, much funnier than Trading Places.

    I thought Lionel Asbo by Martin Amis was very funny in a sick way.
    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

  6. #36
    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    I have a book of Gogol's short stories, entitled Diary of a Madman, and the title short story "Diary of a Madman" was humerous, yet wrenching at the same time.
    I have often felt that Gogol was a forerunner to Oscar Wilde, with the tongue-in-cheek style of writing. Sadly, much of Gogol's work was subject to rigorous editing, to ensure that 'the masses were receiving quality literary work' -- thus spake the censors of the time ... *sigh* ... (which would explain what happened with Dead Souls? Just saying...)

  7. #37
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    Not a "classic" yet, but Philip Roth's "Sabbath's Theater". C'mon any story that involves a man using the writings of Kant to get laid has humor!

  8. #38
    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin Pepler View Post
    Not a "classic" yet, but Philip Roth's "Sabbath's Theater". C'mon any story that involves a man using the writings of Kant to get laid has humor!
    LoL!!

  9. #39
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    I didn't that much of Scoop but Vile Bodies is good. Wodehouse is objectively very funny but i've found his style doesn't quite suit my personal taste.

    Some mentioned Nightmare Abbey by Peacock, its pretty good but i think his book Crotchett Castle is better. You will need access to a computer though . He uses a lost of obscure words that were so obscure at the time they've dropped completely from the english language so a dictionary won't help. Of course you can infer most of the meanings from the context.

    Any fans of Pratchett or good hilarious books should also check out Jurgen by James Branch Cabell. Pratchett ripped some of it off for his book Eric. Jurgen is just.... amazing. A version with annotations is best as he uses a lot of references, stuff like Koschei, which is a devil from russian folklore etc.

    The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek is quite decent, unfinished though, but still quite long, considered an inspiration for Catch-22 i believe.

    The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien, so good so surreal and messed up and funny and weird.

    Also the Crock of Gold by James Stephens, philosophical, fantasy-comedy? Whatever it is its very funny.

    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons is another good one. Its a satire of something... Rebecca maybe or Wuthering Heights that sort of thing, but very funny.

    I thought Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott was very good too.

    But Jurgen by James Branch Cabell is my number one recommendation .

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