Funniest books you've ever read

I’m glad you’ve read and liked those ones :slightly_smiling_face:

I thought ‘on the street’ was a special phrase until I read on, haha. I wish people would leave boxes of books down my street instead of junk!

Anything by Christopher Moore. Very funny, intelligent - and in many cases, quite thought provoking. I loved Lamb, Fool, The Serpent of Venice, A Dirty Job. And his Bloodsucking Fiends Series is a lot of fun.

Douglas Adam’s Dirk Gently Series is excellent, of course.

Not strictly humor, but lots of humor involved: Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys (and American Gods, for that matter).

I tried twice to read The color of magic, but I really couldn’t like it.

Yeah. The first few books are somewhat different as well…
Death for example becomes much more congenial later on in the series:)

You probably know it, but one of the lesser known books by Douglas Adams is “Last chance to see”. It’s not a novel but his report of visiting (or trying to visit) different species in danger of extinction.
It’s a sad theme of course but still a funny read.

On that topic: not a reading suggestions, but if you haven’t listened to the original radio series of the Hitchhiker’s Guide I can only strongly suggest you do so. In some ways it’s better that the books.



That´s a great one!

Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett have already been mentioned, but not Robert Rankin.

What Pratchett does for Fantasy, and Adams for science-fiction, Rankin does for present day occultism and general what-the-f***ery. Although he borrows elements from all over the map. Also: the master of the running gag. :wink:

Additionally, I can also recommend John Dies at the End, by David Wong. It’s probably not for everyone though: the book relies heavily on casual absurdity (e.g. “and remember, tomorrow is the day we kill the president” being code for “bring some cigarettes on your way over”, just in case the phone might be bugged). It’s also been made into a film with Paul Giamatti; see trailer.

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I was an avid reader, so I know I’ll love that book, but it hasn’t been translated to Italian as far as I know. So it’s still on my “will read” priority queue.

It was even better when it was still a website. I accidentally stumbled across it back in the day, and it was quite weird. Not just the story and the situations, but the whole thing was interspersed with weird/creepy/funny animated gifs that added a little bit more atmosphere. Then he got a book deal and had to take the site down, and I didn’t have the foresight to mirror it locally… Bummer.

There’s also two sequels, and an unrelated book by the same author. And you just gotta love the titles:

  • John Dies at the End
  • This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It.
  • What The Hell Did I Just Read?

And the non-John book: “Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits”. Although not as good (IMHO) as the John Dies series.

One of the few books that had me laughing out loud was Lem’s Star Diaries. I was reading that on the train, and my seat neighbour greatly added to the amusement, when he tried to get a look at the cover. Apparently he was too shy to just ask.

Another one was Neal Stephenson’s Reamde, which had one particular chapter that just cracked me up. Overall, I found it to be the worst of his writings so far, though. I gave it away after I was done with it. If you want something fast-paced and light-hearted instead, start with Snow Crash and Diamond Age. The Cryptonomicon is pretty sombre, but is a good prelude to the the Baroque Cycle, which features a number of hilarious chapters.

And for something entirely different: Wilt, by Tom Sharpe.

Also, if slightly humorous or grotesque will suffice, some of Umberto Eco’s works can be considered too: Baudolino or Numero Zero. Also not to forget: Michael Morcock’s Dancers at the End of Time. And come to think about it, Adolf Muschg is also funny to read. He’s got a talent to play with words that rivals or even surpasses that of Terry Pratchett. As with Pratchett, much will be lost in translation, but if you read German, then check out at least Der Rote Ritter and Sax.

Never read anything by Rankin, but the name brought to mind Robert Asprin. And another one in the realms of humorous fantasy would be Tom Holt. Though I guess none of the two comes even close to the genius of Adams or Pratchett.

Many great books mentioned but this is the one I re-read when I’m really sick: Saturnin.

I have no idea about the quality of translation but just hope they made a good job this slim book deserves.

Too bad.
I’m a big fan of the Discworld series and in case someone wants to start reading it:
Here are suggestions with which books to start and with which ones to proceed next: Discworld Reading Order Guides

My absolute favourite, based on the number of re-reads, must be Pyramids. It’s a bit of an outlier, as it does not (to my knowledge … it’s been a while) feature any of the recurring characters. I did not enjoy the newer ones as much as the older, though I attribute that more to changes in my own taste than the quality of the books. I’ve still read them all :slight_smile:. And once done with that, it’s practically a must to check out the APF for all the references and puns you missed.

I really liked Pyramids and Moving Pictures! But also the main novel series.

That later books were different may have been caused by Terry’s illness. Maybe this was also the reason to concentrate on young adult novels since they are shorter and more isolated?

Thanks for the link to The APF.
And for those who read the books in German this may be interesting: translation annotations

I really enjoyed some books by Tom Robbins, like Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Jitterbug Perfume.

And yes. Catch 22 is amazing. I should reread that someday.

I read Northanger Abbey recently, by Jane Austen. It was pretty funny too. Moby Dick and Max Havelaar are also hilarious, though all three lay it on a bit too thick for me in parts.

But the best and simultaneously funniest book I’ve read the past two or three years is HHhH. (In French. I have no idea what the Dutch, English or German translations are like.)

Another very funny book was L’Ambassadeur des Ombres from the Valerian & Laureline comics.

I’ve never read that, but the original Sherlock Holmes stories are also quite funny.

Funny? In which ways? :slight_smile:

The story of Freyas unusual wedding in Neil Hain and Norse Mythology made laugh a lot when I read it lately.

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Like Sherlock dressing up and being into bees

Thinking about an Indy 5 movie set in '70s China (don’t ask!), my thoughts jumped to the wonderful subtle humour of Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds and subsequent instalments in his Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox. Maybe not the funniest book I’ve read, but one that hasn’t grown boring after several re-reads.

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Sorry, complete off-topic but that reminds me of this: