Red any funny books lately?

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    Have you ever read… a book that made you laugh out loud? It’s easy enough to find books that are interestig and gripping, but genuinely funny comedy novels are harder to come by.

    The first Red Dwarf book is really funny in places, the other ones less so. When I read them again recently, the BTL epilogue to the first book cracked me up (Lister’s toddler driving to the shops and Cat’s fantasy in general).

    I enjoyed Rob Grant’s Incompetence, Fat and Quanderhorn, but didn’t think they were great. Didn’t like Colony, but I only listened to the abridged audiobook and was already expecting not to like it for just being Red Dwarf again, so maybe it’s better than that.

    Here are some more books I’ve found really funny over the years:

    Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s 1-4 (not 5), Dirk Gently 1 (2 is just okay), Last Chance to See
    Steve Aylett – Lint
    Alan Partridge – I, Partridge & Nomad
    Viz generally
    Jon Ronson – Them, Lost at Sea, generally
    Garth Ennis – Adventures in the Rifle Brigade
    Dave Gorman & Danny Wallace – Are You Dave Gorman? (not so much their others)
    Lee and Herring – Fist of Fun book
    Charlie Brooker – TV Go Home, generally

    Maybe not LOL, but good novels that are funny too:

    Robert Sheckley – Dimension of Miracles (early sci-fi comedy)
    Neil Gaiman – Anansi Boys (the humour made it my favourite of his novels)
    China Mieville – Kraken (same as above)
    Kurt Vonnegut generally
    Thomas Pynchon – The Crying of Lot 49 (not read any others)
    Alan Moore – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Smax, maybe more

    Funny authors I’ve read that don’t really do it for me:

    Terry Pratchett
    P.G. Wodehouse
    Robert Rankin
    Over-the-top zany stuff like The Illuminatus! Trilogy and Bizarro fiction

    What’s hilarious that I / we all should read?



    I read Michael Chabon’s ‘Wonder Boys’ recently and thought that was pretty funny. More wryly amusing than laugh-out-loud funny, though.

    The recent Steven Moffat novelisation of Day Of The Doctor is really funny throughout, not that far in tone from the likes of Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker’s.

    For comics, I love a bit of Raymond Briggs and Alan Moore – both often quite deadpan but they both write some very funny dialogue especially. If you’ve never read Moore’s Skizz, DR & Quinch or Bojeffries, or his Future Shocks short stories from 2000AD, they’re all worth a look. And for Raymond Briggs I really like When The Wind Blows, which is heartbreaking but also features some very darkly absurd humour.



    Read/seen-the-animated-film-of & enjoyed most of those, others can go on the list. I can’t differentiate most of Alan Moore’s 2000AD stuff in my memory, since I binged it around the same time, but wished I’d grown up with it.



    I don’t think any book has had me laughing as much as I, Partridge. It was quite embarrassing to read it when around other people.



    I loved I, Partridge but never read Nomad – is it as good?



    Nomad didn’t stand out to me as much, maybe just because it was the second one, or maybe it’s less quotable and more in the subtleties and running gags, like refusing to ever mention his assistant by name. It’s got a similar feel to the Scissored Isle TV special, since it’s outdoorsy and was probably written mostly/all by the Super Gibbons Bros with no Iannucci.

    I’ll have to actually read the books with my eyes one day, but having the option of an in-character Coogan audiobook is irresistible.


    Plastic Percy

    Viz is the thing that makes me laugh out loud the most. I spent a few minutes just laughing at their ‘Ted Rogers in the 25th Century’ strip the other day.



    I never think to read Viz regularly. The last time I read an annual a couple of years ago, I was annihilated by this:


    Taiwan Tony

    Viz is great.
    Frankie Boyle’s books make me laugh a lot because they’re often just jokes from his stand up.

    Novels, though. I laughed a lot reading Time For Bed by David Baddiel. I laughed a bit at Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman. Portnoy’s Complaint had lots of very funny moments. Catch 22 is funny.
    I’ve not read any Jasper Fforde, but want to.
    I’ve got a copy of the Finkler Question by Jacob Howardson to read, but don’t want to.
    I liked reading the Gobbler by Adrian Edmondson.
    Woody Allen’s short fiction is very funny.
    I seem to remember The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie being good, too.

    My wife read a book as a teenager that really made her laugh: Lost In Music by Giles Smith.



    I’ve read all the Woody Allen books and enjoyed them, the more recent one less than the old ones. Never seen any of his films though, put off by him being in them.

    I enjoyed and empathised with Baddiel’s book as a teenager with self-induced, drinks-Coke-all-day insomnia. I started his second (Diana-themed?) one, but gave up because it was serious or something.

    Not read the others, always meant to read The Third Policeman and will check out the others eventually. Thanks!



    David Nobbs’ Reggie Perrins are some of the funniest novels I’ve read. Quite a bit darker in tone than the sitcom but properly funny. Also recommend The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey, which is pretty much a string of his Deep Thoughts type jokes disguised as a novel, and is all the better for that. And I’m enjoying rereading Popcorn by Ben Elton after I found it in a drawer in the caravan I was staying in last week.


    Plastic Percy

    This never fails to make me laugh out loud.


    Flap Jack

    Any of you folks read Giant Days? Because if not you totally try it out.


    Flap Jack

    That is to say, you *should* try it out. I didn’t mean to order anyone around there.



    Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome is the funniest book I’ve ever read.



    The funniest book series I’ve read (outside of obvious ones like Dwarf and Discworld) are these 2 different “choose your own adventure” series on kindle – one is Choose o Matic, which is just a bunch of silly adventures in zombie futures, superhero cities, dinosaur zoos and spaceships, and the other is “Whatley Tupper” about a college janitor who gets pulled into adventures with the physics prof, who uses him as a guinea pig, putting him in wormholes and time machines and stuff – VERY Dwarf ish humor in that series. I’ve never seen either of them in print books, but they were quite cheap on kindle.

    I read that “Scoundrels” last year too which was a bit of a hoot (bit gross and slightly homophobic at times though).



    I always loved The Mary Whitehouse Experience book – which mentions Red Dwarf twice when the show was hip.



    >I always loved The Mary Whitehouse Experience book – which mentions Red Dwarf twice when the show was hip.

    I’d love to watch some Mary Whitehouse again. I remember it was the coolest thing on TV when I was a kid, so I really wonder how it’s held up over time.



    I’ve been listening to Rob Newman’s new Radio 4 show recently (it’s good) and reminiscing about the Mary Whitehouse Experience.



    I don’t think I’ve seen Mary Whitehouse, but I watched most/all of the Newman and Baddiel show belatedly on YouTube and liked Rob’s introspective bits the best (History Today excepted). I read his first novel soon after, which was okay, but never ventured into his more serious and meaningful solo stuff, since I felt I was too frivolous.



    Rob Newman’s History of Oil on YouTube is one of the best forty minutes anyone could spend.


    Taiwan Tony

    I saw the much longer live version. It needed refining.





    Ben Saunders

    That joke was rather crude don’t you think?



    Nah, that joke was Bitumen.

    …I got nothing.



    Any more bad puns coming down the pipeline?


    Pete Part Three

    Oil have a think.



    Nice to see the standard of puns remaining high(drocarbon).


    Plastic Percy

    I watched it on YouTube, but I’m not sure if it had been leaked.



    I’ve looked around G&T for anything relating to Bobby’s forthcoming memoir Some Old Bloke. Can’t find anything, but rather than start a new thread for virtually nothing,I just thought I’d use this ‘book’ thread to point out that Unbound have now emailed saying that they’re

    expecting the first editions of Some Old Bloke to arrive at our warehouse soon

    and will be ready for dispatch imminently.

    Signed, sealed, soon to be delivered.




    These oil puns are scraping the barrel.



    Today’s Up email:

    Some Old Bloke

    Dear Simon,
    We’re happy to confirm that your order has now been dispatched

    So that’s nice.



    Strictly Come Dancing’s Danny John-Jules Tweeted earlier about Bobby’s book.

    A guy Tweeted to him:

    You should write your auto biography, man!!

    To which Death In Paradise’s Danny John-Jules replied:

    I am ….

    Other guy:

    Can we pre-order 😺

    Maid Marian and her Merry Men’s Danny John-Jules:

    Soon, brother ….

    A space to watch?



    I still recommend (with warnings that they can be overly gross and a bit iffy) the Scoundrels trilogy by “Cornwell and Trevelyan” (actually 2 comedy writers called Peak and Crowe). They’re basically Ace Rimmer novels.



    Funny books read since posting this:

    Flann O’Brien, The Third Policeman – good, with a middle act comprised entirely of surreal comedy sketches

    David Nobbs, The Death of Reginald Perrin – quite funny, but didn’t enjoy being stuck with the guy

    Robert Sheckley, Options – couldn’t tell if it set out to be literary trolling or he just failed to write a novel so chronicled his genuine breakdown, I like to think a bit of both

    Alan Moore, The Complete Bojeffries Saga – Addams Family/Munsters-type fun, runs out of steam pretty fast

    Steve Aylett, Bigot Hall – more Addams Family type fun, but less family-friendly

    James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes – funny stories you haven’t entirely heard before on WILTY



    That’s a very old copy of the first Reggie Perrin novel you’ve got if it’s called ‘The Death of …’, might be a bit of a collector’s item. What do you mean about being stuck with him?



    I just listened to the audiobook and was pedantically using the original title. It all ends well, but barely sparing a thought for the distress and grief he’s putting his loved ones through didn’t make me cheer the midlife crisis on. But not on the same off-putting level as an American Psycho/Lolita narrator or anything. Haven’t seen the TV series(es).


    Taiwan Tony

    I think I know the name Robert Sheckley from his Bill The Galactic Hero tales. I used to like Harry Harrison a lot.



    I own an old copy of Third Policeman which I bought when I was really into surreal fiction and liking Italo Calvino, Borges, Mervyn Peake etc. But I’ve never got through it. I still plan too though. Alan Moore calls it one of his favourite books in an interview.



    I bought and read Crap Holiday by Jenny Morrill this week, thought that was very funny indeed. It was my day off, and I read it within 24 hours. That’s how good it was. Mind you, I only received Some Old Bloke afew days ago, and I’m over halfway through that already, too.



    This seems like as good a place as any to recommend this short story about the discovery of a fictional lost Carry On film.

    Little Red Dwarf reference at the end of the first paragraph.

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