Everyone loves a good laugh. There are some funny books out there, but not all of them make us laugh out loud. It takes a special book to make us laugh. The art of comedy is difficult to be successful in. An author who can make the reader laugh has a certain talent. But what we find funny may not be funny for someone else. So, what do we find funny?
I don’t read humorous books on purpose, so they sort of have to ambush me with the laughs, and I can’t really remember any off the top of my head. Terry Pratchett’s stuff amuses me, yes, but it doesn’t make me laugh out loud. Usually it’s some quirk of character interaction that does it, and I don’t know that any book has done it in a while.
My favorite laugh out loud novel is Heroics for Beginners by John Moore. Milking the giant cow never gets old.
I have so many answers to this. Two books that come to mind are The Fault in Our Stars and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Both are fabulous. But also the Harry Potter series is full of humor. And the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Mass is equal parts terrifyingly suspenseful and surprisingly hilarious. OH! I almost forgot! The Martian is the funniest thing I’ve read. Ever. It’s so great.
The one that comes to mind immediately is “Apocalypse Cow” by Michael Logan. Jason found it at Chapters one day, we shared a laugh at the cover and summary, and then he ended up picking it up for me for Christmas. It’s basically a zombie apocalypse story in which the outbreak starts with cows. There are plenty of serious, scary, and morbid moments, but there is also a ton of dark humor, some of which made me seriously laugh out loud. I haven’t read the sequel – “World War Moo” – yet, but I expect it to have a similar effect.
I also got a good chuck out of Max Brooks’ “Zombie Survival Guide“, mostly because of the dead seriousness with which it’s written. Apparently I find the undead to be quite humorous. I wonder what that says about me?
I’m sure there are plenty of non-zombie books that have made me laugh as well, but since I mostly read horror and supernatural stuff I can’t really think of any at the moment!
A Fraction of the Whole – Steve Toltz.
This book deals with mental illness, but in a most hilarious yet sensitive way.
The Help – Katherine Stockett.
The pie. You know it’s all about the pie.
When I was younger I used to pinch some of my mum’s books. She had a few Jilly Coppers hanging around which were funny, in a chick-lit, Carry-on-Camping kind of way.
And then there’s a short story I read by Irvine Welsh back in my twenties. Was it in Ecstasy, or The Acid House? Can’t remember now, it was so long ago. Anyway, there’s a scene where the protag has taken a trip and he’s thinking about dolphins forgetting to breathe and other abstract nonsense. I found it hilarious.
Lamb; The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore and The Sister Brothers by Patrick DeWit both had me laughing out loud. I literally LOLed.
Anything by Douglas Adams. Specifically, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, and it’s full of profound observations about the nature of existence, humanity, and the truly brutal prose of Vogon poetry.
Well, many books. Most recently the Vlad Taltos novels by Steven Brust. In general, I don’t read many books that make me laugh. I prefer serious works.
Several science fiction short story collections, though I don’t always remember which story was in which book.
But by far the two books that made me laugh the most were What If? and Thing Explainer, both non-fiction by Randall Munroe.
The one book that stands out to me is The Martian. I don’t go seeking out comedies to read, and this one doesn’t really qualify as one in my view. But there were parts of the narration where Watney made me laugh out loud.
My own…? Seriously. It’s funny enough to make me laugh every time I read it. The other one that immediately comes to mind is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It runs the whole gamut of emotions. Great novel.
There was one book that made me laugh out loud in class when I was in elementary school, and that was Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, by Roald Dahl. One scene was absolutely hilarious. But as an adult, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy have made me laugh inside. However, the book that made me laugh the most was a non-fiction book called Japanese Made Funny, by Tom Dillon. It’s all about the mistakes foreigners have made speaking Japanese in Japan. I laughed on the train home after buying it. I had to read it.
How About You?
What are some books that make you laugh? Let us know in the comments below.