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Book Talk > Books aren't funny?

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message 1: by Mr. (last edited Jan 30, 2009 01:11PM) (new)

Mr. | 5 comments Are there any funny books? Confederacy of Dunces comes to mind from my distant past, and I recall enjoying a bit of mirth, but nothing overwhelming. I recently read Hitchhikers; nary a smirk. I think humour is a non-existent literary genre. And no, you can't count Erma Bombeck.


message 2: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I love Augusten Burroughs- even when he's writing about non-funny subjects, they are funny.


message 3: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Also, Carl Hiaasen isn't guffaw-out-loud funny, but he's definitely amusing. I'm going to mull this over a bit and get back to you...


Jackie "the Librarian" | 259 comments Mod
Terry Pratchett is laugh out loud funny. Christopher Moore's books are funny, too.


message 5: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (geminilady77) | 16 comments I agree with you - I rarely find myself laughing out loud at books and wonder whether its just me or if humor tends to get lost in literary translation. I get the cynical humor in books, but rarely do I feel like laughing out-loud over something I've read. However, I recently read Armistead Maupin's "Maybe the Moon" and I laughed out-loud several times. It was really funny, but be warned that it's funny in a raunchy way. As I was reading the book, I kept wondering whether it was truly the book that was funny or if I am going soft (humor-wise) in my older age. LOL I think and hope that it was the book.


message 6: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I just finished "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" a couple of days ago, and there were at least ten separate occasions where I burst out laughing in public places. I know not everyone loves David Sedaris, but he really hits me where I live.

I was also thinking about this question more, and I decided that in general, kids books are funnier than adult books. What do you all think of that position?


message 7: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
PS to Rachael- I liked that book! I love Armestead Maupin, even though he's a little cheesy.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 259 comments Mod
I agree that kids' books do tend to be funnier, and on purpose. There are tons of books for kids full of silly boy humor, like everything by Jon Scieszka, for example, and most of Gordon Korman.

I really think humor is undervalued. Just look at the Academy Award nominees this year. Five extremely serious, often depressing films, with not a comedy among them. And yet, good comedy that doesn't rely on lowest-common denominator humor is hard. Comic timing is to be treasured, in my opinion.


message 9: by Kate (new)

Kate | 115 comments Hmmm, books often make me laugh but I think it's not humor but affection. I think I laugh when I feel affection for characters (people too). One book that probably wouldn't be thought of as funny that I laughed my head off at was Theft by Peter Carey. I think the way that the brother talked kind of in rhyme made me laugh.

By the way, I watched the movie 'Running with scissors' this weekend (Kelsey referred to Augusten Burroughs). I did NOT find that movie funny but instead was horrified, disturbed, sad, for this kid who was abandoned to having to figure out life so alone, so without help.


message 10: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Yeah, his subject matter is really dark a lot of the time, but reading his books does something different. "Dry" was really depressing subject matter (addiction), but somehow I still found myself laughing out loud at his acerbic observations of others and himself.


message 11: by Raina (new)

Raina | 106 comments Mod
Not to sound like a broken record, and I know we're not asking about YA books, but My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger made me laugh out loud several times. Great, great book. And Jackie's graciously ordered three more copies! :)


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