21 March 2006

The Top Five Funniest Novels

Roger Kimball has listed his picks for the top five funniest novels. I haven't read three of his choices, but I look forward to doing so. I've read Lucky Jim, and while I liked and admired it, I don't remember it as being very funny. Maybe I was too deeply immersed in the academic environment it mirrors. The one I'm half-way through (Scoop) I'm not finding funny either. It's a good read, and I can see the irony, but I don't think it's funny. Maybe it's just too subtle for me. In fact, while I've enjoyed all of Waugh's novels that I've read (maybe half?), the humour escapes me—even when the blurb on the back cover assures me that "he's in the peak of his comic form in this novel." To escape my feelings of inadequacy that such statements always produce (to say nothing of the inevitable subsequent serious read on my part), I've created my own list of top five funny novels. Here it is: • Carry On, Jeeves (P.G. Wodehouse) (I'm cheating here—they're short stories) • Emma (Jane Austen) (the humour in this one really shines when you re-read it, after you know what's going to happen and can see the ironic foreshadowing) • The Pickwick Papers (Charles Dickens) • What's The Worst That Could Happen? (Donald Westlake) (laugh-out-loud funny) • When In Greece OR A Stitch In Time (Emma Lathen) Now, if the topic were a list of very funny non-fiction books, you'd have a hard time shutting me up . . . . Via Bookshelves of Doom.

2 Comments:

Blogger BDugan said...

The Doogster's top 5!!!!:

1. Youth in Revolt - CD Payne!!!!
2. Cat's Cradle - Vonnegut!!!!
3. Confederacy of Dunces - JK O'Toole!!!!
4. Water Music - TC Boyle!!!
5. Another Roadside Attraction - Tom Robbins!!!!
6. Double Whammy - Carl Hiaasen!!!!
7. The Water Method Man - John Irving!!!!
8. A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby!!!!
9. Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis!!!
10. Choke - Chuck Pahluniuk!!!!

4/30/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

What an interesting list! I gues I'm just going to have to re-read Lucky Jim--everyone seems to love it.

5/01/2006 12:53:00 AM  

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