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Open Book's Funny Books: What's your Funniest Book of all time?

Thursday 17 November 2011, 12:00

Fiona Couper Fiona Couper

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Open Book wants to know what your funniest book is and why

Open Book is celebrating funny books and funny writing.

We'd love to hear from you about YOUR favourite funny books and to kick us off, here are a couple of Mariella's favourites - William Boyd's Stars and Bars and Poor Cow by the sadly overlooked Nell Dunn.

Do you agree and what are your suggestions for books that are profoundly funny and why?

Leave a comment below or you can contact us via the Open Book website.

Fiona Couper is editor of Open Book and Bookclub

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    Comment number 81.

    Any of Tom Holt's later books, and best of all are "Expecting Someone Taller" and "Who's Afraid of Beowulf".

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    Comment number 82.

    White Noise by Don DeLillo

    Hillarious on death and the fear of it. A professor of Hitler studies trying to learn german before a big conference, important hair, a pill that erradicates the fear of death, a simulated evacuation team collecting data from a real 'airborn toxic event'... absurdity of the highest order.

    I re-read it once a year - the crack cocaine of humourous fiction.

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    Comment number 83.

    Might I suggest Mark Newham's 'Limp Pigs' as a worthy contender? Taking the Chinese propaganda machine as his target, Newham's irreverent insider account of the system's absurdities has the reader alternating between laughing out loud and wincing in pain. It's as if Waugh and Orwell had got together to take China apart. Strongly recommended.

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    Comment number 84.

    Thank you - What a wonderful list of titles - enough to keep me going for years. I so agree with some: yes, why has Peter do Vries apparently been forgotten? I specially loved his "Comfort Me with Apples" and "Reuben Reuben". And other writers I loved have been listed: "Lucky Jim" (I most laughed at the bit where he wanted to push a bead up Margaret's nose); Evelyn Waugh's "Decline and Fall"; almost anything by David Sedaris; "Cold Comfort Farm"; P G Wodehouse; "Changing Places" by David Lodge, which I loved so much that as soon as I'd finished reading it I went back to the beginning and started again.
    But I didn't see any mention of Christopher Brookmeyer - his "A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away" and "A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil" are masterpieces, his particular flair, writing young kids' dialogue, is breathtaking.
    Also "A Year in the Merde", by Stephen Cooke

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    Comment number 85.

    I know this is a bit on the older side, but I laughed like a crazy person at The Pickwick Papers (it took me a month and a half to read, but I giggled the whole time). I'd also submit Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome. Hilarious. (Also, the other day I was eating an incredibly dry turkey sandwich and having read Three Men in a Boat, I would have given worlds for mustard!)

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    Comment number 86.

    Oh, come on now....there can be no question that the funniest book ever written is `Three Men in a Boat` by Jerome K. Jerome.
    I defy anyone not laugh themselves to tears, as our hero tries to dispose of an over ripe cheese, eventually taking it to the seaside and burying it on the beach, where for years after people go to `Take the Air`.
    May i also put in a vote for the `Just William` books, still hilarious and total absorbing.
    How Richmal Crompton got so thoroughly into the mind of an 11 year old boy will always be a mystery, but thank the God of comedy that she did.


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