THE BEST LAUGHS (According to the Penguin List)
Cold Comfort Farm
The Diary of a Nobody
George and Weedon Grossmith
The Pickwick Papers
Best Laughs (according to Semicolon):
I haven’t read any of the Penguin choices in this category except for Pickwick, and although I adore Dickens, I think there are funnier books in the world than Pickwick Papers.
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I don’t even like animals very much, but these books aren’t just about animals. They are about a Yorkshire veterinarian, and his eccentric co-workers, and his even more eccentric clientele. These stories are funny, touching, and memorable.
Right Ho, Jeeves (or any other Bertie and Jeeves book) by P.G. Wodehouse. I haven’t read Scoop by Evelyn Waugh yet, although I’m planning to do so for Kimbofo’s Reading Matters Book Group; however, if Brideshead Revisited is an example of Waugh’s humor, Wodehouse is a lot funnier.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Did we say no plays or just no Shakespeare? No, Penguin listed several in other categories, so I’m safe to laugh uproariously at Mr. Wilde.
Cheaper by the Dozen by Ernestine and Frank Gilbreath. Not a classic? Sez who? The Gilbreaths are classically funny and delightful.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Penguin lists this one under “Best Journeys,” but I think it’ll fit better here. I can think of lots of epic journeys in literature, but how many authors are as laugh out loud funny as Lewis Carroll?
So what’s the funniest book you’ve ever read? Is it a classic? Will your grandchildren still be reading it and laughing fifty years from now?