/ Uplifting to Stand Up Hilarious Books

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Jimbo W on 18 Jul 2013
Away from the psychologically or physically violent themes, and black humour that seems so prevalent these days, can anyone recommend some really funny or uplifting literature? Thanks!
ice.solo - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

stephen frys novels.

ben eltons are funny for the first chapter or two then get dull.
Hat Dude on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Anything by Spike Milligan
Tony Naylor on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
Eric Frank Russell - "Next of Kin"
Tim Moore - "French Revolutions"
tom_in_edinburgh - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Shit my dad says.

Not sure it's literature but it is funny.
SuperstarDJ - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Anything by David Sedaris.
In reply to SuperstarDJ: Remember the first time I heard him on Radio 4 it was part way through one of him reading an essay.

I thought I was listening to one of the Golden Girls reciting from her biography.

Was rather surprised to find out I was listening to a bloke!
stroppygob - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Hat Dude:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> Anything by Spike Milligan

Funnily enough I'm just re-reading "Mussolini his part in my downfall" after many years. God, I forgot how wickedly funny Spike was. I've embarrassed myself on the bus by LOL while reading it!
Strachan on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
Dara O Briain's book, Tickling the English is really well written and very, very funny.
Steve Perry - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: The Throwback by Tom Sharpe
Duncan Bourne - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
Uplifting?
How about Neil Gaiman's "Death: the high cost of living"?
Clarence - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Tony Hawkes Round Ireland With a Fridge and Stuart Maconie's Pies and Prejudice are both gentle humour but quite uplifting in a restore-your-faith-in-humanity kind of way.

Anything by Robert Rankin but especially the Brentford Trilogy* or The Witches of Chiswick, they are all pretty laugh out loud funny.

And anything by Douglas Adams of course, someone else who thought the number three was a fuzzy concept.

*I think there are eight in the trilogy so far.
MischaHY - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: As above, and anything by Terry Pratchett. He never fails to bring intelligent humour.
Siward on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: For uplifting- the Snow Leopard by Matthiessen (not read it for a while but that's my recollection). Also A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

Neither are funny mind.
janiejonesworld - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Siward: A Fine Balance - really? I'd have said it's one of the most horrifyingly depressing books I've ever read!
I second Spike Milligan's war memoirs
Off the top of my head and depending on your own taste:
Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharp
Porno by Irvine Welsh
Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (honestly)
Vernon God Litttle by DBC Pierre
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
Under The Frog by Tibor Fischer

.....have all made me laugh out loud a lot
freerangecat - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Slightly different to the above suggestions, but Gervase Phinn and Gerald Durrell's books are very funny and generally uplifting.

Agree about Terry Pratchett (apart from Nation) and Douglas Adams (just finished listening to HHGTTG The Tertiary Phase - extremely funny, especially if you particularly like/dislike cricket; got a couple of Dirk Gently audio books to try too)
Siward on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to janiejonesworld:
> (In reply to Siward) A Fine Balance - really? I'd have said it's one of the most horrifyingly depressing books I've ever read!

But I thought ultimately a life affirming novel, the eternal optimism of the protaganists in the situation they were in was wonderful.

Siward on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Siward: Oh and A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush is hilarious.
Jimbo W on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Siward et al:

Thanks very much for all the suggestions!! I'm already a Tom Sharpe and Terry Pratchet fan, but there are lots of suggestions here that I've not read. I've been tempted by Tim Moore for a while. My wife found CMcC's the road very depressing, whereas I found it ultimately hopeful. I guess I don't mean that kind of philosophical upliftingness, but rather a lighthearted uplifting none too thought provoking set of literature; anything from "driving over lemons" through to books like "wilt". Thanks for the suggestions and please keep them coming!
alanthomas - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Bill Bryson's books are full of wit and humour. Try not to read while on public transport or while drinking tea.
janiejonesworld - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Siward:
> (In reply to janiejonesworld)
> [...]
>
> But I thought ultimately a life affirming novel, the eternal optimism of the protaganists in the situation they were in was wonderful.

Yes, sorry, I missed the uplifting bit of the remit :-) in a similar vein then I'd recommend Germinale by Emile Zola, maybe my favourite novel. Other uplifting/life-affirming: Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies (although we're heading for a car crash in part 3 just as we've learned to love our antihero); A Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marques; Days Of Hope by Andre Malraux; Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess.

And a couple more funnies are winking at me from the bookshelf -Alan Warner's The Sopranos and The Stars In The Bright Sky

Hope the OP can find something to love in that lot
Chris Harris - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Anything by Pete McCarthy.

Jon Stewart - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

You might like 'A Spot of Bother' by Mark Haddon. I thought it was warm and very funny. I suppose the humour is slightly dark (certainly not black, like the hilarious Dan Rhodes can be), but if that's too dark for you we'll have very different tastes!
stroppygob - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Any of the "Upmanship" books by Stephen Potter, not only amusing, but a guide to life.
FionaL - on 21 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome still makes me laugh out loud, and I'd second anything by David Sedaris. For uplifting, what about Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell? I've just been persuaded to read this and I'm loving it.
Rob Davies - on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Chris Harris: Profound wisdom, as well - never walk past a bar with your name on it.
Bulls Crack - on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Edward Adrift - made me laugh repeatedly and uplifting
GrendeI on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: 'Dont tell my mum I work on the rigs, she thinks i'm a pianist in a whorehouse'

Very very funny, yet mildly disturbing book :P
Andrew Wilson - on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
Riotous assembly - Tom Sharpe. Cried with laughter more than once. My Girlfriend thought I was going strange. Ancestral Vices, The Throwback and Grantchester Grind are also good. Recently tried Blott on the Landscape but could not get into it.
The Acid House - Irvine Welsh. Very funny in places, a little dark in others. Sometimes both at the same time.
Andrew Wilson - on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
Bill Bryson. Tales from a small island and At Home were both enjoyable, no tears though.
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JuneBob on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
I find Mr Bowman's books, ascent of rum doodle and cruise of the talking fish, pretty funny.
cat22 - on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: W. H. Murray's "Mountaineering in Scotland", particularly the first chapter describing sunrise in the Cuillin. Uplifting, and also amusing tales of his (mis)adventures.
Professor Bunsen - on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Empire Falls by Richard Russo... fantastically funny... really cracking dialogue... the prologue is a slow start and there is a bit of a dark ending but overall it is tremendous.
Dom Whillans on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
things snowball by rich hall
pontoon by garrison keillor
most of christopher brookmyre's early novels
Tom Last - on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to freerangecat:
> (In reply to Jimbo W)
>
> and Gerald Durrell's books are very funny and generally uplifting.
>
>
Yes, I'd are, Gerald Durrell was very funny, OP could try The Bafut Beagles or My Family and Other Animals.

Redmond O'Hanlon is hilarious in a seriously alarming travel writing sort of way.

The usual votes for Spike Milligan and Douglas Adams.

Also P.G Wodehouse of course rules them all.

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