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25 Books Guaranteed to Make You Laugh

Not to get too philosophical, but it’s hard to define what is truly funny. Is it something that has you falling on the floor laughing or something that has you chuckling inside while also pondering the absurdity of the human condition? What each of us defines as funny depends on the individual subject: some of us might think there’s something funny about The Stranger by Camus, while others prefer Adam Sandler making fart sounds. The point is that humor works as a device that can make you laugh with reckless abandon, but also ponder this strange situation we call life. Not everything that’s funny has to start off with “Knock knock,” and these 25 books offer an opportunity to see how writers have used humor in different ways, to often-brilliant results.

dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

Remember your college significant other that kept telling you that you had to read this book? You know the one I’m talking about: the one with bad taste disguised as pseudo intellectualism. Yeah, that one. A Confederacy of Dunces was really all they got right (except for you, of course) in terms of things they suggested you check out, because the story of Ignatius J. Reilly, our modern Don Quixote, is one of the funniest and finest American books of the the 20th century.

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12 comments
jesus_freek_91
jesus_freek_91

Are you kidding me? I think Flatscreen was one of the saddest books I have ever read in my life

TheresaD.Brown
TheresaD.Brown

The Short Stories Of Mark Twain is an excellent choice, however, the short stories of Jean Shepherd are just as fabulous. In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash is a good start if you can find it.

BradManning
BradManning

Where is the love for Douglas Adams?

Joy Peyton
Joy Peyton

I trust no list of funny books that does not include David Sedaris. 

Tom McMahon
Tom McMahon

Listomania is a regrettable modern obsession. This list even more so. No Thurber? Leyner? Sedaris? The list goes on...

NeilJacobson
NeilJacobson

Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock was the only author who could make Groucho Marx laugh out loud.

stephtd
stephtd

You left David Sedaris off the list? How is that even possible. 
Tara Sivec also wrote and self published one of the funniest books I ever read SEDUCTION AND SNACKS.  It made me fall out of my chair with laughter.

jvogel
jvogel

WHAT!? "Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore is the funniest book ever written.  Also really funny, "The Great Milagro Beanfield War" by John Nichols

JasperJohns
JasperJohns

The Magic Christian is wonderful, great choice. To this list I'd add Catch-22 by Heller, Our Man in Havana by Greene, Birdbrain by Yoakum, Municipal Bondage by Alford, Scoop by Waugh, Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut. 

RyanSullivan
RyanSullivan

Great stuff! I'm sure selecting/limiting the list to 25 was a tough task. I'm partial to "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men" by David Foster Wallace, "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris, "The Family Fang" by Kevin Wilson, "Jesus' Son" by Dennis Johnson, and "Then We Came to the End" by Joshua Ferris.

srwd1993
srwd1993

@Tom McMahon The point of lists like this is to expose people to cool books they haven't read. Not to canonize the ones everyone already has. Maybe shifting your expectations in that regard will help you manage your ennui w/r/t listomania. 

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