Friday, August 30, 2013

The Funniest Book I've Ever Read

Hands down, the funniest book I've ever read is Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.
I can say this with some certainty because I recently re-read it, and even though I knew what was coming, I still heaved out gobs of laughter, aloud, sometimes so much so that tears were streaming down my face.

I can only recall two other authors whose work ever caused me to laugh out loud, P.G. Wodehouse, whose inimitable tales of the ineffably dense but lovable Bertie Wooster and his man Jeeves fill several howling volumes, and Carl Hiaasen, whom I'd never heard of when I checked one of his novels out of the USIA "library" in Vilnius, Lithuania, and who prompted a gaspy laugh when one of his characters quite suddenly shot someone in the foot. (I'm still a Hiaasen fan, but know what to expect now, so don't laugh out loud anymore.)

If you don't know much about Bryson, he's an American expatriate who first scored success in the UK, where he lives, and where he is a big deal, though nowadays he has a considerable following in the U.S., too. As far as I know, he writes exclusively nonfiction which is a shame, because I'd love to read a Bryson novel.

Who's the funniest author you've ever read? Did you have to wipe away tears before you could turn the page?


Misha Gericke said...

I've heard that Bill Bryson's writing is hilarious, but I haven't read anything he wrote yet.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

Trust me. If you like funny, read A Walk in the Woods!

Roland said...

Thanks for the tip. I just bought my first Hiaasen novel. Looking forward to it. Laugh out loud funny? I think I have to go back something like Catch 22 or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Dawn Simon said...

The most recent book to make me laugh out loud was WINTERDANCE by Gary Paulsen. I read it in May.

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