Last updated 12th October, 2010
Earlier this year Daisy Goodwin, the chair of the judges for the Orange Prize (for fiction written by women) complained that there was “very little wit, and no jokes” in most of the books she had had to read.
This page was inspired by The Times who reports that this year the Booker Prize shortlist to be the funniest shortlist that they have had. Perhaps the Booker Prize will survive! No surprise then that the Boooker Prize has been won by a comedy, The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
The books are:
1. Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question
In a Strange Room by the South African writer Damon Galgut
Tom McCarthy’s C as the 2/1 favourite of William Hill
Emma Donoghue’s Room, Ladbrokes favourite, its plot is loosely inspired by the Josef Fritzl kidnap case.
Peter Carey, the Australian two-time winner bidding for an unprecedented third victory with Parrot and Olivier in America perhaps the smart money should be on
Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question could be described as comic fiction, "a genre that would never have been deemed appropriate for the Booker in its early years".
If anybody has read any of the books above, please do let me know and I will add your review to the page with great pleasure. contact
I love comedy novels, novels that make me laugh. And for that reason this is my page. Every other page is for you, the visitor, but this page is for me, and if noone visits it, I am sorry
My favourite book is The Diary of a Nobody by the Grossmith cousins. It is written in the form of a diary, in short snippets, which makes it an ideal book to read last thing at night.
Mark Twain's A Tramp Abroad has splashes of humour which are very refreshing.
All the books of Alexander McCall Smith with Botswana as the background have a gentle humour, who could not resist the investigator of "traditional build". Good humour fills the pages and you cannot but laugh, or at least grin, with the author and his characters. There are other series by Mr McCall Smith but I, personally, don't find them so full of cheerfulness.
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome is a great book to take on holiday. Or perhaps to read before the camping holiday, to be warned about the necessities of life, such as a tin opener.
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller is great fun but very frustrating. Rules can be so confusing!
Any book by Pam Ayres will be full of good humour.
The Times gave a list of ten contemporary books that are comic in March 2010. They are :
What a Carve Up by Jonathan Coe.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Headlong by Michael Frayn
The Believers by Zoe HellerFree Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka
Deaf Sentence by David Lodge
Moo by Jane Smiley
Digging to America by Anne Tyler and finally
The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
I have only read The Short History of Tractors in Ukranian. I did not find any humour, but did enjoy it. It was not sad, perhaps the converse of sadness is humour today?