Normally, I don’t do funny writing. I’ve tried to do some funny writing (or, at least, mildly laughable writing) but with mixed results.
But I really, really, really super-enjoy reading it. And, because I’ve tried funny writing, I know how good the people who write it successfully really are.
I mean, I love a good tear-jerker, or a make-you-thinker. Still. There’s just so much McCarthy, McEwan, and McCullough you can read at a go, ya know? (And I do love them too…no shortage of love here. But!) Every third book or so has to be a funny book for me, or I start to hate reading. I appreciate wonderful language, deep characters, and all of that, but sometimes I’ve just got to laugh.
Wodehouse has become a go-to because he has so much material that I have a lot to read before I run out.
Three other authors that I run to when I need a break from the dramatic, emotionally wrenching stories of the Literati:
Christopher Moore–He does amazing retellings. My favorites are where he riffs on stories that already have a strong central structure that he can build off of and play with. (ie. Lamb and Fool) Or some kind of mythos that he fiddles with like A Dirty Job.
Anthony Bourdain–He’s not just for foodies, people. For those who have seen the quips and stings he lashes out during Top Chef and No Reservations…well, they work just as well in book form for me. Even his non-fiction is hilarious, like Kitchen Confidential.
Gideon deFoe–You may or may not have heard of this British author of The Pirates! series. But he is freakin’ Amazing. The books are short but will have you rolling. The Pirate Captain is one of the best-drawn cliched-but-not characters ever. There’s The Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists (Darwin), The Pirates in an Adventure with Communists (Marx), and The Pirates in an Adventure with Ahab (Ahab).
How’s about you guys? Who makes you laugh?
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.