best humour books

Humour Novels You Need to Read

 

Laughter is and will always be the best medicine. No matter the source of laughter, those few minutes of blissful euphoria are something to cherish. Books have long been a very power source of laughter; that power stems from the fact that books let you imagine the comical situation in your own amusing way. If you are looking for a good laugh, read our list of the best humour novels.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five novels based on Douglas Adam’s radio series of the same name. The novel hit the shelves in 1979, subsequently selling 250,000 copies in the first three months.

The story follows the misadventures of human protagonist Arthur Dent and alien protagonist Ford Prefect, who is the hitchhiker. Ford carries with him a guide book, aptly named “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, that educates the two while they travel. Arthur and Ford are forced to hitchhike off the planet Earth when it is destroyed by an evil alien species called Vogons. They are picked up by the President of the Galaxy and soon embark on a journey to find the meaning of life.

What makes this book hilarious:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is filled with humorous moments from start to finish; practically very second line in the book will make you burst out laughing. Arthur’s misadventures, the guide book’s odd description and the funnily named alien species all form one cohesive, comical story.

Good Omens

Authors: Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Can you make the Apocalypse sound funny? Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman managed to do just that with their collaboration in the novel Good Omens. The book is essential a satire on the biblical premonition of the end of days.

When God announced the Apocalypse, it stirs quite a mess between Aziraphale, the Guardian of Eden and Crowley, the representative of Hell. Both angel and demon have become close friends since the dawn of man and have grown lazy over their duties. On Earth, confusion is caused over who the real Antichrist is, and it turns out to be an 11-year-old boy who has no idea of his true powers. When the boy finally discovers his true potential, he starts misusing it in typical preteenager fashion.

What makes this book hilarious:

The very theme of this book attracts an interest among avid readers. The destructive yet comical nature of the boy and his gang will leave you in fits of laughter.

Yes Minister

Authors: Sir Antony Jay & Jonathan Lynn

Originally a British sitcom, Yes Minister hit so much fame in the UK that it was rereleased as a stage play and a series of books. The theme involves political satire surrounding the everyday struggles of a bumbling minister.

Yes Minister chronicles the political career of Jim Hacker, the newly appointed Minister of Administrative Affairs. He is supported by his Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby and Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley. Jim Hacker is good at heart but naïve and is prone to making poor speeches and concluding on matters without a thought. At times his cabinet of ministers is forced to take matters into their own hands, using Hacker as their puppet.

What makes this book hilarious:

Yes Minister is known for its subtle and witty humour and can do more than just make you laugh. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has declared the show her favourite, despite knowing very well that the show satirically chronicles her time as Prime Minister.   

Catch 22

Author: Joseph Heller

Catch 22 is regarded as one of the best novels of the 20th Century, simply due to its pure genius plot and oddball characters. The plot is non-chronological and told from the perspectives of multiple characters.

Set during World War 2, the story follows the lives of the 256th Squadron, an Air Force group who repeatedly attempt to avoid going into warfare. Each character tries in his own dubious way to escape the war, only to be caught in a catch-22 situation that leads to his death. The primary protagonist John Yossarian pretends to be mentally unstable and the story chronicle his encounters with other pretend patients and the Squadron leader.  

What makes this book hilarious:

Another humorous book with a serious theme, Catch-22 is riddled with comical dialogue, detailed characters and a simple yet intelligent plot.

The Importance of Being Earnest

Author: Oscar Wilde

When you hear the Oscar Wilde, you know that you’re in for a big case of giggles. The Importance of Being Earnest released as a theatre play in 1895 to huge critical and commercial acclaim. It has since then been reimagined and released multiple times through the ages.

The plot follows the lives of ordinary citizens who are forced to endure heinous social obligations sand how each one of the characters employs schemes to escape those obligations. Each character takes on the fictitious persona of Earnest- a random name chosen to mask their true identity and personalities. The play gave rise to the English phrase “Bunburying”, which describes a person’s attempt to avoid social obligations.

What makes this book hilarious:

While not known for dramatic works of art, Oscar Wilde’s play is regarded as a drama-comedy and the first of its kind in the UK. The book captures the essence of the play perfectly, giving readers the same euphoric feeling viewers got while watching the play.

Three Men in a Boat

Author: Jerome Klapka Jerome

Three Men in a Boat is based on the real-life encounter of the author, which is funny in the truest sense possible. The other two characters are his real life friends George and Carl, and for comical effect, a fictitious dog is added to the mix.

The story starts off with the men complaining about being overworked and needing a holiday. The men decide to take a holiday the following weekend, but one of their friends is stranded on the other side of their destination. After catching up with their stranded friend, they hire a boat to reach their holiday spot as there is no train available. What follows is a series of comical events involving the misadventures of the three friends.

What makes this book hilarious:

The fact that the book is based on a real life scenario adds a great effect to the humour. The writer makes each scene and each dialogue so humorous that it is a challenge to stay upright while reading.

Here’s to a jaw-dropping, eye-popping summer with this collection of books! If you’ve got what it takes to tickle the funny bone, contact a reputed self-publishing agency and let the world laugh with you. 

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Aishwarya Mukundarajan

Aishwarya is an MBA graduate from Symbiosis International University, Pune. When asked what her hobbies are she points to an overflowing bookcase.

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