Ask, and you shall receive.
So here’s a list of books that I found funny. I am only covering fiction here, which is hard because I find that not a lot of fiction books are funny, at least not funny on purpose. As for non-fiction if you can’t find the funny in David Sedaris or Sarah Vowell or (as much as it pains me to say it) some of Chuck Klosterman’s stuff, well I can’t help you.
Syrup and Jennifer Government by Max Barry
It’s been a long, long, long time since I read Syrup, maybe 10 or so years. I know that I have it in hardcover and it might have come out in the mid to late nineties. However, I do remember that it’s a funny as hell look at marketing and the absurdity behind the advertising and marketing world. Which brings me to Jennifer Government which takes the marketing-crazy world of Syrup a step further where the entire planet is run by marketers. It’s hilarious.
Microserfs and JPod by Douglas Coupland
I’ve been a Coupland fan since my early 20s. In fact, I named my computer Jed because Dan, the narrator of Microserfs, uses it as a password. I think over the years Microserfs has gotten even funnier than it was originally. Why? Because it’s so dated now and it’s funny to read what characters think about “the information superhighway.”
Jpod was often dubbed as a follow-up or sequel to Microserfs, I am not sure why. Maybe because it also takes place in a software company. But that’s where the similarity ends. Jpod is a weird, funny exercise in absurdity with only a little bit in common with reality. Probably one of my top four favorite Coupland books.
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
This book often makes my top ten list of favorite books of all time. Why? Because it has that delicious combination of funny and moving that is so rare in a lot of the books I read. I mean, come on a couple who purposely breeds their kids to be circus freaks is hilarious. Learning that even circus freaks are complex people, moving. It’s like a double-plus win win here.
Happiness by Will Ferguson
A self-help book cures unhappiness, depression, and cynicism, calamity ensues, and it’s really quite funny.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
A 15-year-old autistic boy decides to solve the murder of Wellington, his neighbor’s poodle. While it could have been really easy for Haddon to fall into the trap of being sentimental or condescending towards his autistic narrator, he manages to avoid both and in the process creates a complex character whose view of the world is unflinching in its honesty, and when done right honesty is quite humorous.
The Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp by John Irving
If you haven’t read either of these books I pity you and the empty spot in your soul where these books would go. No amount of words can even begin to explain the beauty, complexity, and humor found in these Irving novels.