11 hours ago
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Laugh Out Loud Humor In Fiction
Humor is tough to pull off in a novel. At least to me, it seems to be tougher to elicit a reaction from a reader than from a live audience when it comes to comedy. Very rarely have authors made me break into laughter; usually, humor in a novel produces the occasional smile.
On rare occasions, I will catch myself actually laughing out loud at a book. Usually, it takes a witty, somewhat ironic first person narrator to draw out this kind of response from me. Perhaps that says more about my own sense of humor than anything else.
Here are a few examples of books that have made me laugh out loud...
Nelson DeMille is excellent with humor, especially in the book Plum Island.
Paul Neilan wrote Apathy and Other Small Victories, which is sort of like Office Space as told by a raging nihilist. Paul's blog, though it hasn't been updated in awhile, gives you a feel for his humor, which definitely is not for everyone.
I only very recently came across Colin Bateman, who unfortunately is not that well-known in the US, but who is huge in the UK. I'm currently reading his debut novel, Divorcing Jack, and it's absolutely hysterical. Reading in bed the other night, my laughter woke my wife when I came across this little gem of a passage:
"We made love on the floor. It was nice. We had a bit of an argument about the lack of a condom. I volunteered to use my sock. She thought that idea was a) disgusting; b) stupid. Socks weren't watertight, or whatever. She said, "You wear a sock, not only will I have a baby, it'll come out wearing a bloody jumper." We compromised on my withdrawal.
I didn't. We British don't withdraw from Ireland."