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Thread: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

  1. #1
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    Default What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    I like Moliere's Misanthrope and Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. They were both hilariously entertaining. I have before me, right now, Evelyn Waugh's Scoop which many people declare to be a satrical and comical masterpiece. What do you guys say your favorites are?
    Last edited by kacey7; 03-Nov-2017 at 08:49.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    Is it too white, too boring, too predictable to say I've enjoyed my time with Jeeves and Wooster?

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the few books to make me laugh out loud.

    Also, when it comes to humor, Saul Bellow is underrated.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    I've never read it myself, but I've heard from many that Don Quixote was a lot funnier than they had expected.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    Forgot before, but wanted to mention Gravity's Rainbow. Probably the second funniest book I've ever read. The scene with the hot air ballon chase/battle and the pies is one of the funniest things I've ever read.

    Also, Beckett is good for laughs.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek is one of my favorite comic novels.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    I've laughed tremendously with Zazie in the metro, by Raymond Queneau (or something like that, I'm feeling lazy to take the book off the shelf). Just his language and the situations he describes are hilarious.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie B View Post
    The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek is one of my favorite comic novels.
    I too had some good laugh while reading this.
    Jayan



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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    Céline's Journey to the End of the Night was unexpectedly funny, at least for me, as I had no prior information about the novel before reading it.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    "Sin Noticas de Gurb" by Eduardo Mendoza gave me some good laughs. I think it was Daniel that recommended it. It's a good one.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    Americans: Heller's Catch 22 (but his other books are terrible), Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat. But mostly, I don't get American sense of humor. Many authors try to be funny, but often only make me smirk (Vonnegut), or are plain boring (Roth)
    Czechs: Hasek (Svejk) and Hrabal
    Russians: Erofeev (Moscow to the End of the Line) and Gogol. Quite often, Dostoievsky is funny too.
    Poles: Gombrowicz (but I guess that his language-base humor may be lost in translation), Lem (Mortal Engines), Witkowski's Lovetown (hilarious gay novel, groundbreaking in Polish literature)
    Italians: Rabelais, Dario Fo
    Other: Naipaul's Mystic Masseur, Roland Topor
    Last edited by Bluszczokrzew; 05-Oct-2017 at 22:11.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    Natsume Soseki's 'Botchan' is funny, and obviously Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three Men in a Boat'

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    I second the Botchan recommendation. To me, its quirky humor has a modern sensibility to it. The novel doesn't read like a book that was written over 100 years ago. I'd also suggest Cheese by Willem Elsschot.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    I'd say many portions of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (I consider it a classic already) are among the funniest things ever written. Mario Vargas Llosa's Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (the scripwriter sections) and Captain Pantoja and the Special Service are hilarious.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    I second the Cheese recommendation by Stevie. The main character's total ineptness as a businessman is hillarious at times. Also The Evenings by Gerard Reve, a real Dutch classic, made me laugh out loud several times.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    Quote Originally Posted by lucasdiniz View Post
    "Sin Noticas de Gurb" by Eduardo Mendoza gave me some good laughs. I think it was Daniel that recommended it. It's a good one.
    I haven't read that novel so probably I didn't recommend it. However, the series of satyrical novels in which the detective has some sort problem of mental problems it's hilarious. So far he has published 5 but I've read only three:

    El Misterio de la Cripta Embrujada
    El Laberinto de las Aceitunas
    La Aventura del Tocador de Señoras
    El Enredo de la Bolsa y la Vida
    El Secreto de la Modelo Extraviada

    Not sure how many of them have been translated.

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    Default Re: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

    I second the Quijote recommendation. I've read it twice and I had to close the book in some parts because I couldn't continue reading as I was laughing loud.
    Same situation happened when reading El Lazarillo de Tormes. The work that craeted the concept of picaresque novel and to me, still the best.

    Also, Am I the only one that thinks Thomas Bernhardis hilarious?

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