Funny books for convalescents, please

You’d think the bookwitch would be a good source of advice for books, wouldn’t you? But her mind is a complete blank, and please don’t say that you had noticed a long time ago.

A friend of mine asked for recommendations for funny books, for when she’s in hospital, which might be next week. I think what she’s looking for is something funny enough not to make the reader depressed, but not so wildly funny that stitches start coming undone, and other disgusting things.

I can think of several children’s books, but I suspect that other adults aren’t quite as fond of them as I am. And when they are really funny like Roald Dahl’s The Vicar of Nibbleswicke they are a health hazard. When the bookwitch started reading it to Son many years ago she laughed so much she was unable to carry on and Son had to read it to her instead.

And there is a book I think my friend would enjoy, but it’s not out yet, so what do I do?

Any ideas, people?

8 responses to “Funny books for convalescents, please

  1. My staples (no pun to do with stitches coming undone is intended!) are Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and any Wodehouse. I’m also very fond of Diary of a nobody by Weedon, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
    Hope this helps!

  2. Adele chose the three I’d have chosen, with the possible addition of Lucky Jim, which makes me positively guffaw.

  3. Does her taste run to something like Gaiman/Pratchett, Good Omens? Comic books/graphic novels? And for a really good laugh (mostly at self) I rely on Fowler’s Modern English Usage.

  4. Resident IT Consultant

    How about Three Men in a Boat? Or Jasper Fforde’s Eyre Affair and its sequels?

  5. Fforde turns me icy with humour-failure, though I do love 3 men in a boat.
    But I would like to add that when I was laid-up, I ordered PG Wodehouse CDs from e-bay and listening to them did exactly what was required.

  6. Yes, I barely made it through The Eyre Affair, and won’t be trying any of the others in a hurry.

    And Lucky Jim I only enjoyed on a second reading. Must have been too young the first time. Just can’t work out why I read it a second time…

  7. The first novel I thought of was Tom Sharpe’s Wilt, but your friend would need a fairly high tolerance for sexual innuendo and profanity. Suffice it to say one of the funniest bits involves the ne’er-do-well English lecturer Wilt’s use of a life-sized blow-up doll to rehearse murdering his wife.

    How about Sue Townsend? Perhaps The Queen and I?

  8. I find Catherine Alliott hilarious, but I also have a good laugh at a lot of things that I don’t expect to be funny like Anne Patchett’s biography of her friend um, whose name I forget…, and The Pheasants’ Revolt, 😀 that was so funny, meant to be, too. and… I am looking for a good book to read while healing from a neck injury that involves spending a lot of time resting on my back… so movies are not really an option, unless they come with the TV in the ceiling like at the dentist 🙂 good luck 🙂

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