Make me laugh

Searched the house for some humour this morning. As you can tell I’ve lost it, slightly. But why is it that books aren’t as funny as I think they used to be? Not every book I read has to be funny, but it’d be nice if more of them were. Some books these days are really very earnest. It’s important to be earnest, too, but, you know, I want to have fun. Sometimes I want to laugh out loud, but often it’d be enough to smile a little over an amusing plot or clever use of language.

People like to think JKR is boring, but that’s not the case. The bit where the Weasleys break through the Dursleys’ electric fire is very funny. The scene in the PM’s office is pretty good. And take Philip Pullman. He’s funny. When the silly old Scarecrow says he’s so stupid he will have to be an officer when he joins the army. That’s what I call humour.

And I can’t remember where and when I said this, but Michelle Magorian’s dance with the GIs in A Little Love Song, with oranges flying all over the place is hilarious. Better not return to the Vicar Of Nibbleswicke. Dahl wasn’t always as funny as people say, a lot of the time, but the toilet humour in Nibbleswicke is great fun.

So, am I childish in wanting more laughs, while still reading ‘good’ books? Am I wanting to laugh too frequently?

8 responses to “Make me laugh

  1. the funniest book I’ve read recently is ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ (Sherman Alexie). Made me laugh out loud – and I don’t do that often at books. I’m resisting the urge to quote half the funny lines from it here.
    Should warn you it’s also an incredibly heart-breaking read. It’s so sad because it’s so funny. Or vice-versa. Great humour is not childish at all.
    Mind you, I found myself smiling at Dostoyevsky recently. I think my sense of humour may be warped.

  2. Nobody makes me laugh like Philip Ardagh.

  3. I don´t crave humour all the time, but I certainly enjoy it when it is there.
    The book I am reading now is so poorly translated that I laugh in disbelief now and then – but that is not really funny, just annoying.

  4. There are plenty of funny books out there, but it’s unlikely they’ll get the reviews, unlike the worthy child/adult crossover potentials. Philip Ardagh is hilarious – absolutely right Sara – his blog equally so, and the Mr Gum and Captain Underpants books are super. Jonathan Stroud is hilarious and clever, Bartimeus being a brilliant invention. There’s definitely a strong vein of humour alive and present in children’s books.

    I must say though, I don’t think Philip Pullman writes funny books, wonderful though they are.

  5. Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum books are the funniest stories I’ve read in years. They may be a bit young for your tastes, but they are just wonderful.

  6. What about Michael Lawrence? Even the title ‘The Killer Underpants’ has me giggling. (Mature, much?)

  7. I did not get Mr Gum. Read the first book and a little of the next, and remained completely straight faced. And puzzled.

    Ardagh, yes. Have not tried Underpants. Stroud funny? Really?

    PP IS funny.

  8. The footnotes to The Amulet of Samarkand are inspired! Skulduggery Pleasant has a smart sense of humour too.The whole concept of ‘funny’ in children’s books is interesting though. I definitely think a book with laughs as well as thrills is more appealing to most children.

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