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Our new humour section is filled with books with elements of humour. Books that will make you laugh, chortle and chuckle as you read.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 19 November 2009. Always topical, Ben Elton centres his new book around the credit crunch. Following his characters from their days at university, through the highs of their careers and domestic lives and up to the point where financial crisis hits and turns their pampered, blissful lives around. Brilliantly crafted characters and Elton's scathing wit make for another very funny and well observed novel.
This feels more like the Ben Elton from the days of Gridlock and Stark so if you are a fan you’ll know that this is going to give you a bit more to get your teeth into than perhaps the last few of his modern satires have. There will be inevitable comparisons to Orwell’s 1984 but Elton writes with his own inimitable style and humour. This storyline is a scary idea that doesn’t seem too far from a possible reality.
The story is told in a series of emails. Not a new phenomenon and perhaps quite reflective of the way people tend to communicate with each other nowadays but this is a very funny book and for anyone who does communicate via email it will all seem very familiar. Due to the format this will be a quick read but thoroughly enjoyable
The third novel in the “Merde” series is the best one yet. You don’t have to have read the first two to thoroughly enjoy Paul West’s exploits as he and his French girlfriend travel across the States. English, French and American points of view all clashing together make for a brilliantly funny read and his cheeky style makes for a refreshing read.The books so far in this series are as follows:-1. A Year in the Merde2. Merde Actually3. Merde Happens
A good read for all those grown up naughty school boys who wish they could have got away with everything. Imagine being sent to a school where you are encouraged to hone all those mischievous skills you were previously punished for demonstrating. You will find yourself routing for the characters even though you know you shouldn’t but just enjoy the guilty pleasure.
Back to his modern satires, for his last novel The First Casualty was historical, very special and unusual. With this one he returns to the familiar social territory of Dead Famous and Past Mortem. It centres around the TV Pop Idol shows and the backbiting celebrity world surrounding it. Some quirky characters and amusing ideas, but not his best, although very clever, and as a Ben Elton fan it’s a ‘must read’.Similar this month: None but try Kevin Sampson.Comparison: Stephen Fry, Rupert Morgan, Christopher Buckley.
Another wacky collection of irritating letters covering such diverse subjects as purchasing, filteration “heads” for filteration of ant seed, getting sponsorship for the world’s biggest quiz, (all participants to be over seven feet tall), to enquiring what tennis whales might be. It’s all good Christmas giggle stuff that should end up in the loo for the rest of the year.
A brilliant portrayal of growing up and being young, about sex and love and rock and roll and about the dreams of youth colliding head-on with the grown-up world. A pivotal moment in many a young person's life and for the author, this time in question was 1977, the year Elvis died. And yet, the youth of today will find much in the book that resonates with their life now just as it will for the youth of the '70s and '80s.
Very early on we learn that boring, frightened Murray has only a few months to live. Have you thought about it? I have, and in many ways Iâd do what this character does â€¦ live a bit, only I hope I donât attract his problems! This is wacky stuff, written with rip-roaring pace, full of hilarious and unlikely scenarios and weird but lovable characters, a true comic novel of style. Catch his email novel, e, too and an equally crazy media one, The Book, The Film, The T-Shirt.Comparison: John OâFarrell, Mike Gayle, David Nicholls.Similar this month: Frank Schaeffer, Alistair Beaton.
The king of social satire with a tale of gruesome murders linked to the new craze of retracing one’s past through the web – Friends Reunited. He writes beautifully, a very clever man. You must try him. Comparison: Stephen Fry, Rupert Morgan’s Let There Be Lite, David Nobbs.Similar this month: None but do try William Nicholson or William Sutcliffe.
To have or to have not, baby or no baby? Tony Parsons tackles the burning question from the different points of view of three couples and discovers Mother Nature can be one hell of a bitch! Heartwarming, sensitive and oh so true, this is modern living to a tee. Comparison: Nick Hornby, John O’Farrell, John Harding.Similar this month: Matthew Sharpe, Pauline McLynn.
A hip, slick, fast, fun first novel, a romp lampooning the shallow world of daytime television as our rather sad protagonist fights to be recognised.
Read, Learn & Laugh!