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Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?

Three men in a boat (not to mention the dog) is indeed a hilarious book. Good recommendation!

for those who don't yet know it, here's the opening page or two:

THERE were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself,
and Montmorency. We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about
how bad we were - bad from a medical point of view I mean, of course.

We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it.
Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at
times, that he hardly knew what he was doing; and then George said that
HE had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what HE was doing. With
me, it was my liver that was out of order. I knew it was my liver that
was out of order, because I had just been reading a patent liver-pill
circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man
could tell when his liver was out of order. I had them all.

It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine
advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am
suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most
virulent form. The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly
with all the sensations that I have ever felt.

I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment
for some slight ailment of which I had a touch - hay fever, I fancy it
was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an
unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently
study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I
plunged into - some fearful, devastating scourge, I know - and, before I
had glanced half down the list of "premonitory symptoms," it was borne in
upon me that I had fairly got it.

I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of
despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever - read
the symptoms - discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for
months without knowing it - wondered what else I had got; turned up St.
Vitus's Dance - found, as I expected, that I had that too, - began to get
interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so
started alphabetically - read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening
for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another
fortnight. Bright's disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a
modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years.
Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have
been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six
letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was
housemaid's knee.

I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of
slight. Why hadn't I got housemaid's knee? Why this invidious
reservation? After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed. I
reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and I
grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid's knee. Gout,
in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my
being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from
boyhood. There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there
was nothing else the matter with me.

I sat and pondered. I thought what an interesting case I must be from a
medical point of view, what an acquisition I should be to a class!
Students would have no need to "walk the hospitals," if they had me. I
was a hospital in myself. All they need do would be to walk round me,
and, after that, take their diploma.

Then I wondered how long I had to live. I tried to examine myself. I
felt my pulse. I could not at first feel any pulse at all. Then, all of
a sudden, it seemed to start off. I pulled out my watch and timed it. I
made it a hundred and forty-seven to the minute. I tried to feel my
heart. I could not feel my heart. It had stopped beating. I have since
been induced to come to the opinion that it must have been there all the
time, and must have been beating, but I cannot account for it. I patted
myself all over my front, from what I call my waist up to my head, and I
went a bit round each side, and a little way up the back. But I could
not feel or hear anything. I tried to look at my tongue. I stuck it out
as far as ever it would go, and I shut one eye, and tried to examine it
with the other. I could only see the tip, and the only thing that I
could gain from that was to feel more certain than before that I had
scarlet fever.

I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out
a decrepit wreck.

I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse,
and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing,
when I fancy I'm ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to
him now. "What a doctor wants," I said, "is practice. He shall have me.
He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your
ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each." So
I went straight up and saw him, and he said:

"Well, what's the matter with you?"

I said:

"I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the
matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had
finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have
not got housemaid's knee. Why I have not got housemaid's knee, I cannot
tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else,
however, I HAVE got."

And I told him how I came to discover it all.

Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and
then he hit me over the chest when I wasn't expecting it - a cowardly
thing to do, I call it - and immediately afterwards butted me with the
side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription,
and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.

I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist's, and handed it in.
The man read it, and then handed it back.

He said he didn't keep it.

I said:

"You are a chemist?"

He said:

"I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel
combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers
me."

I read the prescription. It ran:


"1 lb. beefsteak, with
1 pt. bitter beer
every 6 hours.
1 ten-mile walk every morning.
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand."


I followed the directions, with the happy result - speaking for myself -
that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?

[ Edited ]
Even though I've read this book over and over again, reading that excerpt still had me laughing out loud and wanting to share it with all my friends. I've read pretty much everything that Jerome K. Jerome had published, but this is still far and away my favorite. It's sad that so few people read his books today.

At the moment I'm reading You Suck! by Christopher Moore -- the first book I've read by him -- and it's very funny, too, but in an entirely different style of humor than Three Men in a Boat. (And how could I forget to mention Montmorency??)

My grandfather was a big fan of Robert Service and Ogden Nash and they are very witty writers, too. I discovered James Thurber when I was in high school and I'm still a big fan of his humor, too.

Message Edited by becke_davis on 07-18-2007 12:38 PM
New User
GL_33
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-18-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

Hi! Susan Isaacs has some fun books. Her last book out "Past Presents" is fun. She is an anxiety ridden writer for a cable TV Show about the CIA and espionage.

I've also read Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. Pretty Good as well!
New User
GL_33
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-18-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

Hello Again!

Can everyone tell that yesterday was my first time to post anything...ever???

First, I gave everyone the wrong title...my apologies to the readers and the author. The title of the book is Past Perfect. And, I really did under sell the book. Obviously, I'm not the salesman in the family. The mantra of ABC...Always Be Closing...was not a frequently mentioned phrase in the house of my youth.

Also, I read of couple of the synopsis' offered on the BN website. The Night of the Avenging Blowfish does look to be hysterical. I will be purchasing that this weekend. Along with Early Bird.

If you get a second, look up Past Perfect on the BN website. They do employ people who repeat in their sleep "ABC", "ABC", "ABC"....Enjoy!
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?

Another delightfully funny book is Delafield's Diary of a Provincial Lady. Although it should be long out of copyright, it hasn't been copied onto the web yet, so you have to buy it or get it through interlibrary loan.

Here's a brief excerpt to give you the flavor.

http://www.starcourse.org/emd/
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?



GL_33 wrote:
Hi! Susan Isaacs has some fun books. Her last book out "Past Presents" is fun. She is an anxiety ridden writer for a cable TV Show about the CIA and espionage.

I've also read Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. Pretty Good as well!




Yes, just the other day I was trying to remember the name of susan Isaacs book that was on the Barnes and Noble club a while back. I read it and loved it. And I loved Angry Housewives.
Inspired Correspondent
Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?

An older book that I LMAO reading was "Catcher in the Rye".
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?



Bonnie824 wrote:
An older book that I LMAO reading was "Catcher in the Rye".



I loved that book also.
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?



kiakar wrote:


Bonnie824 wrote:
An older book that I LMAO reading was "Catcher in the Rye".



I loved that book also.




I don't know if this is true, but I've always been fascinated by this story. I may have already mentioned it on this board. I read someplace that when Salinger was writing this book he was having trouble coming up with a name for the main character. He was walking in New York City, passing a movie theater with the names William Holden and Joan Caulfield up in lights. Something clicked and the character became: Holden Caulfield.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?



becke_davis wrote:


kiakar wrote:


Bonnie824 wrote:
An older book that I LMAO reading was "Catcher in the Rye".



I loved that book also.




I don't know if this is true, but I've always been fascinated by this story. I may have already mentioned it on this board. I read someplace that when Salinger was writing this book he was having trouble coming up with a name for the main character. He was walking in New York City, passing a movie theater with the names William Holden and Joan Caulfield up in lights. Something clicked and the character became: Holden Caulfield.





Thanks for that tidbit, Becke! Very interesting!
Frequent Contributor
etwilight
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎07-22-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

As the non-offical Twilight posterboard, I recommend it for its riveting sarcasm. Edward is hysterical, espcially in the first couple chapters,I guarentee a laugh. He's extremely funny. But bear in mind, I have no idea how old you are, it is a teen novel so it's not that intense.

Also there's a series about vampires that I can't quite remember but the first book I believe is Dead Until Dark, there's some funny moments in there esp, with the vamp Eric around (another fav of mine).

Can't think of anything else right now, but I hope this helps you.

:smileywink:
Reader
platie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?

I also loved Angry Housewives. Some of my other favorites include Eat Cake, Skinny Dip, In a Sunburned Country and the $64 Tomato (my all-time favorite funny book).
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?



platie wrote:
I also loved Angry Housewives. Some of my other favorites include Eat Cake, Skinny Dip, In a Sunburned Country and the $64 Tomato (my all-time favorite funny book).




I also loved the $64 Tomato. The author, Bill Alexander, visited our garden book club at BN.com last fall and he was a hoot -- I don't know if the message board is still accessible, but either way, I recommend the book. It's not just about gardening, and it's anything but a dry, "how-to" kind of book!
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?



platie wrote:
I also loved Angry Housewives. Some of my other favorites include Eat Cake, Skinny Dip, In a Sunburned Country and the $64 Tomato (my all-time favorite funny book).




I have heard the 64 dollar tomato, book was funny and good. I guess I need to put that on my list of many. I love light reading to relax the mind sometimes.
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Know a funny book?



kiakar wrote:


platie wrote:
I also loved Angry Housewives. Some of my other favorites include Eat Cake, Skinny Dip, In a Sunburned Country and the $64 Tomato (my all-time favorite funny book).




I have heard the 64 dollar tomato, book was funny and good. I guess I need to put that on my list of many. I love light reading to relax the mind sometimes.




I should point out that if this book was a movie it would probably get a PG13 rating -- not anything too "adult" but not "G" either.
ABI
Frequent Contributor
ABI
Posts: 2,577
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

Oh, yes!!! I love david Sedaris! i was just about to post "ANYTHING by David Sedaris" when i saw yours. Though I would try "Holidays On Ice" or "Me Talk Pretty One Day" first.

"The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the Chocolate." (that still cracks me up)








____________________________________________________________

Kristen_C wrote:
Another funny author is Davis Sedaris - his books will have you laughing, especially Me Talk Pretty One Day. Also, Don't Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff was a scream!

The cottage of content is better than the palace of cold splendor and where love is, all is. ~Charles Dickens in David Copperfield
____________________________________________________________
"There is nothing easier than self-deceit."
"Bombing for peace is like f***ing for virginity"
"There is no such thing as death, only the absence of life."
"There is no end, unless you let it."
Inspired Contributor
katknit
Posts: 347
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

I'm in the middle of Stolen from Gypsies by Noble Smith. The narrator is a man living in 19th century Florence, telling a medieval story to his manservant. It's Dickensian in the naming of characters, Monty Pythonish in its zany plot, Jonathan Winterish in its humor,a farcical send up of Gothic romantic adventure stories. Very funny! (for adults but not x-rated)
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
Contributor
jmanrique
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

Depending on your political leanings, a book of essays that recently made me laugh out loud more than once was Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart. If you're a fan of The Daily Show you'll likely find this very funny.
Ocean Raton, a novel by John Manrique
now available on bn.com
for more: www.OceanRaton.com
New User
othor11
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-11-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

Have you tried, "Those Damn Flying Cows!" It is a one-year journal set in Vietnam. It would be different, if you have an open mind and are not offended by some profanity. Remember it is about a military person.
You might get a laugh.
Frequent Contributor
receptivereader
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎10-04-2007
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Re: Know a funny book?

I've read "Isabele's Bed", by Eleanor Lipman 3 or 4 times. It's great!
Jasper Fforde is also funny, especially for bibliophiles. My book group had a blast with "The Eyre Affair", his first in the Thursday Next series. Since then he's started another series, Nursery Crimes. These books are good for all ages.
...for fast relief try slowing down...