Some New Trend

List Wednesdays :: Must-Read Comedy Classics by Kevin Wilder

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In February, the authors at The Guardian took a week to enlighten us on 1,000 novels we should readSince 1k seems like far too many to re-list (and since the authors of Some New Trend find taking on any more sizable tasks daunting), we thought we could at least take a look at a genre most everyone enjoys: Comedy!

Ah, but not so quick. We are reminded in their introduction

“Comedy is not humour. You shouldn’t expect to be laughing all the way through these novels. Sometimes you will be, but at other times you will be crying. Every comic, it is said, wants to play Hamlet, and many comic novelists — Evelyn Waugh, archetypally — have a serious purpose. The world’s hypocrisies and deceptions are targets that must be attacked, comedy the literary weapon of choice.”

So where do we begin? We’ve weeded through hundreds to pick several that, at first glance, seem pretty appealing. Here they are, in chronological order:

Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749), Tobias Smollett’s The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), WM Thackeray’s The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844), Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger (1916), Compton Mackenzie’s Whisky Galore (1947), Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (1954), Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire (1962), Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces (1980), Julian Barnes’s Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick (1984), and Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments (1987).

2 Comments so far
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Yay for Roddy Doyle! He’s a personal favorite.

Comment by amyjo

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Comment by divorce agreement

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