The best books which claim to be funny, but actually are

Sam Bowring Author Of Sam, Jake and Dylan Want Money: A Badly Behaved Comedy
By Sam Bowring

Who am I?

As a stand-up comedian myself, I find a lot of so-called funny books to be hugely disappointing. In these days of authors wanting their amazing works listed in every possible category on Amazon, you often find books in the humor sections which have severely mistaken ‘a somewhat light tone’ or ‘occasional moments of levity’ for being actual comedies. And don’t even get me started on the reams of literotica with covers featuring musclebound torsos that fill up any search for something supposedly funny. Kindly f*ck off, writers of the latest Billionaire Bad Boy Romance—you do not belong here. Instead, here are some books that will actually make you laugh.  

I wrote...

Sam, Jake and Dylan Want Money: A Badly Behaved Comedy

By Sam Bowring,

Book cover of Sam, Jake and Dylan Want Money: A Badly Behaved Comedy

What is my book about?

When a failed writer, a part-time redhead and a violent jerk all live together in the worst apartment block in the known universe, what desperate degeneracy will result? Will they be able to make a buck selling illegal seafood to children in the park? Or solve the problem of their broken air con by blowing up the very sun itself? Or avoid their spineless waft of a landlord, to whom they’ve never paid a shred of rent? Or what?

Find out the answers to these, and other dumb questions you would have never thought to ask, in this stupid collection of unnecessary tales.

The books I picked & why

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The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

By Jack Handey,

Book cover of The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

Why this book?

Written by legendary Saturday Night Live writer Jack Handey, this is a trippy book dense with hilarity, quite literally joke after joke, which still somehow flows into an actual story, albeit a weird one. I’d suggest that you only need to read the first sentence of the blurb to know if it’s for you or not. "Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!"

Everyone's Friendly and Nobody Gets Upset: The complete collection of email correspondences from the author of 27B/6 and The Internet is a Playground

By David Thorne,

Book cover of Everyone's Friendly and Nobody Gets Upset: The complete collection of email correspondences from the author of 27B/6 and The Internet is a Playground

Why this book?

If you’ve ever read the viral email correspondence by the unhinged (or perhaps, remarkably sane?) author David Thorne, of cult website 27B/6, about how he tried to pay a phone bill with a picture of a spider, you’ll know what you’re in for. Whether you have or not, this is a complete collection of Thorne’s hilarious email exchanges, which has on occasion reduced me to laughter almost painful—I do not recommend reading in public, unless you want everyone giving you crazy looks. 

Armageddon: The Musical

By Robert Rankin,

Book cover of Armageddon: The Musical

Why this book?

This fantastical story stars Elvis Presley and a time travelling Brussels sproutneed I say more?from one of the most celebrated humorist authors going. The good news is, if you like it, there’s more in the series, then heaps of other crazy books by Rankin to devour. 


By Joseph Heller,

Book cover of Catch-22

Why this book?

A classic on the absurdity of war which remains relevant to this day. It also has a really interesting and unique structureno spoilers, but it’s not exactly linearwhich I think of more like a complex painting, each chapter filling in a bit more of the canvas, until by the end you feel like you have the complete picture. Plus, very funny, of course. 

Dave Barry's Greatest Hits

By Dave Barry,

Book cover of Dave Barry's Greatest Hits

Why this book?

A collection of American humorist Dave Barry’s newspaper columns, which I’m often re-reading and laughing a great deal. Definitely ‘of it’s time’ in parts (aka a bit dated), but it also contains plenty of general observations about life, family, and defending your home against tornados. A good one for the loo, as shaking with laughter might help you ‘move things along’. 

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