Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Three Men in a Boat, published in 1889, is a humorous account by English writer Jerome K Jerome of a two-week boating holiday on the Thames from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford and back to Kingston. The book was initially intended to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history along the route, but the humorous elements took over to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages seem a distraction to the comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern readers — the jokes have been praised as fresh and witty.
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
The Innocents Abroad is a travel book by American author Mark Twain. Published in 1869, it humorously chronicles what Twain called his ‘Great Pleasure Excursion’ on board the chartered vessel Quaker City (formerly USS Quaker City) through Europe and the Holy Land with a group of American travellers in 1867. The five-month voyage included numerous side trips on land. The book, which sometimes appears with the subtitle The New Pilgrim’s Progress, became the best-selling of Twain’s works during his lifetime, as well as one of the best-selling travel books of all time.
The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare’s early plays. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humour coming from slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and word play. It has been adapted for opera, stage, screen and musical theatre numerous times worldwide. In the centuries following its premiere, the play’s title has entered the popular English lexicon as an idiom for “an event or series of events made ridiculous by the number of errors that were made throughout”.
The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
Also read: First two retail stores in India ‘milestone’ for Apple, says CEO Tim Cook
The Devil’s Dictionary is a satirical dictionary written by American journalist Ambrose Bierce, consisting of common words followed by humorous and satirical definitions. The lexicon was written over three decades as a series of installments for magazines and newspapers. Bierce’s witty definitions were imitated and plagiarised for years before he gathered them into books, first as The Cynic’s Word Book in 1906 and then in a more complete version as The Devil’s Dictionary in 1911.
The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
The Diary of a Nobody is an English comic novel written by the brothers George and Weedon Grossmith, with illustrations by the latter. It originated as an intermittent serial in Punch magazine in 1888-89 and first appeared in book form, with extended text and added illustrations, in 1892. The diary records the daily events in the lives of a London clerk, Charles Pooter, his wife Carrie, his son William Lupin, and numerous friends and acquaintances over a period of 15 months.
The Nose by Nikolai Gogol
The Nose is a satirical short story by Nikolai Gogol written during his time living in St Petersburg. During this time, Gogol’s works were primarily focused on the grotesque and absurd, with a romantic twist. Written between 1835 and 1836, The Nose tells the story of a St Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own. The Nose was originally published in The Contemporary, a literary journal owned by Alexander Pushkin.
Also read: Google senior engineer says company is falling behind in AI arms race, open source eating its lunch
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ is the first book in the Adrian Mole series of comedic fiction, written by Sue Townsend. The book is written in a diary style, and focuses on the worries and regrets of a teenager who believes himself to be an intellectual. The story is set in 1981 and 1982, and in the background it refers to some of the historic world events of the time, such as the Falklands War and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana as well as the birth of Prince William.