The Greatest "Fiction, Humor" Books Since 1980

Click to learn how this list is calculated.

This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 280 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

Filter by: Genres Dates Countries
Follow on:

Genres

Fiction

Humor

Humor is a category of books that is characterized by its ability to make readers laugh or feel amused. These books often contain witty dialogue, clever wordplay, and humorous situations that are designed to entertain and delight readers. Humor can be found in a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and graphic novels, and can range from light-hearted and silly to dark and satirical. Whether you're looking for a quick laugh or a more in-depth exploration of the human condition through humor, there is something for everyone in the world of humorous books.

Add additional genre filters

Countries

Date Range

Filter

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download
  1. 1. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

    The novel is a comedic satire set in New Orleans in the early 1960s, centered around Ignatius J. Reilly, a lazy, eccentric, highly educated, and socially inept man who still lives with his mother. Ignatius spends his time writing a lengthy philosophical work while working various jobs and avoiding the responsibilities of adulthood. The story follows his misadventures and interactions with a colorful cast of characters in the city, including his long-suffering mother, a flamboyant nightclub owner, a beleaguered factory worker, and a frustrated hot dog vendor.

  2. 2. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

    This novel follows the lives of two friends, a working-class Englishman and a Bangladeshi Muslim, living in London. The story explores the complex relationships between people of different races, cultures, and generations in modern Britain, with themes of identity, immigration, and the cultural and social changes that have shaped the country. The narrative is enriched by the characters' personal histories and the historical events that have shaped their lives.

  3. 3. White Noise by Don DeLillo

    The novel is a postmodern exploration of death and consumerism in the United States. It follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitler Studies at a small liberal arts college in Middle America. Jack and his fourth wife, Babette, are afraid of death and are obsessed with finding a cure for their fear. Their lives are disrupted by an airborne toxic event, which forces them to confront their mortality and the toxic effects of modern life.

  4. 4. Money by Martin Amis

    "Money" is a darkly humorous novel that follows the life of John Self, a hedonistic, self-destructive director of commercials, as he navigates the excesses and depravities of 1980s New York and London. His life is filled with overindulgence in food, alcohol, drugs, and women, leading to a downward spiral of self-destruction. The novel is a satire on the excesses of capitalism and the obsession with wealth and materialism, and it also explores themes of identity, self-loathing, and the destructive power of addiction.

  5. 5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

    The book follows the lives of two Jewish cousins, one a skilled escape artist and the other a talented artist, before, during, and after World War II. They create a popular comic book superhero, which brings them fame and fortune. However, their success is complicated by personal struggles, including the escape artist's attempts to rescue his family from Nazi-occupied Prague and the artist's struggle with his sexuality. The narrative explores themes of escapism, identity, and the golden age of comic books.

  6. 6. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

    This book introduces readers to a flat, disc-shaped world balanced on the back of four elephants who stand on a giant turtle. The story follows an inept and cowardly wizard named Rincewind who is tasked with guiding a naive tourist through this chaotic and fantastical world filled with dragons, trolls, and magic. The narrative is a satirical take on fantasy genre clich├ęs, with humorous and witty commentary throughout.

  7. 7. The BFG by Roald Dahl

    The book tells the story of a young orphan girl who befriends a benevolent giant, known as the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). Together, they embark on a mission to stop the other evil, man-eating giants from terrorizing the human world. With the help of the Queen of England and her armed forces, they manage to capture the evil giants and bring peace. The BFG and the girl then live happily in England, with the BFG delivering good dreams to children and the girl living in a new home at the palace.

  8. 8. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

    This novel revolves around the life of a record store owner in his mid-thirties who is obsessed with pop culture, particularly music. He has just been dumped by his long-term girlfriend and begins to question his life choices. As he revisits his top five breakups, he decides to get in touch with the exes to find out what went wrong in each relationship. Throughout this process, he learns a lot about himself, his fears, and his shortcomings while trying to make sense of his life.

  9. 9. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

    The book is a humorous and honest portrayal of a single woman's life in London. The protagonist, a 30-something year old woman, struggles with her weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption, all while trying to navigate her love life and career. The story is told through her personal diary entries, which include her daily calorie counts, number of cigarettes smoked, and other personal anecdotes. It's a modern take on romantic relationships and self-improvement, with a healthy dose of comedy.

  10. 10. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

    The book is a humorous and touching glimpse into the life and mind of a British adolescent boy, navigating the challenges of teenage life. Written in diary format, the protagonist grapples with everything from acne, unrequited love, school bullies, family issues, and his aspirations of becoming an intellectual. His misinterpretations of the adult world around him, coupled with his overly serious and introspective nature, provide plenty of comedy and make for an endearing and relatable coming-of-age story.

  11. 11. Matilda by Roald Dahl

    The book follows the story of Matilda, an exceptionally intelligent young girl who is neglected and mistreated by her parents. She finds solace and companionship in the local library, where she develops a love of books and a remarkable talent for telekinesis. Matilda eventually uses these abilities to defend her friends from their tyrannical headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and help her kind-hearted teacher, Miss Honey, reclaim her life.

  12. 12. Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes

    The novel centers around a retired doctor's obsession with the life and works of Gustave Flaubert, a 19th-century French writer. The doctor's fascination leads him on a quest to find a stuffed parrot that once belonged to the writer. The novel is a blend of biography, literary criticism, and personal memoir, and it explores themes such as the nature of art and the difficulties of interpreting the past.

  13. 13. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

    "Good Omens" is a humorous take on the biblical Apocalypse, following an angel and a demon who have grown fond of Earth and its inhabitants, and are not too keen on the impending end of the world. As they try to locate the misplaced Antichrist and prevent the Four Horsemen from bringing about Armageddon, they encounter an array of quirky characters, including witch-hunters, modern-day witches, and the Four Horsemen themselves. The novel combines comedy, fantasy, and philosophical themes, offering a satirical critique of religious prophecy and human nature.

  14. 14. London Fields by Martin Amis

    The novel is a darkly comic, murder mystery set in London at the end of the 20th century. The story follows three main characters: a terminally ill American writer, a petty criminal, and a beautiful but doomed woman who predicts her own murder but not the murderer. The narrative is filled with satirical social commentary, exploring themes of love, lust, greed, and deception.

  15. 15. Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

    A Miami loan shark travels to Los Angeles to collect a debt from a low-budget movie producer, only to get entangled in the Hollywood scene. Through a series of events, he ends up pitching a movie idea based on his own life as a mobster. This comedic crime novel explores the similarities between the film industry and organized crime, while offering a satirical look at the behind-the-scenes workings of Hollywood.

  16. 16. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

    The novel follows a young man living in Manhattan as he tries to navigate his way through the fast-paced and drug-fueled world of the New York City nightlife during the 1980s. He is struggling with his job at a prestigious magazine, his estranged wife who has left him for another man, and his growing addiction to cocaine. As he spirals further into self-destruction, he must confront his problems and make choices about the person he wants to be.

  17. 17. What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe

    This satirical novel follows the story of the Winshaw family, a wealthy and corrupt British family who have a significant influence on British society in fields such as politics, business, media, and the arts. The narrative is presented through the eyes of a commissioned biographer who is trying to make sense of the family's history and their impact on society. As he delves deeper into the family's affairs, he uncovers dark secrets and becomes entangled in a complex web of deceit and murder.

  18. 18. Wise Children by Angela Carter

    "Wise Children" follows the lives of twin chorus girls, Dora and Nora Chance, as they navigate the ups and downs of their theatrical family in south London. The narrative, told from Dora's perspective, weaves in and out of time, recounting their experiences with their illegitimate father Melchior Hazard, a renowned Shakespearean actor, and his legitimate family. The novel explores themes of family, identity, legitimacy, and the magic of theater, all while maintaining a humorous and irreverent tone.

  19. 19. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

    The book is a fantastical children's novel that explores the importance of storytelling. It follows the journey of a young boy named Haroun who sets out on a magical adventure to restore his father's ability to tell stories. Along the way, he encounters a vast array of colorful characters and strange lands, including a Sea of Stories. The narrative addresses themes of censorship, the power of storytelling, and the struggle between light and darkness.

  20. 20. Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme

    "Sixty Stories" is a collection of short narratives that use unconventional, experimental structures to explore a range of themes. The book is known for its absurdist and postmodern style, and the stories often feature elements of parody, surrealism, and satire. The tales cover a wide array of topics, including art, literature, philosophy, and the human condition, all presented with a unique blend of humor, wit, and intellectual depth.

  21. 21. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

    The novel is a richly layered narrative about a young man's quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis during World War II. The story is told from two perspectives: a Ukrainian translator with a unique grasp on the English language and the young man himself who is also a budding writer. The book explores themes of memory, history, and the power of storytelling, all set against the backdrop of a tragic and tumultuous period in world history.

  22. 22. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

    This humorous science fiction novel follows the eccentric detective Dirk Gently, who operates based on the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. His cases involve time travel, ghosts, and an Electric Monk, a labor-saving device that believes things for you. Dirk's current investigation revolves around the disappearance of a cat, a multimillionaire, and a horse in a bathroom, all seemingly unrelated events, but in Dirk's holistic world, everything is connected.

  23. 23. The Twits by Roald Dahl

    "The Twits" is a humorous children's book that follows the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Twit, a repulsive and mean-spirited couple who delight in playing nasty tricks on each other. With their hairy faces and twisted minds, they make life miserable for everyone around them. However, their wickedness eventually catches up with them when a group of mischievous monkeys decide to teach them a lesson they will never forget.

  24. 24. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

    Set in the early 1900s in a small Georgia town, the novel follows the life of a 14-year-old boy named Will Tweedy. The story is largely centered around his grandfather's scandalous marriage to a much younger woman just three weeks after his wife's death, causing a stir in their small, conservative town. Through Will's eyes, the reader experiences the complexities of Southern society, family dynamics, and the process of coming-of-age.

  25. 25. The Life And Loves Of A She Devil by Fay Weldon

    The novel follows the story of a scorned wife who embarks on a transformative journey of revenge against her adulterous husband and his mistress. After being belittled for her appearance and discarded for a more beautiful woman, she decides to reinvent herself completely, both physically and socially, to exact retribution. Her quest for vengeance leads her down a dark path where she manipulates and destroys the lives of those who wronged her. As she assumes control of her destiny, the protagonist challenges societal expectations of femininity and power, ultimately questioning the true nature of identity and the cost of her unyielding pursuit of justice.

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download