The Greatest "Drama, Humor" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 313 '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.

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Genres

Drama

Drama is a genre of literature that typically deals with serious and emotional themes, often exploring the complexities of human relationships and the struggles individuals face in their lives. These books often feature intense character development and intricate plotlines, delving into the depths of human experience and the challenges of navigating the world around us. From family dramas to political intrigue, the drama genre encompasses a wide range of stories that aim to captivate readers with their raw and powerful storytelling.

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.

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  1. 1. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

    "Lucky Jim" is a comic novel that follows the life of Jim Dixon, a young and disillusioned lecturer at a provincial British university. Struggling with his job and his pretentious boss, Dixon navigates through a series of humorous and often absurd situations, including a disastrous public lecture and a chaotic weekend at his boss's house. The novel satirizes the snobbishness and hypocrisy of the academic world, and explores themes of class, ambition, and the struggle to find personal authenticity in a conformist society.

    The 202nd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. 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.

    The 279th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

    "I Capture the Castle" is a coming-of-age novel that tells the story of 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain and her eccentric family living in a dilapidated English castle during the 1930s. Cassandra's father is a reclusive writer suffering from writer's block and her stepmother is a bohemian artist. The family's life changes dramatically when two American brothers inherit the estate. The novel, written in diary format, explores themes of love, poverty, and the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

    The 343rd Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Lysistrata by Aristophanes

    "Lysistrata" is a comedic play set in ancient Greece, where the women of Athens, led by the eponymous character, decide to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers in order to force them to negotiate a peaceful end to the Peloponnesian War. Along with the women of Sparta, they seize the Acropolis and the treasury, and through their non-violent resistance, they manage to bring about a reconciliation between the warring states. The play is a humorous exploration of gender roles and the power of passive resistance.

    The 461st Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

    Set in the 1930s, this novel explores the disintegration of the marriage of an upper-class English couple, Tony and Brenda Last. Brenda embarks on an affair with a social climber, John Beaver, leading to the demise of her marriage. After their son's tragic death, Brenda demands a divorce and a large portion of Tony's estate. Tony, heartbroken, embarks on an ill-fated expedition to the Brazilian jungle. The novel critically examines the moral decay of British aristocracy and society.

    The 473rd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

    In this classic play, the Duke of Athens is preparing for his marriage when the lives of two young couples become complicated by the meddling of fairies. The fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania, are quarreling, causing chaos in both the fairy world and the world of mortals. Puck, a mischievous sprite and servant of Oberon, causes further confusion and comic misadventures by casting spells that lead to mistaken identities and misplaced affections. Eventually, all is resolved, and the play ends with three happily married couples.

    The 581st Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

    This comedic play revolves around two protagonists who both use the pseudonym "Ernest" to escape their social obligations. Their plans unravel when they fall in love and their betrothed women reveal they are only willing to marry men named Ernest. The situation is further complicated by a case of mistaken identity, a lost handbag, and a surprising revelation about one of the protagonist's parentage. The play uses wit and humor to satirize the social conventions of Victorian England, particularly the importance placed on trivialities.

    The 588th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

    "Tales of the City" is a collection of interconnected stories set in 1970s San Francisco, focusing on the lives and experiences of a diverse group of residents living in the same apartment complex. The narrative explores various themes such as love, friendship, sexuality, and identity, providing a vivid snapshot of life in this iconic city during a transformative period of social change. The book is known for its candid portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters and issues, a groundbreaking approach at the time of its publication.

    The 658th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. The Clouds by Aristophanes

    "The Clouds" is a satirical play that critiques the intellectual and moral corruption of Athenian society by focusing on a father-son relationship. The father, in an effort to evade debt, sends his son to a school of sophistry to learn the art of manipulating language and logic to win arguments. The story explores themes of education, morality, and the conflict between traditional and modern values. The play is well-known for its critical portrayal of Socrates as a sophist and its comedic elements.

    The 719th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

    "The Magnificent Ambersons" is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in the early 20th century that explores the dramatic changes brought about by the industrial revolution in America. It follows the decline of the once-prosperous Amberson family as their fortune and influence wane with the rise of new money and modern technology. The story is centered around the prideful and spoiled George Amberson Minafer, whose arrogance and inability to adapt to the changing world lead to his downfall.

    The 852nd Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. 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.

    The 986th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. 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.

    The 1353rd Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

    "She Stoops to Conquer" is a comedic play that revolves around the story of a wealthy countryman, Mr. Hardcastle, who arranges for his daughter, Kate, to meet Charles Marlow, the son of a wealthy Londoner, hoping the pair will marry. However, Marlow is nervous around upper-class women, yet gets along fine with lower-class women. Kate learns of this and pretends to be 'common' to get to know him. The play concludes with Kate revealing her true identity, and Marlow, who is in love by this point, is relieved she's actually of the upper class. The play explores themes of class, courtship, and the deceptive nature of appearances.

    The 1406th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. The Imaginary Invalid by Molière

    The play is a satirical comedy that centers around Argan, a hypochondriac who obsesses over his health and squanders his fortune on unnecessary medical treatments. His ailment is exploited by charlatan doctors and a greedy wife, while his daughter's marital future hangs in the balance due to his misguided intentions. The story unfolds with a clever servant, Toinette, and Argan's brother, Béralde, attempting to open his eyes to the truth of his condition and the deceit around him. Through a series of humorous events, including a mock ceremony, the play critiques the medical profession and the foolishness of those who blindly follow it, ultimately advocating for common sense and true familial love.

    The 1433rd Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. Rameau's Nephew by Denis Diderot

    "Rameau's Nephew" is a philosophical dialogue that explores themes of morality, societal norms, and the nature of genius. The story revolves around a conversation between a philosopher and a character who is the nephew of a famous musician. The nephew, a freeloader and a parasite, defends his lifestyle by arguing that it is not only acceptable but also necessary in a society where wealth and power determine value. The dialogue delves into the contradictions and ironies of social conventions, challenging traditional notions of virtue, vice, and human nature.

    The 1437th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. The Works of Moliere by Molière

    This book is a compilation of the works of a renowned 17th-century French playwright, who is often considered one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. His plays are known for their satirical examination of social norms and human folly, featuring a range of characters from the foolish and the pedantic to the hypocritical and the corrupt. Some of his most famous works included in this collection are "Tartuffe," "The Misanthrope," and "The Imaginary Invalid."

    The 1461st Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. King Ubu by Alfred Jarry

    "King Ubu" is a satirical play that centers around the grotesque and absurd character, Père Ubu, who is manipulated by his ambitious wife to seize power in Poland. Once king, Ubu's reign is marked by greed, cruelty, and incompetence, leading to chaos and violence. The play employs absurdity and farce to critique power and corruption, using exaggerated characters and surreal scenarios to highlight the folly and destructiveness of tyrannical rule. This pioneering work is often considered a precursor to the Theatre of the Absurd and has had a lasting influence on avant-garde theatre.

    The 1612th Greatest Book of All Time
  18. 18. 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.

    The 1815th Greatest Book of All Time
  19. 19. As You Like it by William Shakespeare

    This classic play is a pastoral comedy set in the Forest of Arden, where the banished Duke Senior and his followers live in exile. The plot revolves around various forms of love and mistaken identities. The main character, Rosalind, is the Duke's daughter who disguises herself as a young man named Ganymede to escape her uncle's court. She falls in love with Orlando, who is also in exile, and through a series of comedic and romantic events, they end up together. The play is famous for its exploration of love, freedom, and life in nature.

    The 1867th Greatest Book of All Time
  20. 20. The Would-Be Gentleman by Molière

    This comedic play revolves around a middle-class man who aspires to elevate his social status and become a gentleman. He hires teachers to educate him in the arts, language, and manners of the upper class, but his lack of understanding and pretentious behavior only makes him look foolish. His obsession with his newly acquired 'gentleman' status strains his relationship with his sensible wife and daughter, and leads to a series of humorous and satirical incidents that mock the pretensions and hypocrisy of the society.

    The 2111th Greatest Book of All Time
  21. 21. The Miser by Molière

    "The Miser" is a comedic play that revolves around a wealthy man who is so obsessed with his money that he neglects his own children. His son and daughter, both in love with people they cannot afford to marry due to their father's stinginess, scheme to trick him out of his wealth. The play satirizes the greed and hypocrisy of the upper class, while exploring themes of love, deception, and the value of money.

    The 2112th Greatest Book of All Time
  22. 22. Bad News by Edward St Aubyn

    "Bad News" is the second novel in a series that follows the life of Patrick Melrose, a man from a wealthy but deeply troubled family. In this installment, Patrick, now 22, must travel to New York to collect his father's ashes. As he navigates the city, he struggles with his addiction to drugs and alcohol, and grapples with the traumatic memories of his abusive father. The narrative provides a darkly comic and deeply poignant exploration of addiction, trauma, and the struggle for redemption.

    The 2410th Greatest Book of All Time
  23. 23. Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg

    The novel is a heartwarming tale of friendship and love that transcends the boundaries of time and age. Set in Alabama, it alternates between two storylines: one in the 1980s where an unhappy housewife befriends an elderly woman in a nursing home who tells her the story of an indomitable woman in the 1930s. The other story focuses on the life of that woman who runs a café with her sister-in-law, their strong bond, and the murder mystery surrounding them. The narratives intertwine to create a touching and inspiring story about the power of female friendship, resilience, and courage.

    The 2476th Greatest Book of All Time
  24. 24. Some Hope by Edward St Aubyn

    "Some Hope" is a darkly humorous novel that delves into the life of a man who struggles to overcome his traumatic past and drug addiction. He is invited to a lavish party filled with Britain's aristocracy, where he must confront his past and deal with the pretentious and shallow society he is part of. The narrative explores themes of abuse, recovery, and the struggle to find redemption and hope amidst despair.

    The 2530th Greatest Book of All Time
  25. 25. Dog Years by Günter Grass

    "Dog Years" is a novel set in Germany during the rise and fall of the Nazi regime and the aftermath of World War II. The story is told from the perspectives of three friends: Walter Matern, a fervent Nazi supporter; Eduard Amsel, a Jewish artist who creates scarecrows; and Harry Liebenau, who narrates their stories. The novel explores the complexities of friendship and identity amidst the backdrop of war, guilt, and redemption. It also delves into the psychological impact of the Holocaust on German society and the struggle to come to terms with its horrific past.

    The 2580th Greatest Book of All Time

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