Come tell me what the funniest line is you've ever read in a book :-D(72 Posts)
Have just been reading "Silken Prey" by John Sandford, and laughed so hard at this line I woke up DH
who was not very pleased with me
In the book, Lucas Davenport says something to another police officer about the police commissioner (I believe that's her title), Rose Marie Roux, and the other cop shouts "Fuck a bunch of Rose Marie! I'm going to put wheels on that bitch and roll her right into the Mississippi!"
From 'You are Awful (but I like you) Travels through Unloved Britain' by Tim Moore, he is describing (in Chapter 1) how he sets out to find the very worst car ever made in Britain to use, for his planned tour of this country's least loved places; and it's the Austin Maestro.
'One motoring magazine's launch review drolly encapsulated the Maestro thus: 'Truly a car for the 80s - or any 90 year olds still up to driving'....He goes on to describe how things keep falling off the car, etc; 'Living with the Maestro meant a permanent oil stain on your driveway, and a mechanical soundtrack that has been memorably compared to 'a skeleton wanking in a biscuit tin'. (Oh and later on Moore downloads Ozzy Osbourne's voice for his Sat-Nav - which is side-splittingly funny too....)
It's a hilarious book - do read it if you want to laugh-out-loud!
There's a story in Rock Star Babylon by Jon Holmes which had me literally weeping with laughter when I read it, and I had great difficulty in telling the story to the people I was with because I could hardly breathe at the time. The set up is wonderful though. It was about the filming of the video for Ozzy Osbourne's song Miracle Man, which involved him standing on an altar in a church in London while 1,000 pigs (yes, really) were running round the church itself. I'm going to have to quote a section rather than a single line though:
The film crew had set up, the lights were lit, the pigs were in place and the Prince of Darkness was atop the altar, arms outstretched in crucifix pose, ready to mime to the song. The camera rolled to speed, the director called 'Action', the sound engineer pressed 'play' to bring in the track for Ozzy to sing along with and everyone held their breath. The first monster guitar chord obediently kicked in loud enough to wake the devil himself. And a thousand pigs simultaneously shat themselves all over the church.
The clean-up operation took a month.
I know this is not what you meant OP but I have recently read Lord Roworth's revenge by Carola Dunn, it is a recency romance. I had been perfectly mature about the heroine being named Fanny until I came to the section where Roworth realises he loves her and is about to gallop off to see her. It ends with the line "oh Gad, he wanted Fanny". Sorry but I did laugh.
“elle a des idees au-dessus de sa gare” ...
From Terence Rattigan's French Without Tears.
Kenneth: 'If you're so hot, you can tell me how to say she has ideas above her station.'
Brian:'Oh yes, I forgot. It's fairly easy, old boy.
Elle a des idees au-dessus de sa gare.'
Kenneth: 'Idiot. It's not that kind of station.'
The Foundation Pit has a great 2 pages all about the audacity of Communist Chickens and the missing Rooster. Hilarious.
bacon huge Mr Gum fans in this house. V v funny.
Also, Janet Evanovitch, Bill Bryson and of course, Gerald Durrell.
I loved it, too. Could have done with less of what each pony ate and when etc but without those details it would have been a different book, of course.
CoteDAzur, that book is one of the most perfect I have ever read for many reasons, not least the description of Mount Erebus.
DS last night had me repeat over and over the bit in BFG where he meets the Queen and calls her all these names "Oh Monarcher! Oh Sovereign! Oh Ruler! Oh Ruler of Straight Lines!" because he thought it was funny.
James Herriott, All Creatures Great and Small! I found his books absolutely hilarious, I used to read them on the bus into work and would have tears in my eyes from trying to stifle my laughter.
I don't know about the funniest line I've ever read in a book, but this has to be one of the funniest:
"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised."
It is the opening line of the book The Worst Journey In The World , a chronicle of Scott's last expedition to Antarctica written by one of its survivors.
We love Gideon Dafoe's Pirates books, which have too many brilliant lines for me to type on my phone. Top family fave for some reason is:
"Moider!!" said the Pirate from the Bronx, who pretty much lived for these moments.
And, from a later volume:
"Moider!!" said the Pirate from the Bronx, who'd been worried he wasn't going to get a look-in on this adventure.
India Knight makes me cry with laughter. I remember having to ban myself from reading one of her books on my commute, for fear of looking too much of a loon.
This is a little crude, which usually really is not my thing, but I've grown to love the Joe R Lansdale characters, Hap & Leonard. Their dialogue is always hilarious, but this one stands out in my ageing memory...
"I hit him so hard I bet his dog back home shit a turd in the shape of a praying Jesus". - Hap Collins, Bad Chili by Joe R Lansdale.
Carl Hiaasen has the most extraordinary, funny turn of phrase. Some egs:
“Mickey Cray had been out of work ever since a dead iguana fell from a palm tree and hit him on the head.”
“Hey. Sometimes life is a shit flavored Popsicle.”
“The man's a born straggler, Honey thought, another lucky exception to the rules of natural selection. A million years ago he would've been an easy snack for a saber-toothed tiger.”
And George sits on the butter, then chases round trying to find it! <dies>
Haha. I also think the section with Montmorency hindering the packing of the hamper, worrying the lemons like rats, putting his leg in the jam etc, is hilarious. I have to read it again now...
Lego I adore the pineapple section of 3 men! I say, 'We beat it out flat; we beat it back square' whenever a remotely appropriate opportunity arises, then hoot with laughter while others look
I cannot read 'Three Men In A Boat' in public. I've C&P this, as you can see, the author isn't exactly brief.
We are very fond of pine-apple, all three of us.
He looked at the picture on the tin ; we thought
of the juice. We smiled at one another, and
Harris got a spoon ready.
Then we looked for the knife to open the tin
with. We turned out everything in the hamper.
We turned out the bags. We pulled up the boards
at the bottom of the boat. We took everything
out on to the bank and shook it. There was no
tin-opener to be found.
Then Harris tried to open the tin with a
pocket-knife, and broke the knife and cut himself
badly ; and George tried a pair of scissors, and
the scissors flew up, and nearly put his eye out.
While they were dressing their wounds, I tried to
make a hole in the thing with the spiky end of
the hitcher, and the hitcher slipped and jerked me
out between the boat and the bank into two feet
of muddy water, and the tin rolled over, unin-
jured, and broke a teacup.
Then we all got mad. We took that tin out on
the bank, and Harris went up into a field and got
a big sharp stone, and I went back into the boat
and brought out the mast, and George held the
tin and Harris held the sharp end of his stone
against the top of it, and I took the mast and
poised it high in the air, and gathered up all my
strength and brought it down.
It was George's straw hat that saved his life
that day. He keeps that hat now (what is left of
it), and, of a winter's evening, when the pipes are
lit and the boys are telling stretchers about the
dangers they have passed through, George brings
it down and shows it round, and the stirring tale
is told anew, with fresh exaggerations every time.
Harris got off with merely a flesh wound.
After that, I took the tin off myself, and ham-
mered at it with the mast till I was worn out and
sick at heart, whereupon Harris took it in hand.
We beat it out flat ; we beat it back square ; we
battered it into every form known to geometry
but we could not make a hole in it. Then George
went at it, and knocked it into a
shape so strange, so weird, so un-
earthly in its wild hideousness, that
he got frightened and threw away
the mast. Then we all three sat
round it on the grass and looked at it.
There was one great dent across
the top that had the appearance of
a mocking grin, and it drove us furious, so that
Harris rushed at the thing, and caught it up, and
flung it far into the middle of the river, and as it
sank we hurled our curses at it, and we got into
the boat and rowed away from the spot, and never
paused till we reached Maidenhead.
P G Wodehouse : She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say "when."
Also : I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled
YY to Bill Bryson and Clive James also the Blessed Spike -
'Caw!' said the crow. 'Balls!' said the Milligan. Peering intently from behind a wall was something that Milligan could only hope was a face. The fact that it was hanging from a hat gave credulity to his belief.
Oh Bill Bryson, almost everything he says makes me wee (and insanely jealous I can't be that funny)
I know she has now plumbed the depths of shite-ness but in the first Bridget Jones, the comment about Mark Darcy being moody- something about being called Mr Darcy and standing leaning on mantlepieces at parties being like being called Heathcliff and running round in the dark banging your head against trees. I first read that in an airport and really did scare people when I l-o-l'd.
Off to buy the Crow Road- loved it, and Espedair St, wonder if that is only 99p as well?
Join the discussion
Please login first.