Monday, September 19, 2016

Ten of the funniest books

Adam Ehrlich Sachs, who studied atmospheric science at Harvard, is the author of Inherited Disorders. One of ten funny books he tagged at Publishers Weekly:
Bouvard and Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert

In Flaubert’s great buddy comedy—an encyclopedic parody of the encyclopedic spirit—two idiots inherit a huge fortune and squander it on a series of disastrous investigations into every branch of knowledge. Like most of my favorite books, it becomes tedious at some point (the repetitions required for comedy seem to conflict with the demands of plot) but until that point it is genuinely funny, especially in Mark Polizzotti’s excellent translation.
Read about another book on the list.

Bouvard and Pécuchet also appears on Michael Foley's top ten list of absurd classics, John Mullan's list of ten of the best unfinished literary works, and John Sutherland's list of the best books about listing.

--Marshal Zeringue