At our bookgroup (i.e. the Ladies Who Say Oooh) last month we were talking about comedy in books. The book we were reading, “Two Caravans”, was billed as humourous, but I really didn’t find it very funny at all. I commented that there are very few books that I have actually laughed out loud at. Two that do come to mind are Clive James’ “Unreliable Memoirs” and Denise Scott’s “All that Happened at Number 26“- both of which had me laughing out loud, almost to the point of tears. We dourly vowed that we’d monitor our laughing at books for the rest of the year- a resolution that’s almost certain to deaden any mirth at all for the remainder of 2011!
I don’t think of myself as a humourless person, but I just don’t seem to do it very often when I’m reading. Perhaps I do- it will be interesting to see. I laugh at television and in movies, although come to think of it, I rarely choose to go to a ‘funny movie’. I think that I often laugh during conversations, and I quite enjoy listening to radio comedy. I’m really looking forward to seeing Tim Minchin in a fortnight or so, but I think he’s one of the few comedians that I’ve actually seen live. Of course, there’s laughing and laughing- can I categorize it? Surely this is a truly kill-joy endeavour…
1.The little sub-vocalized ‘hmmph’ with a raising of the shoulders
2. Breaking into a smile with a little chuckle
3. Laughing out loud- head thrown back, shoulders shaking
4. Extended laughing out loud, perhaps with tears! or perish the thought- a little snort!- subsiding into chuckles then bursting out again.
And I often laugh at watching other people laugh.