Summer is the season of sun, sand, and vacation. It can also be the season of dense boredom. Long, dull flights and never-ending highways threaten to melt my brain into gibbering goo. So I turn to audiobooks to entertain the lump between my ears. To help you too to save your gray matter from becoming soup this summer, here are ten hilarious fiction audiobooks.
This is by no means an end-all, be-all list of the funny books out there. For one, it’s only fiction. I have a list of hilarious nonfiction audiobooks to scratch that other itch. For another, I was ruthless to get this list down to ten. I also ran into some issues. (Catch-22 is not available as an downloadable audiobook?!) So if I missed one, and you think it’s an absolute travesty that the world hasn’t heard its name, tell me in the comments section!
For Humor with Heart
Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse – The P is silent, as in psychic, pterodactyl, and pshrimp. Like Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster, Psmith is farcical and delightfully British. With sneak thievery, flying flowerpots, and a love that forces Psmith to pretend he is a famous poet, Leave it to Psmith spools out of control in the very best way.
Cue Zany Antics
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole – This was one of those books that people recommended to me for years. Every time, I thought: Man, that sounds awful. I finally gave in and read it in college. Ignatius J. Reilly is the poster boy for absurd. He’s ridiculous, pigheaded, prone to sesquipedalian loquaciousness—and yet, you’ll want him to triumph. Who knew?
With a dose of social consciousness
The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang – Both a quintessential family road trip novel and a hard look at the American Dream, The Wangs vs. The World will crack you up and make you think. Is the American Dream about Capital-S Stuff or is it about something else? What does it mean to truly belong in America? Even as you ponder this, you’ll fall in love with the Wangs along the way.
Some domestic Schadenfreude
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – If you haven’t read this book…why haven’t you read this book yet? When it comes to funny books, I couldn’t forget this one. Semple’s flawed characters and absurd scenarios were so true to life that I fell in love. You will to. I’m sure of it.
For Sci-fi/Fantasy Buffs
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Originally written as a radio comedy for the BBC in 1978, The Hitchhiker’s Guide was meant to be listened to. I’m sure you all know the story: Earth is destroyed to make room for a hyperspace expressway, and Earth’s least likely hero, Arthur Dent, is ready (kind of, sort of, not really) to save the day. Plug your ears for some Vogon poetry. Contemplate the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (42). Remember: Don’t panic! And never forget your towel.
So that’s my take on hilarious fiction audiobooks. What funny fiction can you not live without? Add yours in the comment section, and don’t forget to check out my list of hilarious nonfiction audiobooks before you go!