Tag Archives: funny authors

Top Ten Funny Authors

You all do realize when I post my Top Ten lists that the names and titles are coming from stuff I’ve read recently, which means that a lot of really good books get left out just because I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. And anyone who wants to toss me some names and titles is more than welcome because I’m always looking for new books to read and new authors to fall in love with (I am a total story slut and fall in love with total abandon on a regular basis, fickle bitch that I am, especially if they make me laugh, easy bitch that I am). Plus, these lists are by no means intended to improve anyone’s intellect, character or moral fiber. It’s just stuff I like.

That said, this is a list of authors the Old Man absolutely hates because they make me laugh. When I start laughing, he knows I’m going to start insisting he mute the television because he has to hear this!

S. G. Browne

Larry Doyle

Andrew Fox

William Goldman

Richard Kadrey

Stuart MacBride

A. Lee Martinez

Christopher Moore

Chuck Palahniuk

Thomas Pynchon

Laughing At Pain: Jeff Strand

Sometimes I need a good laugh. Thank God for the internet because a good laugh is rarely more than a click away. “Good” is entirely subjective and I understand that and I also understand that not everybody gets my humor. Cool. Different strokes and all that. So I’m just talking to those people who enjoy sick humor. The kind that has you snorting milk through your nose, then you feel a twinge of embarrassment over laughing because that is some nasty stuff. It’s not nice to laugh about other peoples pain. Right?

Fine. I’m not nice.

So if you’re a nice person who likes your humor clean, go watch this: Cute Kittens Video.

The rest of you sick twists, let me tell you about Jeff Strand.

Strand has written a series about a fellow aptly named Andrew Mayhem.

First book, Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) we meet Andrew, a bumbling goof who can’t quite get the hang of gainful employment, though he has good intentions leaking from his pores. Long-suffering wife, Helen, is losing her patience, and Andrew’s children are at that impressionable stage where they are making up their minds whether or not Dad is a good role model. (a terrifying prospect for any parent)

When Andrew is offered a job– dig up a grave and retrieve a key from the corpse– he, unlike a normal human being who’d say, “No way! I’m no ghoul!” actually weighs the pros and cons.

No, no, what was I thinking? This was graverobbing! This was ghoulish behavior! This was sick, sick, sick! This could put me in jail or in an asylum. The best thing–no, the only thing–to do was tell Jennifer we were flattered she’d thought of us to fulfill her disinterment needs, but that we had to pass.

“Twenty thousand cash?” I asked.

What follows is live burial, decapitations, snuff films, betrayals, twists, power tools, explosions, Rube Goldberg murder machines and the difficulties of finding a last minute babysitter. Not that any of that is funny. What’s funny is Andrew.

“Look, I assure you that your whole intimidation thing has been a rousing success! I’m scared! I’ll play along with your little game to keep you from slamming that knife through my neck! But you’ve got to give me some kind of proof that Roger is still alive.”

I let out a grunt of pain as my captor punched me in the face.

“That wasn’t proof,” I explained.

Which leads to book #2 in the series, Single White Psychopath Seeks Same. You will know you have a sick sense of humor if you can’t resist the opening paragraph:

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just know it’s going to be the kind of day where you end up tied to a chair in a filthy garage while a pair of tooth-deprived lunatics torment you with a chainsaw. So as I struggled against the ropes, I can’t say I was all that surprised.

How Andrew manages to escape the ropes, lunatics and chainsaw you’ll have to read for yourself. If you think that’s bad, it gets worse. Much worse. Andrew impersonates a psychotic serial killer and ends up trapped in a madhouse in Alaska with a whole bunch of psychotic serial killers and a dungeon full of potential victims. And yes, there are decapitations, power tools, torture, live burial, Rube Goldberg murder machines, rotting corpses, and clowns. Icky, scary clowns. Snakes, too, in case you’re worried your particular phobia isn’t covered. In the midst of all that, poor Andrew has to deal with someone who’s an even bigger bumbler than he is.

I haven’t yet read the third book in the series, Casket For Sale (Only Used Once), but it’s on my Kindle. I’m saving it for when I need a boost of sick humor.

 

I Love A Man With A Dirty Mouth: Stuart MacBride

Okay, everybody who knows me will be tremendously surprised, but I have a quirk. I know. Who’d have thought it, right? I have a deep and endless fondness for cursing. I’m not a potty mouth myself. I say, “shit,” more than I should and occasionally drop the F-bomb, but for the most part I’m PG. Not because I have clean thoughts and certainly not because I don’t want to use salty language. I’m just not good at it. Inventive, imaginative, effective cursing is an artform. A talent. Maybe good cussers are born that way. Come popping out of the womb blistering the air blue and shocking the doctor into dropping them on their heads, giving them all the more reason to cuss.

That little quirk of mine accounts for part of the reason I love Stuart MacBride’s books.

The main reason is his characters, namely Logan McRae and DI Steel. Set in Aberdeen, Scotland, the series follows Logan as he solves crimes and takes crap. A lot of crap. Logan is a brilliant detective and a very good police officer. He doesn’t seem to know it. With the exception of DI Steel, nobody else seems to know it either. Logan is tough, clever, dogged and courageous. He’s the best on the force and he’s abused for it. That’s from his fellow police officers and superiors. He gets it even worse from the criminals. Throughout the series, Logan has been stabbed, pummeled, tossed, run over and wonked in the head so often it’s surprising he doesn’t have a TBI. Sometimes while reading I want to shout at MacBride, “Come on! Give that poor boy a break!” In Dark Blood, the novel I just finished, poor Logan has to deal with something worse than physical pain. He has to deal with disappointment and disillusionment. When Beardy Beattie, an idiot, is promoted to Detective Inspector over Logan, Logan is crushed. Poor guy thought merit counted for something. Welcome to the real world.

Then we have DI Steel. She’s homely, strange, outrageous, mean, insensitive and a little bit nuts. She’ll say anything to anyone at any time. She’s also the best cop on the force and the only one who understands and appreciates Logan. Not that he always appreciates her. Most of the time he’s at least a little afraid of her. She drives him crazy. He loves her a little bit, too.

DI Steel always gets the best lines:

She stuck a cigarette between her teeth and lit it, blowing out a mouthful of smoke that oozed across the windscreen. “Beattie’s a moron.”

Unbelievable. “How come when I say he’s an idiot I’ve got an attitude problem, but when you say it–”

Steel smacked the back of her hand against his chest. “Shhhh!”

“No. It’s one bloody rule for–”

She hit him again. “Down there, you twit.” She pointed through the snow at the main road, where a large Transit van was turning onto the farm track, bouncing and rolling along the icy, rutted surface. Steel fumbled with the handset again. “All teams, hold position. We’ve got visitors.”

“Sodding hell. I’m up to my tits in a snowdrift here.”

“I don’t care if you’re up to your tits in shark-infested tampons: keep your gob shut and your arse where it is!”

Or this bit:

“You’re a big, sodding, wet, Jessie bastard, you know that, don’t you?” Steel stomped to a halt at the Fiat’s rusty passenger door. “Couldn’t throw your weight around for two bloody minutes!”

“Did you see the size of him?” Logan stopped behind her, both hands held up like a surgeon, waiting for a nurse to glove him up. “He’d have torn my head off and crapped down the stump. Anyway, he knew we were police.”

“You’re such a girl.” She nodded her head at the car. “Well? Unlock the sodding thing: bloody freezing.”

Logan stuck one hip out. “Keys are in my front trouser pocket.”

She glanced down. “So?”

“You’re going to have to drive.”

Her top lip curled. “Aye, that’ll be shining. Detective Inspector, mind? You drive, I… passenge.”

“Can’t. Did the hostage trick when I shook hands with Baldy Andy. You need to bag my hands till we get back to the station.”

Steel took another look at his trousers. “I’m no’ going digging about in your breeks, what if you get a stiffy?”

“Just… don’t flatter yourself, okay?”

Funny as those bits are, the Logan MacRae novels are very dark, very violent. No punches pulled when it comes to the vicious crimes or the heartrending aftermaths the victims have to endure. So dark and violent, in fact, I doubt they’d be bearable without all the humor. MacBride is very funny. His characters are all memorable: DC Rennie, who I can’t stop picturing as Howdy Doody; Biohazard Bob, a man you do not want to be stuck with in a closed room (cauliflower chips? I don’t know what those are, but you don’t want Biohazard Bob eating them); Colin the journalist; Samantha, Logan’s goth girlfriend; and many many more.

If crime fiction is your thing, read Stuart MacBride.  If you share my fondness for inventive language and dirty talk, read his books twice. You’ll love them.

Dark Blood, by Stuart MacBride available at Amazon.

 

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