Roger Kimball has his top five comic novels in the Wall Street Journal:
May I begin a survey of superb comic novels by offering the collected works of P.G. Wodehouse–100 volumes, give or take? No? Well, how about “Leave It to Psmith”? Everyone knows about Bertie and Jeeves. Allow me to introduce Rupert Psmith.
“Scoop” is Waugh’s funniest book and the best (and most savage) satire of newspaper journalism in English.
If you’ve ever thought about engaging an architect to fix up that beautifully sited if slightly ramshackle old place you saw in the country one weekend, read this book. You’ll laugh till you cry, and you’ll think twice about embarking upon an adventure in real estate or house construction.
The academic novel has become a subgenre of its own. There are some very good ones, but the best is also one of the first, Kingsley Amis’s “Lucky Jim.”
Ostensibly a history of Belles Lettres, “the most powerful literary magazine in the world,” this book is in fact a satire of the passions and personalities of the people who run a famous New York weekly book review . . .
I have read both Scoop and Lucky Jim and they are very funny. I will need to think a bit on what my top five comic novels might be. What say you? What are your favorite comic works?