Monday, May 21, 2012

There's a Dog Involved

I was sure I had a specific novel criteria. Historical, mostly. I find that sci-fi is often hard to read, as I can never visualize what the author is describing, although there are always a few notable exceptions. 

Take, for instance, To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Originally recommended to me by Bad4, she described it as a cross between Douglas Adams (love him!) and P.G. Wodehouse (could love him!) 
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Technology/Pix/pictures/2009/6/3/1244024221830/Douglas-Adams-001.jpg
Douglas Adams, may he be canonized.
http://cdn1.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/images/p-g-wodehouse.jpg
PG Wodehouse
Frankly, I was still dubious while taking the book from my library, and blandly turned to the first page. 
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LtZGUL9qxp4/TdmGis93TjI/AAAAAAAAB9c/GvXX1dZLZhM/s400/ToSayNothingOfTheDog%25281stEd%2529.jpg
And laughed out loud.  

On the train. 

Repeatedly. 

Never. Happens.

The book deals with time travel in a mind-boggingly amusing fashion. I was so excited that I had found an entertaining author; however, when I eagerly pounced on the library for more of Willis' works, I was disappointed to find them heavier in tone, dark even, and not remotely as hysterical as To Say Nothing of the Dog

It takes place in the future, after the development of time-travel, yet in order to keep their department financed, scientists are running around history on a scavenger hunt for their demanding patroness. A time-traveler finds himself in the Victorian era, and Oscar Wilde hijinks ensue.

That should be teaser enough.

10 comments:

FrumGeek said...

Ooooh! I'll have to check that out!
A good scifi novel I'd recommend is Soon I Will Be Invincible. It's almost a parody of superheroes, but makes sure to take itself seriously enough. It's not the plot that's good, but rather the writing that makes it worth reading. It's very clever. Also, Illegal Alien is a pretty good novel. It's about mankind's first contact, and then one of the the aliens is accused of murder and has to clear his name in a court of law.

Princess Lea said...

Thanks for the recommendations!

Wondering Minds said...

Laughing on the train...always a great sigh! Jk.
-WM

Anonymous said...

I liked To Say Nothing of the Dog, too, but must admit to liking her "darker" novels better. If you are looking for good historical fiction, I have LOTS of recommendations but few humorous ones, only one that comes to mind would be maybe the Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen (though come to think of it,those are more chick-lit historical mysteries, if such a genre exists).

Yedid Nefesh said...

thank you for the recommendation! (i almost didnt click on your post cause im scared of dogs haha)

Princess Lea said...

Anon: Those other novels were so miserable! And they took forever! She puts down every single thought a person has, even though it has already been disproven in another chapter, and then I got so frustrated. Ah!

Funny novel . . . funny novel . . . funny novel . . . I'm thinking . . . All I've got is The Princess Bride and The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy. I seem to read a lot of miserable stuff.

YN: I'm a dog lover! But the canine has a very, very, small part, and no lines.

Sparrow said...

I usually laugh and cry reading Lois McMaster Bujold's sci fi series. It's more space opera than hard sci fi, but the characters are amazing.

Princess Lea said...

Space opera? Me likee.

Wellspring said...

Sometimes I think funny novels are the only ones worth reading. What's the point of reading novels if it doesn't make you feel better?

Recommednations:

Three men on a boat and three men on a bummel by Jerome K. Jerome, everything by Wodehouse, everything by Jasper Fforde, 'The Diary of a Provinicial Lady' by EM Delafield and all its sequels, everything by Terry Pratchett, Daddy Long Legs, Dear Enemy, Just Patty and When Patty Went to college (the weakest of the four - it was her first novel, I think), by Jean Webster, and there must be many more out there...LM Montgomery's books have all some hilarious moments, but I wouldn't call her books 'funny novels'. She does heartbreak just as well...but almost everything by her is worth a read and many chuckles.

Princess Lea said...

That's my policy! If it ends miserable, why torture myself?

Thanks for the recommendations! I love new meat to request from the library.