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By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)

The Autobiography of Methuselah by John Kendrick Bangs The Autobiography of Methuselah

A satirical look at early biblical events from the point of view of someone who was there to witness most of them: the oldest man in recorded history.

Ghosts I Have Met and Some Others by John Kendrick Bangs Ghosts I Have Met and Some Others

New York-born John Kendrick Bangs was associate editor and then editor of Life and Harper magazines, eventually finding his way into the Humour department. Here he began to write his own satire and humour. Ghosts I Have Met and Some Others is a delightfully humourous collection of short tales relating encounters with ghosts.

Coffee and Repartee by John Kendrick Bangs Coffee and Repartee

First released in 1893, Coffee And Repartee is a collection of breakfast chats at a gentlemans boarding house run by a Mrs. Smithers. Here these fellows repeatedly face questions and proclamations by an inhabitant they call The Idiot. The discussions sound friendly under pretense, but are really sly battles of ribald wit and cunning charm, as well as rather offensive remarks during a time period considered by many to favour a height of refined etiquette. The Idiot spars well, but will the other residents get the better of him?

Mr Munchausen by John Kendrick Bangs Mr Munchausen

The author has discovered for us in this volume the present stopping place of that famous raconteur of dear comic memory, the late Hieronymous Carl Friederich, sometime Baron Munchausen, and he transmits to us some further adventures of this traveler and veracious relator of merry tales. There are about a dozen of these tales, and, judging by Mr. Bangs' recital of them, the Baron's adventures on this mundane sphere were no more exciting than those he has encountered since taking the ferry across the Styx...

Book cover Over The Plum Pudding

Great Caesar’s ghost and shades of A Christmas Carol! Stories – some ghostly, some Christmas, some humorous, some all three -- twelve of them by a master story teller and humorist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Book cover Enchanted Typewriter

The Enchanted Typewriter is a collection of short stories by the American author John Kendrick Bangs, written in 1899 in the style that has become known as Bangsian fantasy. Bangs attributes many of the stories to the late (and invisible) James Boswell, who has become an editor for a newspaper in Hades, and who communicates with the author by means of an old typewriter. The fantasy stories in this book are part of the author's Hades series, named for the stories' setting.

Genial Idiot by John Kendrick Bangs Genial Idiot

John Kendrick Bangs once again takes us on a journey with the loveable, but somewhat self-opinionated and irritating Mr Idiot.

Genial Idiot by John Kendrick Bangs Genial Idiot

John Kendrick Bangs once again takes us on a journey with the loveable, but somewhat self-opinionated and irritating Mr Idiot.

Book cover Jack and the Check Book

Bangs is in top form in his version of this small collection of timeless fairy tales. If you don't immediately recognize Jack and the Check Book, Puss, the Promoter, and the Golden Fleece, don't worry, you soon will.

Toppleton's Client by John Kendrick Bangs Toppleton's Client

A pre-eminent legal firm gets far more than it bargained for when it hires the son of its late senior partner, Hopkins Toppleton, Sr., simply to retain the illustrious family name on the company masthead. Knowing Jr. is a loose cannon, their strategy is to pack him off to the UK to head up a European branch of the firm - a branch they have no intention of sending work. The unwitting Hopkins Toppleton, Jr. is, however, determined to make his mark.

Toppleton's Client by John Kendrick Bangs Toppleton's Client

A pre-eminent legal firm gets far more than it bargained for when it hires the son of its late senior partner, Hopkins Toppleton, Sr., simply to retain the illustrious family name on the company masthead. Knowing Jr. is a loose cannon, their strategy is to pack him off to the UK to head up a European branch of the firm - a branch they have no intention of sending work. The unwitting Hopkins Toppleton, Jr. is, however, determined to make his mark.

By: Edward Lear (1812-1888)

A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear A Book of Nonsense

In 1846 Lear published A Book of Nonsense, a volume of limericks that went through three editions and helped popularize the form. This book contains 112 of these funny, imaginative verses that have been well loved by many generations of children (and adults). (

Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets by Edward Lear Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets

A selection of nonsense poems, songs (not sung!), stories, and miscellaneous strangeness. The work includes the "Owl and the Pussycat" and a recipe for Amblongus Pie, which begins "Take 4 pounds (say 4½ pounds) of fresh ablongusses and put them in a small pipkin."Edward Lear was an English writer, poet, cat-lover, and illustrator (his watercolours are beautiful). This recording celebrates the 200th anniversary of Lear's birth.

By: George Barr McCutcheon (1866-1928)

Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon Brewster's Millions

He hosts an all expenses paid luxury cruise to Europe for fifty guests and showers them with expensive gifts. When he's mugged in a dark alley, he insists that the thugs also take the $300 stashed away in his back pocket. He flies into a rage whenever one of his employees suggests cutting costs. Every time he places a bet, he wins, causing him even more despair! In Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon, a classic riches-to-rags tale, Montgomery Brewster is bound by the terms of an eccentric uncle's will to spend one million dollars completely within a year so that he can lay claim to an even bigger fortune...

Book cover Yollop

Mr. Crittenden Yollop makes friends with the man who came to burglarize his home and sets out to help him return to where he really wants to be...prison. This humorous satire takes a somewhat different look at prisons, criminals, the law and reformers.

By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill The King of Schnorrers

Manasseh da Costa is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. But Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (called ‘Tedesco’), even his wealthy patron Joseph Grobstock...

By: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler is a play first published in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. In it, Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic General, has just returned from her honeymoon with George Tesman, an aspiring young academic, reliable but not brilliant, who has combined research with their honeymoon. The reappearance of Tesman’s academic rival, Eilert Lovborg, throws their lives into disarray.

By: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley Crome Yellow

A shy, introverted young poet. A weekend in a magnificent English country house. A beautiful young lady whom the poet is secretly in love with. An assorted group of guests with varied interests, motives, ambitions and aspirations, and the complex web of history and events that connect all of them. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley was his first book, published in 1921, when he was just 27 years old. It is typical of many books written during this period by writers like Thomas Love Peacock and Somerset Maugham, centered round a country mansion and the quaint, British tradition of being invited to spend a weekend with a group of people whom one may or may not know...

By: Robert Benchley (1889-1945)

Love Conquers All by Robert Benchley Love Conquers All

Sixty-three essays on a variety of topics as wide apart as Family Life in America, Opera Synopses, Bigamy, International Finance and many more, Love Conquers All by Robert Benchley strangely enough does not touch upon romance at all! However, these delightful notes provide hours of browsing pleasure for young and old readers alike. Robert Benchley was a well-known humorist and newspaper columnist, radio and television presenter, actor, scriptwriter and broadcaster. He is also credited with creating the first ever television entertainment show and one of his iconic short films, How to Sleep won an Academy Award in 1936...

By: John Habberton

Helen's Babies by John Habberton Helen's Babies

Harry Burton, salesman of white-goods, bachelor of twenty-eight leads a charmed existence. A letter from his sister, Helen changes his life forever. She and her husband have been invited for a holiday but they can't find anyone to baby-sit their two toddlers, five-year-old Budge and three-year-old Toddie. Ever the gallant helpful, Harry steps in, foreseeing nothing but a relaxed vacation with lots of books to read and thinks baby-sitting's a breeze. But destiny has other plans. Harry has long adored a lovely lady from afar and hopes to convince her that he is marriage material by displaying his nurturing side...

By: L. A. Abbott (1813-??)

Seven Wives and Seven Prisons by L. A. Abbott Seven Wives and Seven Prisons

This work the author claims is indeed a true story of how he happened to be married seven times to seven different women and the rollicking, hilarious events that led (or stumbled) to the marriages and the ah–disassembling/failing/failures of each said marriage which happened oftentimes to land him in prison. The summarist finds the work a very tongue-in-cheek diatribe/lament/account of his obsessive zeal in ‘marrying the right one’, but is also the mirthful chronicle of said author’s very unconventional adventures.

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

Book cover Love and Mr Lewisham

The teaching profession, science and politics in late 19th century England. H.G.Wells’ humorous early novel, drawing on his own life, shows how these – as well as involvement in spiritualism – have to compete with love.

Book cover Sea Lady

By: Booth Tarkington

Seventeen by Booth Tarkington Seventeen

A Tale of Youth and Summer Time and the Baxter Family Especially William

Gentle Julia by Booth Tarkington Gentle Julia

Penrod for girls in the form of Florence, the bratty younger cousin of luminous Julia Atwater, enlivens this romantic comedy set in Tarkington's Indiana of the early 20th Century.

Penrod by Booth Tarkington Penrod

Join Penrod Schofield and his wistful dog Duke, in a hilarious romp through turn of the century Indianapolis, chronicling his life, loves, and mostly the trouble he gets into.

Penrod and Sam by Booth Tarkington Penrod and Sam

Follow more of the hilarious life of the boy Penrod Schofield, his friends Sam Williams, Herman, Verman, Georgie, Maurice, and the love of his life, Marjorie Jones.

By: Gideon Wurdz (b. 1875)

The Foolish Dictionary by Gideon Wurdz The Foolish Dictionary

“The Foolish Dictionary” was written by “Gideon Wurdz” and was published in 1904. According to the beginning of the book, it is “An exhausting work of reference to un-certain English words, their origin, meaning, legitimate and illegitimate use…” This a a short but amusing dictionary which “redefines” words in some interesting ways. Funny and sometimes bizarre observations are sprinkled throughout. In keeping with the policy to read, rather than attempt to rewrite, books – even those with offensive content – nothing has been omitted...

By: Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897)

Tartarin of Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet Tartarin of Tarascon

It tells the burlesque adventures of Tartarin, a local hero of Tarascon, a small town in southern France, whose invented adventures and reputation as a swashbuckler finally force him to travel to a very prosaic Algiers in search of lions. Instead of finding a romantic, mysterious Oriental fantasy land, he finds a sordid world suspended between Europe and the Middle East. And worst of all, there are no lions left.

By: Irwin S. Cobb (1876-1944)

Europe Revised by Irwin S. Cobb Europe Revised

Irwin Cobb’s humorous Europe Revised is a travelogue and comedy almost in the style of Mark Twain. The dedication says it best, “To My Small DaughterWho bade me shed a tear at the tomb of Napoleon, which I was very glad to do, because when I got there my feet certainly were hurting me.”

By: W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

The Bab Ballads by W. S. Gilbert The Bab Ballads

The Bab Ballads are a collection of light verse by W. S. Gilbert, illustrated with his own comic drawings. Gilbert wrote the Ballads before he became famous for his comic opera librettos with Arthur Sullivan. In writing the Bab Ballads, Gilbert developed his unique “topsy-turvy” style, where the humour was derived by setting up a ridiculous premise and working out its logical consequences, however absurd. The Ballads also reveal Gilbert’s cynical and satirical approach to humour. They became famous on their own, as well as being a source for plot elements, characters and songs that Gilbert would recycle in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas...

By: P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

The Girl on the Boat by P. G. Wodehouse The Girl on the Boat

Also published as "Three Men and a Maid". The maid of the title is red-haired, dog-loving Wilhelmina "Billie" Bennet, and the three men are Bream Mortimer, a long-time friend and admirer of Billie, Eustace Hignett, a lily-livered poet who is engaged to Billie at the opening of the tale, and Sam Marlowe, Eustace's dashing cousin, who falls for Billie at first sight. All four find themselves on an ocean liner headed for England together, along with a capable young woman called Jane Hubbard who is smitten with Eustace, and typically Wodehousian romantic shenanigans ensue. (Introduction by wikipedia)


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