Jury Picks the Funniest Book of all Times

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"Wilt" by Tom Sharpe named the funniest book of all times.

A 35 year old book about a demoralized and professionally under-rated assistant lecturer accused of murdering his wife has been named the funniest book of all times.

Funny Books Organization, an independent organization of book clubs, authors, agents, publishers and book shops, selected Tom Sharpe's Wilt, from 1976, from more than 500 nominated books. The jury cited the book as "superb" and hailed it for its "blunt, yet elegant humour (...) not only surviving the enormous social changes of the last 35 years, but rather maturing into a classic."

Wilt was first published by Secker and Warburg, and its success led Sharpe to follow up with an entire series of Wilt books; the latest of which was The Wilt Alternative in 2011. The novel is named after its main character, Henry Wilt. Years of teaching meaningless classes of uninterested students has made him give up all professional aspirations. At home he is subjected to hen-pecking and harassment by his physically powerful but emotionally immature wife Eva. Lacking hobbies or interests, Wilt spends his evenings walking the dog and dreaming of killing his wife. But a series of mishaps and unfortunate events start Wilt on a farcical journey.

Tom Sharpe is an English satirical author. Born in London, he was educated at Bloxham School, Lancing and Pembroke College, Cambridge. After spending some years in South Africa, he returned to England as a history lecturer at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology – finding inspiration for “Wilt”. He currently lives in Llafranc, Catalonia, where he according to himself is “busy not learning the language”.

Wilt beat such competition as the classic "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller and "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adam, and bestsellers like " Bridget Jones’ Diary" by Helen Fielding.

To view the complete top 10 list of the funnies books of the last 100 years:

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Pat McNeil
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