There’s something therapeutic about laughing in the face of tragedy, horror and peril, which is what makes the Dark Comedy genre such an addictive one. If you have a penchant for a chuckle in the most unlikely of places, then tuck into our some of our favorite top Black Comedy novels – books that we feel are must reads in the field of dark humor.

American Psycho – Brett Easton Ellis

 Enter the mind of deranged investment banker Patrick Bateman – the story’s narrator throughout – as he talks about the details of his life of self obsession, narcissism and violence. As a mentally unstable man,  Bateman treads a very fine line between normality and utter insanity – often telling his co-workers about his murderous extra curricular activities. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of room within the story for more than a dash or two of humour. A must read from the creative mind of Brett Easton Ellis.

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

 Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange is a classic from the genre, which would go on to be made world famous by the film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The story is a singularly unique one that blends extreme violence, rape, anarchy and the Russian language. Alex is the focus of the tale, as the state attempts to reform his violent, law breaking ways using aversion therapy and Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Trainspotting – Scott Irvine Welsh

 Penned by the Scot Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting tells the bittersweet tale of a group of friends who are, for the large part, addicted to heroin. This wonderfully crafted story, which centers around Mark Renton, Sick Boy and the super violent Begby, tells the warts and all tale of a life of addiction and the struggles involved to escape it. Set in 1980s Edinburgh, Trainspotting will make you laugh and cry, which makes it a real page turner.

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

 Set amidst the chaos of World War II, Catch 22 follows the exploits of Captain John Yossarian, a US Air Force bombardier, as he attempts to make it through the conflict and fulfill his duty with both his sanity and body intact. The story is told in the 3rd person, from the perspective of various different characters in Yossarian’s circle of acquaintances. The interesting way which the writer – Joseph Heller – tells the story leads to a captivating read until the very last page.

Marsh Heirs – Rufus Miles

 If you’re looking for a Last of the Summer Wine tale of people meandering gently into their twilight years, then this might not be the book for you. Marsh Heirs tells the tale of a group of OAPs behaving decidedly badly, with sex, murder and all sorts of untoward events occurring. Who said it was better to grow old gracefully? The writer, Rufus Miles, sets the tale in East Anglia in the UK, where the elderly are a million miles away from being sweet old dears.

A Dirty Job – Chistopher Moore

 Whilst Charlie Asher is a pretty run of the mill guy, whose a little neurotic and a more than a t,ouch hapless, things could certainly be worse. He’s a wealthy building owner whose beautiful wife who loves him for who he is.  In addition, they’re even expecting their first child.

Everything’s pretty normal until the birth, which is when the really weird stuff starts to happen. People begin dropping like flies around him, a dark spectre follows him from beneath the streets and giant birds land on his building. All is not as it seems in this darkly amusing story, as he is recruited for a new life purpose – death. Intrigued? Then you’d best read it to find out the rest.

Survivor – Chuck Palahniuk

 This Chuck Palahniuk novel takes you along for the ride with Tender Branson – the sole survivor from a Christian death cult, as he hijacks a passenger airliner in order to tell his life story to the black box before the plane crashes. Having gained much notoriety for being the only one of his cult not to commit suicide, the narrative then goes on to describe his ascent to the pinnacle of the modern day public media freak show and his dramatic fall from this messiah-like perch.

So, there you have it. Some great titles from the Black Comedy genre. We hope you enjoy working your way through. Until next time!

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