I've been reading Solar by Ian McEwan. I didn't think I'd like it for some reason - the title? The subject matter? But I always like McEwan because he knows how to structure a book like noone else - it's all so beautifully crafted. And it made me laugh. There's me on a Virgin train, in very close proximity with the three strangers at my table - one engrossed on his own book, two in their lap-tops, and there's me suddenly first squirming then really laughing, couldn't stop . Everybody else looked a little embarrassed rather than amused.
I have a bit of a detached attitude to books; I suppose slightly analytical, which means I rarely find them funny. I remember laughing like a drain when I read Bridget Jones and she goes to interview Colin Firth determined not to mention the wet shirt scene in Pride and Prejudice,and I taught My Family and Other Animals once, and found the scene when two puppies are introduced to the family so funny I could not speak. The class looked at me with a kind of avuncular tolerance which suggested: She's mad. But laughter is such a tonic, especially where it's slightly inappropriate, like a train or a theatre or church ( or a classroom of cynical kids). It feels so anarchic and childish.
Thanks, Mr McEwan.