1. Jonathan Ames
Ames autobiographical essays of his unconventional life as a New York-dwelling singleton are brilliantly self-deprecating. He’s a more urbane Charles Bukowski, writing about his bizarre sexual escapades, fatherhood and a whole range of off-beat topics.
2. Russell Brand
We all know Brand as a comedian, actor and unstoppable sexual force who can’t keep his pants on for five minutes. But he’s also a scintillating scribe, penning newspaper columns and magazine articles. His autobiography, My Booky Wook, is relentlessly, uproariously funny.
3. Giles Coren
He may come across as a little petulant at times, but there are few writers who can rant as wittily and articulately as Giles Coren. Read Anger Management For Beginners, in which he vents his spleen on, among other things, footballers, formula One and wheelie luggage.
4. David Sedaris
Widely acknowledged as the funniest writer working today, David Sedaris’s autobiographical essay collections invariably find their way on to bestseller lists. For an introduction, try Me Talk Pretty One Day, or The Santaland Diaries, in which he describes his time as a Christmas Elf at Macy’s department store.
5. Tom Robbins
It’s not unusual to see someone laugh their heads off while clutching on to a Tom Robbins novel. The American author’s books are outrageously funny, his characters (some of whom are not even human) spout the strangest wisdom and as a reader, you are automatically inducted into his cult. Try Skinny Legs And All.
6. Matthew Klam
Klam’s short story collection Sam The Cat is a must-read for 21st Century men. His take on relationships is painfully accurate. We just wish he’d pull his finger out and make a start on another book. One per career is simply not good enough.
7. Clive James
His literary output may have slowed to a trickle compared to the reams of words he was knocking out in the seventies and eighties but no one can conjure a funnier simile than this witty Antipodean. He once described Arnold Schwarzenegger as looking like a “condom full of walnuts”.
8. Augusten Burroughs
Playing With Scissors, Burroughs’ memoir about his unconventional – and often worryingly shambolic – childhood, is a modern classic and was made into a film starring Gwyneth Paltrow. His essays are pretty amusing too.
9. PG Wodehouse
You’ll either love or hate Wodehouse for his comic tales of the English upper-classes in the early twentieth century. Tweed-clad dimwits, canniving butlers and eccentric aunties abound in his much-loved, light hearted capers which have aged reasonably well.
10. George Saunders
Primarily known for his short stories and essays, George Saunders is a uniquely American talent and a satirist in the vain of Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. Try The Braindead Megaphone for a sample of his inimitable deadpan style.