A comic novel is a novel-length work of humorous fiction. Many well-known authors have written comic novels, including P. G. Wodehouse, Henry Fielding, Mark Twain, and John Kennedy Toole. Comic novels are often defined by the author's literary choice to make the thrust of the work - in its narration or plot - funny or satirical in orientation, regardless of the putative seriousness of the topics addressed. While many novels may contain passages or themes that are comic or humorous, the defining characteristic of this genre is that comedy is the framework and baseline of the story, rather than an occasional or recurring motif. Literary scholars distinguish textual analysis on this basis; the theory being that a story by Mark Twain that is a satirical critique in its very origin, for example, must be understood differently than a more literal novelistic plot.
Henry Fielding's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling was a notable mid-18th century work in the genre.
More contemporary British humorists are George MacDonald Fraser, Tom Sharpe, Kingsley Amis, Terry Pratchett, Richard Gordon, Rob Grant, Douglas Adams, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell, Nick Hornby, Helen Fielding, Eric Sykes, Leslie Thomas, Stephen Fry, Richard Asplin, Mike Harding, Joseph Connolly, and Ben Elton.
Notable American comic novelists include Mark Twain, Richard Brautigan, Philip Roth, John Kennedy Toole, James Wilcox, John Swartzwelder, Larry Doyle, Jennifer Weiner, Carl Hiaasen, Joseph Heller, Peter De Vries, Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Southern, and Christopher Moore.
- Bowen, Zack. Ulysses as a comic novel. Syracuse University Press, 1989.
- "طنز و طنزینه: ایرج پزشکزاد - ۲". BBC News فارسی (in Persian). 2017-03-17. Retrieved 2020-03-23.