Trout Fishing In America by Richard Brautigan (1961)
In this short book of semi-autobiographical semi-connected semi-stories, the semi-seminal beat poet Richard Brautigan does something that few of his contemporaries could manage: he is genuinely very funny on purpose.
There is a lot of poetry in this book. And deconstruction of forms. But mostly it’s just chock-a-block with weird jokes. It’s 60’s flavor reminds me of Sgt. Pepper era Beatles. psychedelic and playful but with plenty of artistry to back it up.
Brautigan pulls at the novel’s seams just enough to make it wobble, but not so much that the whole thing unravels into mush.