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7 Offbeat Funny Fiction Novels Featuring Quirky Characters

Posted 8 months ago by April S

Posted in eBooks and Audiobooks, Fiction, Movies and Music, Mysteries and Thrillers, New Books and Movies, Romance and Science Fiction and Fantasy | Tagged with appeal, books to read, character-driven, eccentrics, engaging, finding a good book, funny fiction, humorous stories, offbeat, quirky, Readers' Advisory, Short Stories, unusual and witty

Welcome to our funny fiction series. We're highlighting a variety of appeal factors or elements of humorous fiction to help our readers find that next great read (and hopefully a few laughs along the way).

What are you in the mood to read right now? Do you like entertaining books that are less mainstream? If so, you're in luck, because the books in this blog post feature quirky characters with an offbeat tone.

Exploring Appeal

What are Quirky Characters?

A quirky person is someone who is thought of as unusual - in an interesting way. Quirky characters are typically eccentric and idiosyncratic. They add charm and humor to the stories they appear in and their behavior often ranges from the peculiar to bizarre to whimsical.

What is an Offbeat Tone?

Offbeat means different from the ordinary, usual or expected. An offbeat tone is conveyed through plot twists, off the wall humor and unique personalities. Books with an offbeat tone include stories that are unconventional or unusual in some way.

Humorous Books featuring Quirky Characters and an Offbeat Tone

1. The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall

The book of Polly : [a novel] / Kathy Hepinstall

Ten-year-old Willow Havens resolves to keep up with her aging, crazy-as-a-fox mother in order to keep them both alive and learn the truth about her mother's long-secret past.

Amazon: 4.6* | Goodreads: 4.04*

Appeal

Genre: Humorous fiction
Characters: Quirky, Sassy
Tone: Offbeat
Writing style: Engaging

Formats

Book
eBook

If you enjoyed “The Book of Polly” by Kathy Hepinstall, you may also like:

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Appeal

Complex characters
Introspective
Leisurely paced
Lyrical

Roseborough by Jane Roberts Wood
Appeal

Web of connections
Female friendships
Overcoming adversity

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
Appeal

Fast paced
Family gatherings
Magic
Eccentrics

The Granny by Brendan O'Carroll
Appeal

Fast paced
Heartwarming
Engaging
Witty

2. The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen: 83 1/4 Years Old by Hendrik Groen ; translated by Hester Velmans

The riotous journal of an octogenarian who is far from reaching the end of his life traces a year in his care home in Amsterdam, revealing the ups and downs of his misadventures with the anarchic "Old-But-Not-Dead Club" and a longtime crush whom he courted to devastating effect.

Amazon: 4.5* | Goodreads: 3.88*

Appeal

Genre: Humorous fiction
Characters: Quirky
Writing style: Engaging

Formats

Book
eBook
eAudio

If you enjoyed "The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen" by Hendrik Groen, you may also like:

A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Appeal

Confronting mortality
Engaging
Thoughtful
Witty

The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again! by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
Appeal

Caper novels
Seniors
Heist Thrillers

The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Appeal

Intricately plotted
Sardonic
Upbeat
Engaging

Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Appeal

Coming of Age Stories
Road tripping
Heartwarming
Moving
Engaging

3. The Relive Box: And Other Stories by T. Coraghessan Boyle

The Relive Box: And Other Stories by T. Coraghessan Boyle

A collection of one dozen short stories includes the title piece, in which a "relive box" allows users to re-experience almost any moment from their past, and "The Five-Pound Burrito," in which a man aspires to make the town's largest burrito.

Amazon 4.5* | Goodreads 3.69*

Appeal

Genre: Humorous stories
Character: Quirky
Tone: Offbeat

Formats

Book
Audio

If you enjoyed "The Relive Box" by Coraghessan Boyle, you may also like:

Uncommon Type : Some Stories by Tom Hanks
Appeal

Short stories
Authentic
Moving
Engaging
Well-crafted dialogue

Viral : Stories by Emily Mitchell
Appeal

Short stories
Farcical fiction
Moving
Offbeat
Engaging

Notwithstanding : Stories from an English village by Louis de Bernieres
Appeal

Short stories
Homespun
Nostalgic
Engaging

100 years of the best American short stories / edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor
Appeal

Short stories
Literary fiction

4. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. "New York Times" bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.

Amazon: 4.4* | Goodreads: 3.81*

Appeal

Genre: Humorous stories
Genre: Romance
Characters: Quirky
Tone: Offbeat
Writing style: Witty

Formats

Book
Large Print
Audio
eBook
eAudio

If you enjoyed "My Not So Perfect Life" by Sophie Kinsella, you may also like:

Britt-Marie was here : a novel / Fredrik Backman
Appeal

Bouncing back
Heartwarming
Engaging

Young Jane Young : a novel / Gabrielle Zevin
Appeal

Fast paced
Reflective
Thought provoking
Engaging

Still me / Jojo Moyes
Appeal

Fast paced
Engaging
Moving

The windfall : a novel / Diksha Basu
Appeal

Offbeat
Strong sense of place
Engaging

5. Swimming With Bridgeport Girls by Anthony Tambakis

Swimming With Bridgeport Girls by Anthony Tambakis

Fired from his ESPN job after one too many public humiliations, a charismatic gambler reevaluates his circumstances while outmaneuvering the police and a murderous bookie, only to receive an unexpected inheritance that triggers his effort to win back his ex in accordance with a misremembered ending of "The Great Gatsby."

Amazon: 4.3* | Goodreads: 3.59*

Appeal

Genre: Humorous fiction
Character: Flawed
Tone: Offbeat
Writing style: Engaging

Formats

Book
eBook
eAudio

If you enjoyed "Bridgeport Girls" by Anthony Tambakis, you may also like:

Dorothy Parker drank here : [a novel] / Ellen Meister
Appeal

Authentic
Fast paced
Nostalgic
Engaging
Witty

Then we came to the end : a novel / Joshua Ferris
Appeal

Fast paced
Offbeat
Engaging

A Long way down / Nick Hornby
Appeal

Bittersweet
Candid
Thoughtful
Witty

The Last Time I Saw You : a novel / Elizabeth Berg
Appeal

Reflective
Upbeat
Engaging

6. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Izzy Spellman, a twenty-eight-year-old amalgamation of Nancy Drew and Bridget Jones, launches her career as a private investigator while working for the firm of her outlandishly dysfunctional family.

Amazon 4.1* | Goodreads 3.88*

Appeal

Genre: Humorous Stories
Genre: Mystery
Character: Quirky
Storyline: Character-driven
Tone: Funny, Offbeat, Upbeat

Formats

Book
Large Print
Audio
eBook
eAudio

If you enjoyed "The Spellman Files" by Lisa Lutz, you may also like:

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich - Stephanie Plum novels, book 1
Appeal

Sassy
Upbeat
Banter-filled

Liar Liar by K.J. Larsen
Appeal

Fast paced
Upbeat
Witty

The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot
Appeal

Plot driven
Fast paced
Suspenseful
Upbeat

Dating Dead Men by Harley Jane Kozak
Appeal

Fast paced
Upbeat
Witty

7. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency by Douglas Adams

There is a long tradition of Great Detectives, and Dirk Gently does not belong to it. But his search for a missing cat uncovers a ghost, a time traveler, AND the devastating secret of humankind! Detective Gently's bill for saving the human race from extinction: NO CHARGE.

Amazon: 4.3* | Goodreads: 3.97*

Appeal

Genre: Science Fiction
Genre: Humorous stories
Characters: Quirky
Tone: Funny
Writing sytle: Witty

Formats

Book
Audio
eBook
eAudio

If you enjoyed "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" by Douglas Adams, you may also like:

How to live safely in a science fictional universe / Charles Yu
Appeal

Time loop
Unconventional
Offbeat
Witty

The Big over easy : a nursery crime / Jasper Fforde
Appeal

Intricately plotted
Fast paced
Witty

Space opera / Catherynne M. Valente
Appeal

Fast paced
World building
Offbeat
Sardonic

The peripheral : a novel by William Gibson
Appeal

Intricately plotted
Suspenseful
Compelling

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10 Genuinely Funny Funny Fiction Books You're Sure to Love
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