The Trinidadian novelist VS Naipaul is eighty today.
Naipaul is a bit of a cariacture these days, the English gentleman making reactionary remarks and pursuing literary feuds over whisky at his club, but I still find his 1961 masterpiece A House for Mr Biswas with its Dickensian range of characters as funny now as when I first read it twenty or so years ago.
This piece written by the eponymous hero when he's working as a journalist always make me laugh:
"Less than a year ago Daddy - George Elmer Edman, the celebrated traveller and explorer - left home to explore the Amazon. Well, I have news for you, kiddies. Daddy is on his way home. Yesterday he passed through Trinidad. In a coffin."