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.