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Three Men in a Boat

Jerome K. Jerome

Book Overview: 

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) is a humorous account by Jerome K. Jerome of a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford.

The book was intended initially to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history of places along the route, but the humorous elements eventually took over, to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages now seem like an unnecessary distraction to the essentially comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern readers. The jokes seem fresh and witty even today.

The three men were based on Jerome himself and two real-life friends, George, and Harris. The dog, Montmorency, however, was entirely fictional, but, as Jerome had remarked, “had much of me in it.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Um,” I replied, “lucky for you that I do.  If I hadn’t woke you, you’d have lain there for the whole fortnight.”

We snarled at one another in this strain for the next few minutes, when we were interrupted by a defiant snore from George.  It reminded us, for the first time since our being called, of his existence.  There he lay—the man who had wanted to know what time he should wake us—on his back, with his mouth wide open, and his knees stuck up.

I don’t know why it should be, I am sure; but the sight of another man asleep in bed when I am up, maddens me.  It seems to me so shocking to see the precious hours of a man’s life—the priceless moments that will never come back to him again—being wasted in mere brutish sleep.

There was George, throwing away in hideous sloth the inestimable gift of time; his valuable life, every second of which he would have to account for hereafter, pas. . . Read More

Community Reviews

It's a book of comical anecdotes strung together to compile the history of a 2 week vacation of 3 men who rent a boat and go rowing on the Thames. Oh, and their dog, Montmorency, goes along. It is one comic episode after another and so ridiculous that it could be titled 3 stooges in a boat and I...more

Three young gentlemen, and I use that word, very loosely , are desperate to get away from the fast pace tensions, of every day, 19th Century, London life ( the horror !). And go someplace else, they should have stayed put, indeed. The men need a long rest, they're quite run down, but from what th...more

Okay. Right from the beginning, it is a hilarious thing to read. This book was written in 1889, and it is still too funny. According to what I read, at first, it was going to be a travel guide, but that got lost among the humorous anecdotes that took over the whole book. I thank you, Jerome, for...more

Updated in August, 2014

I lost count of the number of times I read this book. It was written in the late 19th century; it is still hilarious. The author attempted to write a travel guide on a Themes boat trip. At this, he failed miserably. In the book he switches the subject constantly telling som...more

Timeless.

Bonus points for having a dog.

3.5 stars

Digressive in style, meandering and episodic at worst, but bloody hilarious at the most awkward of moments!

19th century Victorian England — Witness three dunderheads (mis)adventurers/gentlemen/hypochondriacs, namely J., George, William Harris and a ferocious fox-terrier named Montmorenc...more

What a quaint little book!

I had no idea this existed. But I'm definitely glad I could rectify that now.

The story is that of three friends, elderly gentlemen, who decide to journey up the Thames in a little boat together with the dog one of them owns. The preparations for the trip are already very...more

Three Men in a Pastiche: To Say Nothing of the Boat

Three tourists - A spicy meal - The effects of a typhoon - Picasso's masterpiece - Random thoughts on helicopters - The joys of being on land

Three young men were waiting at the docks to be picked up by a ferry boat. The first of these men is Ted,...more

This book is a strange mix. Part of it is of a particular kind of obvious humour. Sort of like watching a very pompous-looking person talking loudly into their cell-phone and paying no attention to where they are going and therefore fails to notice the banana skin everyone else has been avoiding....more

What a huge moron I was for not giving this book a chance. And now, I just can’t stop praising it. So here it goes…

‘Three Men in a Boat’ is an amusing account of three friends-Jerome(whom I’m in love with),Harris and George and of course their dog Montmorency; while on a little boating expedition...more

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