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Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a 'T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks - not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmo Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a 'T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks - not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmorency. Three Men in a Boat was an instant success when it appeared in 1889, and proved so popular that Jerome reunited his now older - but not necessarily wiser - heroes in Three Men on the Bummel, for a picaresque bicycle tour of Germany. With their benign escapism, authorial discursions and wonderful evocation of the late-Victorian 'clerking classes', both novels hilariously capture the spirit of their age.


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Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a 'T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks - not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmo Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a 'T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks - not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmorency. Three Men in a Boat was an instant success when it appeared in 1889, and proved so popular that Jerome reunited his now older - but not necessarily wiser - heroes in Three Men on the Bummel, for a picaresque bicycle tour of Germany. With their benign escapism, authorial discursions and wonderful evocation of the late-Victorian 'clerking classes', both novels hilariously capture the spirit of their age.

30 review for Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    There is nothing useful this book. Nothing edifying, nothing instructive, or clarifying in this novel. I read Three Men in a Boat last month and didn't learn anything at all! And this month I pick up Three Men on the Bummel and expected *AT LEAST* a concise travelogue with pretty pictures describing the joys of riding bikes down hills in sweet German countrysides and partaking of local cuisine and generally trying to make myself understood. What I did get was a bunch of prattle about how to extric There is nothing useful this book. Nothing edifying, nothing instructive, or clarifying in this novel. I read Three Men in a Boat last month and didn't learn anything at all! And this month I pick up Three Men on the Bummel and expected *AT LEAST* a concise travelogue with pretty pictures describing the joys of riding bikes down hills in sweet German countrysides and partaking of local cuisine and generally trying to make myself understood. What I did get was a bunch of prattle about how to extricate yourself from collapsing in a mess with the locals, how many fines you have to pay when you walk on the wrong side of the street, stolen bicycles, mysterious dogs, and the fact that the narrator was kicked out of his own house because he's a twat. I swear! This is last time I pick up a travel brochure from that guy down by St. Denis square with the ratty top hat and that extensive collection of hair restorative products.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    This is heralded as one of the classics of English literature in Turkmen textbooks. Turkmen children will ask you if you've heard of it, they'll write essays about how they like to read it (baldfaced lies), and some will be genuinely confused if you don't list Jerome K. Jerome as one of your favorite authors. All this in spite of the fact that not only has no one in Turkmenistan ever read Three Men in a Boat, virtually no one in the entire English-speaking world has either. At some point a Sovie This is heralded as one of the classics of English literature in Turkmen textbooks. Turkmen children will ask you if you've heard of it, they'll write essays about how they like to read it (baldfaced lies), and some will be genuinely confused if you don't list Jerome K. Jerome as one of your favorite authors. All this in spite of the fact that not only has no one in Turkmenistan ever read Three Men in a Boat, virtually no one in the entire English-speaking world has either. At some point a Soviet or Turkmen education minister must've arbitrarily decided this was one of the greatest works in English literature, and now it's just common (Turkmen) wisdom about English, and can't be changed now. Some fellow PCVs sent me a copy -- together with the sequel (?) Three Men on the Bummel -- around New Year's. I look forward to seeing what all the absolutely baseless fuss was about.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mmars

    If you are feeling nostalgic for the good old days of say, Charlie Chaplin - only British and not American, like pre-Titanic and pre-WWI, when if one were lucky enough to be well off enough not to work and not forced to grow up before the age of say, twenty-five, then this book may fit the bill. It's not something I would have picked up on my own, but for these pages only. I started this as a free Kindle book but felt like I was missing something reading it that way. And was I ever. I picked up If you are feeling nostalgic for the good old days of say, Charlie Chaplin - only British and not American, like pre-Titanic and pre-WWI, when if one were lucky enough to be well off enough not to work and not forced to grow up before the age of say, twenty-five, then this book may fit the bill. It's not something I would have picked up on my own, but for these pages only. I started this as a free Kindle book but felt like I was missing something reading it that way. And was I ever. I picked up the Oxford World's Classic from the library and experienced a 180 degree turn reading experience. There were maps and a glossary, a chronology of Jerome's life, and of course an introduction. Let's hear it for the depth of knowledge! Hip-hip Hooray! Today I read an article in the newspaper about a private school in my metropolis that emptied its library of books, save a few classics and magazines. I cannot tell you how sad that makes me. This private school that upper-middle class and above parents pay for is sending its students to the public library for books. Let's hear it for that school. Boo! Boo! Boo! On the other hand a "freelibrary" box has opened an a route I sometimes take. But I digress - which, incidentally, the narrator does much of as he and his friends row a two-oared skiff down the Thames. Leisurely rowing on a slow flowing stream lends itself to that - mind wandering. But not on a river with locks and steam-powered vessels and fast curves! Jolted from thought, hilarous scenes pursue; there are some very good old fashioned slapstick scenarios here. It's also a bit of a travelogue. Information is given on the history of the towns they pass, or on the landscape as it was in then, in 1899. As a read, it was three stars for me. But I've gone with four because a) Jerome was able to maintain the humor from beginning to end and b) this Oxford edition is so well done. It should be since Oxford was their destination. (This review is based on Three Men in a Boat. I did not read Three Men on the Bummel.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Since this book was an influence on Connie Willis' fabulous and funny novel (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I figured I should read it and see what she was getting at. It's a short, comic Victorian novel. The humor is based on the fact that none of the events of the book are of any importance whatsoever, but that the narrator makes every little thing out to be practically an incident from a heroic epic. It's very short, and it is funny - but I think it's good that it's short, because I Since this book was an influence on Connie Willis' fabulous and funny novel (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I figured I should read it and see what she was getting at. It's a short, comic Victorian novel. The humor is based on the fact that none of the events of the book are of any importance whatsoever, but that the narrator makes every little thing out to be practically an incident from a heroic epic. It's very short, and it is funny - but I think it's good that it's short, because I don't think that it could have been sustained much longer. (Willis is funnier.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Collins

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's laugh-out-loud funny in many spots. Apparently Jerome had intended to write "The Story of the Thames", its scenery and history, with some "humorous relief", but the humor took over the book. (He had just returned from his honeymoon and "had the feeling that all the world's troubles were over".) So it turned out to be mostly a set of funny stories about the three men (to say nothing of the dog) and their adventures on the Thames and other bodies of water. There is th I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's laugh-out-loud funny in many spots. Apparently Jerome had intended to write "The Story of the Thames", its scenery and history, with some "humorous relief", but the humor took over the book. (He had just returned from his honeymoon and "had the feeling that all the world's troubles were over".) So it turned out to be mostly a set of funny stories about the three men (to say nothing of the dog) and their adventures on the Thames and other bodies of water. There is the occasional bit of history and scenery tossed in, and Jerome waxes poetic once in a while, but the effect is rather spoiled because I would get a paragraph or two into a poetic bit before realizing that he wasn't building up to a joke. Three Men on the Bummel isn't quite as good, but has its hilarious moments. It takes place years later, when two of the three men have wives and children they must figure out how to ditch so that they can take a bicycling tour of Germany. It was written not long before WWI, and the references to the extreme orderliness of German society are discomforting. Jerome finds much to admire, but deplores their "blind obedience to everything in buttons".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Natlyn

    I read Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog because I was going to read Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog and wanted to know what the relation was. Three Men … is the story of three friends and a dog on a boat trip up the Thames from Kingston to Oxford, To Say Nothing … incorporates a boat trip up the Thames made by three men and a dog and dwells on the same types of small annoyances of boating and any endeavor (such as packing) and uses the same tone of muddling through with u I read Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog because I was going to read Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog and wanted to know what the relation was. Three Men … is the story of three friends and a dog on a boat trip up the Thames from Kingston to Oxford, To Say Nothing … incorporates a boat trip up the Thames made by three men and a dog and dwells on the same types of small annoyances of boating and any endeavor (such as packing) and uses the same tone of muddling through with understatement always at the ready to say nothing of the frequent diversions that leads one to understand that arriving at the destination is not the point of the novel but traveling to it is. While I found Three Men … to be amusing in small doses, an entire novel of these fops' shenanigans was a bit much. So much so that I must confess I skipped from page 115 to 158 just in time for the not-at-all surprising finish on page 160 (with a bit of a skim for the photograph business with the nose of the boat around page 148). I don't think I shall read Three Men on the Bummel, the sequel, as I'm sure it features more of the same. But, who knows, if I'm ever in the mood for some amusing understated fluff, I might dip into it for a score or two of pages.

  7. 5 out of 5

    The Cat

    What can I say about this book. It is the funniest, best written comedy book ever to have been written. Sadly it makes all comedic writers, myself included, sound forced, clumsy and gauché. Happily there has never ever been a film adaption that was anywhere approaching the quality of the writing and all have failed to reproduce the gentle mocking humour. This book is a must read, it is more important that you read this book than any other one you could think of especially if you happen to like Eng What can I say about this book. It is the funniest, best written comedy book ever to have been written. Sadly it makes all comedic writers, myself included, sound forced, clumsy and gauché. Happily there has never ever been a film adaption that was anywhere approaching the quality of the writing and all have failed to reproduce the gentle mocking humour. This book is a must read, it is more important that you read this book than any other one you could think of especially if you happen to like English culture from a time when there were gentlemen endeavouring to pursue 'gentlemen's pursuits' whatever they are. One word of warning, do not under any circumstances read anything else by poor Jerome K. Jerome all of his other writings range from poor to terrible, 'Three Men in a Boat' was the pinnacle of his achievement, which is sad because it was, I believe his first book. So don't bother with the second book that they have rammed into this edition which is called 'Three Men on the Bummel' it is dreadful, buy or indeed download from Project Gutenburg 'Three Men in a Boat' and read it, then like me you will want probably want to go out and buy two special edition hardbacks because you will read one often and save one for your bookcase. This book is like that it is a treasure and a treasure of the English language

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pavel Nedelcu

    This book is a collection of two very similar novels: In Three Men in a Boat, three friends (and a humanised dog) decide to benefit from the opening of the river Thames to the public at the end of the 19th century and embark on a boat trip on their own. Still, if the book had limited to describing this journey, it would have been nothing but boring. Jerome K. Jerome's prose describes much more than a boat trip: it is a humorous portrait of Victorian society, reading which the reader can only laug This book is a collection of two very similar novels: In Three Men in a Boat, three friends (and a humanised dog) decide to benefit from the opening of the river Thames to the public at the end of the 19th century and embark on a boat trip on their own. Still, if the book had limited to describing this journey, it would have been nothing but boring. Jerome K. Jerome's prose describes much more than a boat trip: it is a humorous portrait of Victorian society, reading which the reader can only laugh and keep laughing. In Three Men on the Bummel the same three friends (without the dog), two of which married in the meanwhile, go on a bummel (“a journey without an end”) through Germany. The humour shapes again this journey but some prejudices against women and German people also occur (not of the humorous kind) and might sometimes result in offensive generalizations to the modern understanding. The novel is, however, typical of the British humour and should be taken as a satire towards society and travelling in general.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Three Men in a Boat regularly had me looking away from the book, laying back in bed, and laughing uncontrollably. It's full of moments shared between the author and reader, where both are in on a joke in which the characters are blissfully unaware they are playing a part. At times Jerome produces some magical scenes which are deeply touching and emotional, all the more so for being closely bound to fine humour. Although very easy to read, I would not say this was mere fluff. The world is a little Three Men in a Boat regularly had me looking away from the book, laying back in bed, and laughing uncontrollably. It's full of moments shared between the author and reader, where both are in on a joke in which the characters are blissfully unaware they are playing a part. At times Jerome produces some magical scenes which are deeply touching and emotional, all the more so for being closely bound to fine humour. Although very easy to read, I would not say this was mere fluff. The world is a little better for the existence of this book. Unfortunately, I found Three Men on a Bummel comparatively dry. It still has moments of humour that can be found in the first book, but takes a more serious view overall and to me was less satisfying in its plot and characters. I did find the portrayal of life in Germany before either of the major 20th century conflicts interesting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hodgkinson

    Still laugh-out-loud funny after all these years. The central joke is the way our attempts to create idyllic situations seem doomed to fail. A group of us had great fun discussing this book at the first Idler Book Club. Jerome was the editor of The Idler magazine during the Edwardian era and also wrote many essays on idleness, collected in Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow and Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    I am amazed by how fresh and vibrant these works still read. Three Men in a Boat is essentially some of the cast of The Office, trying to have fun on a vacation on the river. Three Men on the Bummel consists of the same trio trying to find rest and relaxation away from their families on a bike trip in Germany. If you are newly married, you will find this extra hilarious.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    A wonderfully refreshing read filled with elaborate daydreams, hilarious hijinks and utter ridiculousness. Depicting the everyday life of three rather bored middling men, who decide it would be a great plan to take a fortnight boating holiday from London to Oxford along the River Thames. The characters ridiculous in the need to always outdo each other’s boasts and stories, and even their more humble stories are filled with hilarious moments of misdirection,miscommunication and a mistaken belief A wonderfully refreshing read filled with elaborate daydreams, hilarious hijinks and utter ridiculousness. Depicting the everyday life of three rather bored middling men, who decide it would be a great plan to take a fortnight boating holiday from London to Oxford along the River Thames. The characters ridiculous in the need to always outdo each other’s boasts and stories, and even their more humble stories are filled with hilarious moments of misdirection,miscommunication and a mistaken belief that they can easily do anything provided only a little amount of effort is needed.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Raj

    Three young men are ruminating together on their various imagined illnesses and how much they need a holiday. Together with the dog, Montmorency, they hire a boat and travel up the Thames from London to Oxford and hilarity, as they say, ensues. I found this to be a delightful book, very easy to read, picturesque and hardly dated in the language and humour. While I was reading it, I found it quite striking how it intersperses the comic antics of the protagonists with beautiful descriptions of the Three young men are ruminating together on their various imagined illnesses and how much they need a holiday. Together with the dog, Montmorency, they hire a boat and travel up the Thames from London to Oxford and hilarity, as they say, ensues. I found this to be a delightful book, very easy to read, picturesque and hardly dated in the language and humour. While I was reading it, I found it quite striking how it intersperses the comic antics of the protagonists with beautiful descriptions of the surrounding scenery and sometimes even some quite serious observations on life. This sounds like it should jar, but it mostly doesn't and works together remarkably well. The narrative about boating sounded quite delightful and makes me want to gather up some fellows and spend a month sitting on the river myself! My edition also contained the sequel, which I'll review here as well: Three Men on the Bummel, by Jerome K. Jerome This is the sequel to Three Men in a Boat and follows the same three protagonists (older and maybe wiser), sans dog, going for a bicycling trip around the Black Forest region of Germany. I found this humorous enough, but not nearly as good as its predecessor. The humour seems somehow more forced, and the constant stereotyping of the German character soon gets wearing. But what I found myself missing the most, and I found this somewhat unexpected, was the Thames. I hadn't realised just how much of a character that the river had become in Three Men in a Boat and although Jerome tries his best with the German setting, it's just not the same. Worth a read for curiosity value, but not as good as the original. (Three stars)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kressel Housman

    In many ways, these two books are the literary equivalent of the sitcom "Seinfeld" - comedies about "nothing." But instead of three guys and an ex-girlfriend going through the antics of daily life in Manhattan, the first is about three Englishmen and a dog going through ridiculous antics while rowboating up the Thames, and the second (written and taking place some ten years later) is about the same three men on a bicycle trip in the Black Forest of Germany. Written in late Victorian England, the In many ways, these two books are the literary equivalent of the sitcom "Seinfeld" - comedies about "nothing." But instead of three guys and an ex-girlfriend going through the antics of daily life in Manhattan, the first is about three Englishmen and a dog going through ridiculous antics while rowboating up the Thames, and the second (written and taking place some ten years later) is about the same three men on a bicycle trip in the Black Forest of Germany. Written in late Victorian England, the jokes are a lot cleaner than Seinfeld's, and the overall tone is classically British tongue-in-cheek, but the scenes depict the challenges of ordinary life (ie putting up a tent, opening a can of pineapple) hilariously. I know "laughing out loud" is a computer-age cliche, but I promise you, my fellow commuters could hear me as I was reading these books. The author does diverge from humor in spots, particularly in the second book, in which he makes observations about the German people that underline all the features that gave rise to the Nazi era, though notably, the author acknowledges getting swept up in pugilistic mob thinking himself. That, of course, is anything but funny, but you can't help but be impressed at the author's perceptiveness. The book was written 50 years before the rise of Hitler, though Kaiser Wilhelm was already in power. All in all, though, the book is good, clean fun. Unlike many other books on my list, you don't have to be Jewish, or a Jane Austen fan, or a parent, or an aspiring writer to enjoy it. It really has universal appeal.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Thekelburrows

    A heck of a lot of fun for anyone who is willing to skim past the very 1890s attitudes toward social politics. --- “It always does seem to me that I am doing more work than I should do. It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart. You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a passion with me: my study is so full of it now, tha A heck of a lot of fun for anyone who is willing to skim past the very 1890s attitudes toward social politics. --- “It always does seem to me that I am doing more work than I should do. It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart. You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a passion with me: my study is so full of it now, that there is hardly an inch of room for any more. I shall have to throw out a wing soon. And I am careful of my work, too. Why, some of the work that I have by me now has been in my possession for years and years, and there isn’t a finger-mark on it. I take a great pride in my work; I take it down now and then and dust it. No man keeps his work in a better state of preservation than I do. But, though I crave for work, I still like to be fair. I do not ask for more than my proper share.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    DoctorM

    "Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)"...simply put, one of the great comic gems of the last century and a half. (There's a late-'70s film version with Tim Curry and Michael Palin--- go find it...now!) Witty, clever, hilarious, a bit melancholy. In the tradition of "Tristram Shandy" more than Wilde. A major favourite--- and a very well-done send up of travel lit. Highly recommended. "Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)"...simply put, one of the great comic gems of the last century and a half. (There's a late-'70s film version with Tim Curry and Michael Palin--- go find it...now!) Witty, clever, hilarious, a bit melancholy. In the tradition of "Tristram Shandy" more than Wilde. A major favourite--- and a very well-done send up of travel lit. Highly recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bookista

    4 stars for sheer joy & delight. The second book can be a bit chilling. They visit Germany on a bike tour a couple decades before WWI and WWII and rhapsodize over how orderly and well-behaved the Germans are. And how docilely they take orders and respect authority.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Juniper

    I truly love this book. It's one of my "classics" : it's among the ones I turn to when I don't know what to read next, and it's always a pleasure to read it one more time. No matter how many times I read it in my whole life, I bet this story will always make me laugh. I truly love this book. It's one of my "classics" : it's among the ones I turn to when I don't know what to read next, and it's always a pleasure to read it one more time. No matter how many times I read it in my whole life, I bet this story will always make me laugh.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Prabhjot Kaur

    Three Men in a Boat - 4 stars I loved this. It was brilliantly written and had me laughing throughout. This was supposed to be a travel document but it turned out to be a laugh-riot. Three Men on the Bummel - 3 stars In the second book, our characters embark on a bicycle trip to Germany. I really loved how the author captured everything about Germany but it wasn't as funny as the previous book in the series. It is still enjoyable. Three Men in a Boat - 4 stars I loved this. It was brilliantly written and had me laughing throughout. This was supposed to be a travel document but it turned out to be a laugh-riot. Three Men on the Bummel - 3 stars In the second book, our characters embark on a bicycle trip to Germany. I really loved how the author captured everything about Germany but it wasn't as funny as the previous book in the series. It is still enjoyable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janosch

    It took a while to finish it. While being witty, and I certainly enjoyed the writing style and use of vocabulary, it is not that exciting. Without the constant flashbacks I might have enjoyed it a bit more. The scenery described in the book was nice but after having finished a few pages and having put the book aside it didn't make me excited to come back to it, let alone wonder how the story might continue. Not my cup of tea. It took a while to finish it. While being witty, and I certainly enjoyed the writing style and use of vocabulary, it is not that exciting. Without the constant flashbacks I might have enjoyed it a bit more. The scenery described in the book was nice but after having finished a few pages and having put the book aside it didn't make me excited to come back to it, let alone wonder how the story might continue. Not my cup of tea.

  21. 4 out of 5

    NinjaMuse

    (For Three Men on the Bummel.) In brief: What better way to escape the wife and kids than to take a cycling tour of Germany? Thoughts: This isn’t as much a straight-up sequel to Three Men in a Boat as it is an excuse for Jerome to tear into a whole new range of satirical topics—but it still a sequel. It features the same characters, about ten years later, on another misguided but ultimately benign bout of tourism, and with about the same level of self-awareness as before. Less of the book takes pla (For Three Men on the Bummel.) In brief: What better way to escape the wife and kids than to take a cycling tour of Germany? Thoughts: This isn’t as much a straight-up sequel to Three Men in a Boat as it is an excuse for Jerome to tear into a whole new range of satirical topics—but it still a sequel. It features the same characters, about ten years later, on another misguided but ultimately benign bout of tourism, and with about the same level of self-awareness as before. Less of the book takes place in Germany than I’d thought going in, and there Jerome focuses on “highlights” like the dog chasing a pig around a restaurant or the habit of German carters to fall asleep at the reins, rather than the day-to-day. Most of the rest of the book’s about the trio planning the trip and setting off, with digressions into other unfortunate past travel adventures, explanations for why things must be done a particular way, and generally exaggerating social foibles and expectations to poke fun at them. My favourite of these was probably the passage about how nobody is bike ads ever seems to be putting in any effort and how they were sexualized even then. My least favourite was probably the continued harping about how rule-abiding the Germans are, and how they’ll fine you for everything. But it’s still a fun story with much the same silliness and spirit of Three Men in a Boat, though. A lot of the humour’s still funny and relatable—running for public transit, language education that fails utterly, that guy who absolutely knows how to fix your vehicle but actually doesn’t—though there are bits that haven’t aged well. For some reason Jerome throws in a passage with a Black stereotype, he seems really into informing us how fat the Germans are, and some of his comments probably sounded great before the two World Wars. That sort of thing. But all in all, it’s an amusing book and a decent sequel, but it’s not a must-read. I definitely got a sense reading this that if it had been written today, it would’ve been somebody’s stand-up routine rather than a novel, and maybe that’s all you need to know, to know if you’ll like it. To bear in mind: May offend some Germans. May offend some English people. Almost certainly will offend fat people. Contains an exceptionally outdated word for Black people, and some parody dialogue for both Black and Scottish people, spelled-out dialect and all. (The Black one is notably worse, because of course it is.) 7/10

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    What a fun read! THis book follows 3 men over 100 years ago who decide to take a boat ride down the Thames River. The second book follows the same men 10 years later on a bike trip through the Black Forest of Germany. Since we lived in both of these places, I found Jerome's descriptions hilarious. The story was simple but was full of tangents ("That reminded me of the time that ...")and insights on life. Here's a long quote I liked from chapter 3: "George said: "You know we are on a wrong track What a fun read! THis book follows 3 men over 100 years ago who decide to take a boat ride down the Thames River. The second book follows the same men 10 years later on a bike trip through the Black Forest of Germany. Since we lived in both of these places, I found Jerome's descriptions hilarious. The story was simple but was full of tangents ("That reminded me of the time that ...")and insights on life. Here's a long quote I liked from chapter 3: "George said: "You know we are on a wrong track altogether. We must not think of the things we could do with, but only of the things that we can't do without." George comes out really quite sensible at times. You'd be surprised. I call that downright wisdom, not merely as regards the present case, but with reference to our trip up the river of life, generally. How many people, on that voyage, load up the boat till it is ever in danger of swamping with a store of foolish things which they think essential to the pleasure and comfort of the trip, but which are really only useless lumber. How they pile the poor little craft mast-high with fine clothes and big houses; with useless servants, and a host of swell friends that do not care twopence for them, and that they do not care three ha'pence for; with expensive entertainments that nobody enjoys, with formalities and fashions, with pretence and ostentation, and with - oh, heaviest, maddest lumber of all! - the dread of what will my neighbour think, with luxuries that only cloy, with pleasures that bore, with empty show that, like the criminal's iron crown of yore, makes to bleed and swoon the aching head that wears it! It is lumber, man - all lumber! Throw it overboard. It makes the boat so heavy to pull, you nearly faint at the oars. It makes it so cumbersome and dangerous to manage, you never know a moment's freedom from anxiety and care, ... Throw the lumber over, man! Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, ... enough to eat and enough to wear, ... You will find the boat easier to pull then, and it will not be so liable to upset, and it will not matter so much if it does upset; good, plain merchandise will stand water. You will have time to think as well as to work. Time to drink in life's sunshine - ..."

  23. 5 out of 5

    GD

    Wow, this book started off hilarious on the very first page and never let up. It's only about 150 pages long, but the consistent level of hilarity in itself is still remarkable. The very basic story is just 3 guys and dog who decide to take a constitutional river cruise for a couple of weeks in a small boat. Most of the book is made of digressions, something happened that will remind the narrator, known only as J., of something a friend once told him, or something that happened to him once, whic Wow, this book started off hilarious on the very first page and never let up. It's only about 150 pages long, but the consistent level of hilarity in itself is still remarkable. The very basic story is just 3 guys and dog who decide to take a constitutional river cruise for a couple of weeks in a small boat. Most of the book is made of digressions, something happened that will remind the narrator, known only as J., of something a friend once told him, or something that happened to him once, which will remind him of something else. I can't pinpoint a favorite part, but some parts that stand out are the story about transporting the foul-smelling cheese (being a hater of cheese myself, I can understand), the scene where the men try to bash open a tin can of pineapple, the dog fighting with the tea kettle, the tea kettle getting angry in another part of the story and boiling over, the cowardly mast that hits people in the back of the head, and on and on and on. I'd recommend this to anyone, though only 2 of my friends have read it, one gave it 3 stars and one gave it only 1. Which blows my mind. I nearly pissed myself laughing out loud at it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    A delight! A good friend recommended Connie Willis' "To Say Nothing of the Dog" some years ago, which is a time-travelling homage to Jerome K. Jerome's hilarious classic "Three Men in a Boat." Yet, I did not get around to reading TMIAB until my Great Books book club read it for our January 2017 meeting. In an unusual turn of events, every member who attended loved the book (in 9 years, I can't remember this happening). Comparisons to "Seinfeld" abounded; TMIAB is a travelogue about nothing interr A delight! A good friend recommended Connie Willis' "To Say Nothing of the Dog" some years ago, which is a time-travelling homage to Jerome K. Jerome's hilarious classic "Three Men in a Boat." Yet, I did not get around to reading TMIAB until my Great Books book club read it for our January 2017 meeting. In an unusual turn of events, every member who attended loved the book (in 9 years, I can't remember this happening). Comparisons to "Seinfeld" abounded; TMIAB is a travelogue about nothing interrupted regularly by a series of humorous digressions. There's no question in my mind that Monty Python were influenced by this book. In fact, the 1975 Tom Stoppard screen adaptation stars Michael Palin (to say nothing of Tim Curry) and does a magnificent job of capturing three members of the emerging clerk class on a river holiday with the trusty scallawag, Montmorency. It is unfortunate that the average American is unfamiliar with this book. The language is relatively modern considering that it was written in the 1870's; many contemporaries considered the book gauche and low-class. This really ought to be required reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kavya Chilukuri

    There is such natural comedy in this book that it makes you laugh out loud (even when in public, much to my embarrassment!). There is nothing forceful or overdone about his humor. Jerome K. Jerome takes up some mundane events and adds to them some seriously hilarious angles (pun intended). You sometimes relate to the situations he describes, but are struck by the way he describes it. This book speaks volumes of his wit. 3 Men in a Boat describes the journey of 3 British men up the river Thames on There is such natural comedy in this book that it makes you laugh out loud (even when in public, much to my embarrassment!). There is nothing forceful or overdone about his humor. Jerome K. Jerome takes up some mundane events and adds to them some seriously hilarious angles (pun intended). You sometimes relate to the situations he describes, but are struck by the way he describes it. This book speaks volumes of his wit. 3 Men in a Boat describes the journey of 3 British men up the river Thames on a boat with a dog that most definitely has a halo above its head. 3 men on the Bummel is based on a cycle trip of the same 3 men in Germany, minus the dog. I must say I liked the boat expedition better, but its fun to read them both and I would definitely recommend it to all!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Markus

    Three Men in a Boat is one of those books about which I've been thinking 'I really ought to read that' for a while, and I finally got to it. I have to admit, it's not what I expected. I'd imagined finding it dry, but it's actually very funny. The Gilbert and Sullivan joke had me laughing out loud, as did a few others. Some of the humour does focus on late Victorian matters, but if you aren't familiar with such things, there are notes explaining key figures and ideas mentioned in the back of the Three Men in a Boat is one of those books about which I've been thinking 'I really ought to read that' for a while, and I finally got to it. I have to admit, it's not what I expected. I'd imagined finding it dry, but it's actually very funny. The Gilbert and Sullivan joke had me laughing out loud, as did a few others. Some of the humour does focus on late Victorian matters, but if you aren't familiar with such things, there are notes explaining key figures and ideas mentioned in the back of the book. Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read, and I am happy to have finally crossed it off my reading list. If you are looking for a light and humorous classic, this is your book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David

    I accept the fact that I am obviously a fascist, an anti British slug, or just plain stupid. I tried for over 9 days to read this book and only got to page 123 before I buried it in the back yard. My wife thought it was wonderfully funny: I thought it was just a waste of time and not funny. What I did enjoy greatly is the Introduction. Enough said. Not a good read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    L.H. Beynon

    This wasn't my type of book at all. It seemed to be three unutterably stupid men being incompetent at almost everything they try - and they don't try much of any interest. There was one really beautiful description of the night, which completely took me by surprise, as it didn't seem to match the rest of the book. Perhaps this just isn't my genre... This wasn't my type of book at all. It seemed to be three unutterably stupid men being incompetent at almost everything they try - and they don't try much of any interest. There was one really beautiful description of the night, which completely took me by surprise, as it didn't seem to match the rest of the book. Perhaps this just isn't my genre...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Noffke

    My dad says he can always tell when I'm reading this book because I'll just be sitting there chuckling. Something about British humor just gets me. It reminds me of the three stooges. My dad says he can always tell when I'm reading this book because I'll just be sitting there chuckling. Something about British humor just gets me. It reminds me of the three stooges.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    This book was quite humorous and made me laugh out loud. The problem was that in between the funny parts were drawn out, boring parts. Also the book seemed to end very abruptly.

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