Jerome K. Jerome – Three Men In A Boat
No personal library should be without a copy of "Three men In A Boat." Although it was written in 1889 it is timeless. It is a book I find myself reading every other year or so. It is in the top three or four of my all time favourite good books to read.
This is also probably the funniest book you will ever come across. Although he wrote this more than a hundred years ago, Jerome K. Jerome's humour is something that we can all identify with, proving that a good sense of humour is ageless.
The book is based on events which actually happened, and as Jerome wrote in his preface to the first edition: "all that has been done is to colour them; and, for this, no extra charge has been made".
Don't Forget The Dog
Three Men In A Boat features Jerome, George, Harris and Montmorency ( a dog ). It was written in part as a guide to the River Thames, but it is much more than that. I believe we can all recognize ourselves in this wonderful story.
The book begins with the three men feeling somewhat "seedy", followed by a wonderful description of hypochondria as Jerome relates how he convinces himself that he has every ailment going when he decides to delve into a medical text book.
He peruses various pages of medical diagnoses, becoming more and more certain that he has the symptoms of everything from distemper to typhoid fever.
The trio and dog decide a boating vacation on the Thames is just what the doctor ordered. Everything from preparing for the trip, the trip itself, the camping and the dining will have you laughing out loud.
This is a trip where what can go wrong does go wrong. If it doesn't, well Jerome K. Jerome can remember a similar situation in which it did and he is happy to tell us all about it.
Montmorency, the dog, is an essential part of the story who makes his own contribution to the humour and the stew by bringing a dead rat onto the boat.
As the three men pass different landmarks Jerome K. Jerome muses on a host of topics from Henry VIII, to food, to music, to dogs, to friendship and a host of other things.
Three men In A Boat also gives us a fascinating view of how people lived in the latter part of Victoria's reign. Even at that time Jerome find himself missing the "good old days". Life in 1890 was becoming a bit too much, a bit too fast paced for him, especially with all the new inventions that were continually popping up.
If you haven't read Three Men In A Boat, please, please do so. If you are ever stuck for a gift at Christmas or for a birthday you can't go wrong giving this book. You can be assured the recipient will be very grateful.
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