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Three Men in a Boat & Three Men on the Bummel [Paperback]

Jerome Klapka Jerome
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 5 1992 1853260517 978-1853260513 1
Edited, Introduced and Annotated by Cedric Watts, M.A., Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of English, University of Sussex. Three Men in a Boat is a comic classic. When it first appeared in 1889 it became a best seller, and has remained popular ever since. This motley novel has not only been translated into many languages but has also been staged, filmed, televised and imitated. The adventures and misfortunes on the Thames of the three English friends and their pugnacious dog, Montmorency, provide rich humour, shrewd observations, lyrical reflections, and, predominantly, genially ironic perceptions of human fallibility. The sequel, Three Men on the Bummel, reunites the three friends for their 'Bummel' ('roaming or wandering') through Germany. The results vary from the seductively titillating to the outrageously farcical; and subsequent history has laden the narrative with ironies. COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED

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* Laurie's readings prove him to be not only a skilled light comedian and actor but a very satisfying reader, with a very flexible voice. The Collector's Digest --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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black and white illustrations --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious July 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What a gem of a book... and no wonder these two volumes are still around more than 110 years after originally being published. The humor holds up surprisingly well. It was a rare page in which I didn't laugh out loud. I have no doubt that P.G Wodehouse was greatly influenced by Jerome's style. There is action within the two volumes, but the thrust of the action provides little more than an opportunity to move on to the next humorous incident or related story. J. and his two friends, George and Harris, are three bumbling stooges who do everything possible to avoid having to earn an honest living, so they travel. In the first book, Three Men in a Boat, they are single and care-free, but by the time the second book, Three Men on a Bummel, was published, two of the three characters, J. and Harris, are family men. Although the second book is funny, I would agree with earlier reviewers that it's not quite the laugh-out-loud humor of the previous volume, but that's understandable, since our heroes are older and slightly more respectable. Still in all, following their adventures is great fun and makes for a wonderful summer read. I can't help but wonder if today's favorite travel humorist (humor travelist?), Bill Bryson, wasn't also influenced by the wonderful musings of Jerome.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly hilarious! April 29 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog was recommended to me as a fan of Lord Peter Wimsey, mysteries, and clever, witty writing; I read the reviews and decided that, in fact, I should read Jerome K. Jerome's classic first, which I did. Not only was it a perfect introduction to the Willis book (which I am now in the middle of), but it was a hoot and a half on its own. I admit that I expected it to be a tedious antique but a required introduction to the book I wanted to read, and now I'm delighted to say I was so wrong! I am also a rower, and I was equally delighted to find 1889 tales of oarsmanship to be eminently translatable to 2003. Like its scion, the book is clever and witty in quieter moments, and downright hilarious the rest of the time. An Anglophile's dream, it is as delightful as a lazy summer picnic in Oxford. It is only partly the story of three men in a boat (to say nothing of the dog); it abounds with tangents and at times bizarrely associated stories of the type of "that reminds me of..." Those wind up being the funniest bits; I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions. Don't let the publication date put you off---- this book is fresh as spring blooms and as funny as P.G. Wodehouse or Basil Fawlty.
And if I ever get a male dog, his name will definitely be Montmorency.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Summer Reading Aug. 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book and a good chair were meant for each other. From the onset one realizes that it is a timeless tongue in cheek look at the lives of the self important. Anyone who has ever been on vacation with another person will enjoy the telling of this trip. The main character thinks that he does the majority of the work and is the only sensible one. The dog lends an air of sensibility and nonchalance to the status of his owner.
Both my sister and I read this book and we attempted to tell our third sister about it. We could only get out a few words such as "Uncle Podger" or "cheese" before we would break up laughing. Needless to say the other sister did not get much out of of telling; and is now reading the book. It is the kind of book that you can read over and over and still laugh aloud.
For those who wish to read it, I can only offer one piece of advice - buy two copies. You will want to give it to your friends to read but won't want to part with your copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Humor Oct. 17 2001
Format:Paperback
This has to be one of the funniest books ever written beginning with the opening chapter where the narrator reads a medical book and decides he has every disease in the book. From there, he and his two best friends decide to get away from it all with a boat trip up the Thames River -- and that's the book. It's full of one hilarious episode after another with little side tidbits on the historical places they pass on the Thames. Those few who have found the book dull need to understand that the story is written at the pace of a boat trip and not a television sitcom. It's any vacation where everything goes hilariously wrong and if for once the tent doesn't fall down in a pouring rain or the boat manages to not run into another boat, the narrator remembers another trip and tells the story of carrying an incredibly smelly cheese home--Warning don't read that chapter in public. People will wonder why you're rolling on the ground laughing hysterically. There's also a dog who's idea of being helpful is bringing a dead rat to add to the stew. The only weakness of the book is that I'd like to have seen much more of the dog. On the serious side, Three Men in a Boat proves that humor based on human nature is timeless. Also on the serious side, if you want a good look at how people lived in 1890, this book actually gives a vivid picture, including the nostalgia that the narrator feels for "the good old days". He finds life in 1890 too fast paced and with too many inventions coming on too fast. It makes you wonder at what point people will look back to 2001 as "the good old days".
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars To say nothing of the dog
Imagine Bertie Wooster and two of his idiot friends out on a boat... with no Jeeves.

That about describes "Three Men in a Boat : To Say Nothing of the Dog," Jerome K. Read more
Published on July 5 2009 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could age as well as this book did
This book came as a great surprise to me. My eldest son gave me a copy, so I dutifully read it. I was delighted to discover that this is a funny book! Read more
Published on May 22 2009 by Allan
5.0 out of 5 stars Out With The Boys
It's the way this feels - another 'people haven't changed' moment to see that quintessential British wit displayed in another time and place (more than a century past). Read more
Published on April 21 2008 by Craig Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahoy!
Imagine Bertie Wooster and two of his idiot friends out on a boat... with no Jeeves. That about describes "Three Men in a Boat : To Say Nothing of the Dog," Jerome K. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2007 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Idiots In A Boat
"Three Men In A Boat" is about these three slightly daft English friends who take a leisure trip in a rowboat down the river Thames. Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by I ain't no porn writer
5.0 out of 5 stars Way too much fun
This book is much funnier than any book written by a 19th-Century Englishman has any right to be! It's a delight, and I would definitely recommend following it up by reading Connie... Read more
Published on June 2 2004 by Nancy H. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Hill's "favourite book"
Per an interview by John Koski in the "Books" section of the Sunday Daily Mail April 2004, Harry Hill's reply to the question, "What's your favourite book? Read more
Published on May 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic
The single funniest thing to come out of England before the BBC.
Published on Aug. 8 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Incompetent Men in a Boat
Parts of this book read like Sarah Orne Jewett. Parts read like Thoreau's "Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. Read more
Published on June 27 2003 by Judith C. Kinney
5.0 out of 5 stars Be adventurous - and out of breath - read this one aloud!
At risk of repeating many of the other reviews here, this book is fabulous! Very funny take on Victoran England from the time. Read more
Published on March 19 2003 by "qwayla"
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