A comic masterpiece that has never been out of print since it was first published in 1889, Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat" includes an introduction and notes by Jeremy Lewis in "Penguin Classics". 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'. ...
A comic masterpiece that has never been out of print since it was first published in 1889, Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat" includes an introduction and notes by Jeremy Lewis in "Penguin Classics". 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, with its benign escapism, authorial discursions and wonderful evocation of the late-Victorian 'clerking classes', it hilariously captured the spirit of its age. In his introduction, Jeremy Lewis examines Jerome K. Jerome's life and times, and the changing world of Victorian England he depicts - from the rise of a new mass-culture of tabloids and bestselling novels to crazes for daytripping and bicycling. Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) was born in Walstall, Staffordshire, and educated at Marylebone Grammar School. He left school at fourteen to become a railway clerk, the first in a long line of jobs that included actor, teacher and journalist. His first book, "On Stage and Off", a collection of humorous pieces about the theatre, was published in 1885, and was followed the year after with the more commercially-successful "The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow"; but it was with "Three Men in a Boat" (1889) that Jerome achieved lasting fame. He later went on to become one of the founders of the humorous magazine, "The Idler", and continued to write articles and plays. If you enjoyed "Three Men in a Boat", you might like Stella Gibbons's "Cold Comfort Farm", also available in "Penguin Classics".
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"Three Men in a Boat" is a hilarious volume, filled with boating adventures and witty ramblings.
It all begins when a trio of grown men "decide" they are quite ill and that a sea trip is just the thing to cure them. If you don't mind casting away with a coterie of half-lunatics, then you're in for a treat. The self-diagnosis of various ailments gets a person chuckling. The ridiculous arguments get a person guffawing. The trailing stories that the main character tells get a person outright laughing.
The descriptions of England and the curiosities that the trio encountered are just delightful. The bizarre antics of three crazy men (and a dog) are splendid. Everything is precisely British, and oh!---how I wish for a nice row down the Thames right about now.
Jan 31, 2009
3 Men in a Boat is a great laugh if you are able to understand the stale British taste of humor. Although very time oriented, being in the early 1800s of London, this is a wonderful adaption to our modern world in which we live in today. I wouldn't recommend this reading to someone very young because the humor has vulgar moments but this is clearly a masterpiece work of literature by the one and only Jerome Jerome. Overall this is fun to read if your willing to struggle past the British english.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-29 Jerome's classic British comedy is recounted by House's Hugh Laurie in a marvelously entertaining performance that will bring listeners to the banks of the Thames and carry them away into a world where three men and a dog named Montmorency venture from London to Oxford one sunny day. At just two and a half hours, the journey is short but sweet as Laurie captures the essence of Jerome's touching tale. With his classic witty tone, Laurie dives headfirst into each character, offering his own take on each colorful personality. There is a subtle theatrical aspect at work here as Laurie delivers a knockout one-man show that displays his wide-ranging talent. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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