Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

by Jerome K. Jerome | Humor |
ISBN: 9780141441214 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Greenknowe of Ivanhoe, Victoria Australia on 10/31/2008
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Greenknowe from Ivanhoe, Victoria Australia on Friday, October 31, 2008
When a comedic novel is first published in 1889, you’d expect by now that the jokes would, well, date a bit. Like the cartoons from Dickensian newspapers and Shakespearean comedies, where you can’t exactly work out what the joke is (although in Shakespeare the joke is usually a man in a dress. Hilarious.)

Perhaps the longevity of the humour in Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) has to do with its honesty about travel (flowing on rather nicely from The Art of Travel) and people. As the author says in his preface, George, Harris and Montmorency (the dog) “are not poetic ideals but things of flesh and blood – especially George, who weighs about twelve stone.” And of course, what we really want to hear about other people’s travels are the bits that went wrong. And preferably involve someone showing off and being shown up.

Upon publication Three Men in a Boat was snatched up lovingly by the general public and derided by the critics as being vulgar and written for the "‘Arrys and ‘Arriets" (kind of the Kath and Kels of the time). Probably a good sign.

The story begins as the author and his two friends George and Harris are sitting around with their pipes, and discussing their general malaise (the author, on perusal of a medical dictionary, has discovered he suffers from every disease known to man, except Housemaid’s Knee: “I felt rather hurt at this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight. Why hadn’t I got housemaid’s knee? Why this invidious reservation?”). They conclude that what they need is to get away from it all, and a boating trip up the Thames from Kingston to Oxford is planned.

Read the rest at

Journal Entry 2 by Greenknowe at Parkville, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (11/5/2008 UTC) at Parkville, Victoria Australia



Sending across to Nils!

Journal Entry 3 by ukcanaus from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Safely arrived today (via the perilous pathway known as internal mail). This will be next on my To Read list - thanks, Greenknowe!

Journal Entry 4 by ukcanaus from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, December 02, 2008
This book was a very easy read. I read it on the train and found myself laughing (aloud), at the perspectives and antics of the Three Men, and the dog too. I loved the tone, sarcasm and anecdotes as the three men travelled, in particular The Cheese Story, and the allegorical Lumber in Life (p26-7). I also enjoyed the historical information as particular points were passed in the journey (I travelled by boat on the Thames years ago; I wish I had read this book beforehand to appreciate that trip even more. Well, just an excuse to do the trip again!).

I was pleasantly surprised by seeing a quote "I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours" in this book (which is a favourite!). One sore point: I was saddened to see a reference to an African person brought against their will (p60), but given the times in which it was written and what was considered normal language, I suppose it could be expected.

This book will be sent to its next reader this afternoon. Thanks for sharing, Greenknowe.

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