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Three Men on the Bummel
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Three Men on the Bummel

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,453 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Conceived as a fairly serious guide to amateur boating on the Thames in 1889, Jerome K. Jerome's best-known novel ended up as a hilarious account of the misadventures of three friends and a dog as they attempt to relax and enjoy themselves amid unreliable weather forecasts, imaginary illnesses, repellent cooking, and an unopenable can of pineapple chunks.Three Men in a Boa...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 17th 1983 by Penguin Books (first published 1900)
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Community Reviews

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Henry Avila
I miss the dog!This sequel, to Three Men in a Boat.Lacks his presence.Where is Montmorency ?Three Men on the Bummel(stroll).Has our friends, a decade later.Older, not wiser.Fatter,richer, but still eager. To get away, again.From dear old England.A pleasant bicycle trip,around Germany.They plan.Particularly, The Black Forest.J. and Harris are married.Their wives, show no disinclination,to the idea .In fact,they secretly welcome it.A pleasurable break,a vacation,too.For the spouses and children, o...more
Riku Sayuj

The Bummel provides too few laughs in comparison to The Boat (say one laugh for every ten pages, instead of ten laughs for every page).

Besides, the linear narrative does not agree with the three men. Yes, the anecdotes were missed (to say nothing of the dog).
In this book we revisit the old friends introduced in Three Men in a Boat (minus the dog, unfortunately). They are much older and married now - J. and Harris that is, George is still a bachelor. The three men decided they need a change in their lives yet again. This time they go on a bicycle trip in Germany's Black Forest; hilarity ensures.

The novel failed to repeat the charm and the humor of the first one. People familiar with Three Men in a Boat remember the constant change of subject by the n...more
As a followup to the more brilliant Three Men on a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), Jerome K. Jerome's three dimwitted Englishmen go on a bike trip to Germany, and silliness ensues. The author reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld, able to see absurdity in everyday life. Never mind that it was written in 1900; his comments on bicycling, Germans, marriage, and tourism remain true, and make one want to call up friends and force them to listen to you read the best bits aloud.

For example, when one fellow...more
May 28, 2010 Praj rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: jkj
"A 'Bummel'," I explained, "I should describe as a journey, long or short, without an end; the only thing regulating it being the necessity of getting back within a given time to the point from which one started…... But long or short, but here or there, our thoughts are ever on the running of the sand…… We have been much interested, and often a little tired. But on the whole we have had a pleasant time, and are sorry when 'tis over."

This closing passage sums up my precise sentiments for this boo...more
Highly enjoyable and very funny (especially if you are a history geek) comic novel that satirises beautifully the Edwardian craze for cycling as well as giving a fascinating insight into how the English viewed the new young state of Germany. The book is really a series of sketches and observations, some like the throwing things at cats and the German attitude to grass are laugh out loud moments, others strike you as wry and strangely modern observations on such things as young children's habit o...more
Sairam Krishnan
Hilarious. Rip-roaringly hilarious. Had been meaning to read this one after 'Three Men and a Boat', but only now have I managed to do it.

Granted, the original is drop-dead funny, but this one doesn't disappoint either. My landlord must have been pretty concerned with my quite frequent outbursts of laughter today! Jerome K. Jerome is a master at that old favorite - pompous British prose, through the lens of which even normal everyday events seem alarmingly funny.

George and Harris are their usual...more
This sequel to Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) is almost as entertaining as the original. The first-person narration is filled with deadpan humor at the expense of the three Victorian slackers as they take a bike tour of Germany. The three men also give a humorous/exaggerated British perspective on the German people and culture.

The final chapter on German culture was meant to be humorous, but I actually found it to be a bit chilling. In it, the narrator ponders the German willing...more
Oh my god, I had to stop laughing to be able to breathe! Wonderful humour!
Although less popular than Three Men on a Boat (which is known to at least 40 people), Bummel is much much better. More compact and less rambling, it actually seemed more like a travelogue instead of a stream of consciousness rendering of Jerome Jerome's mind. Portions were laugh-out-loud funny, and the slow bits were fewer and further between than Boat. Gun to my head, if I had to recommend one to read to say you've read it, go for Boat... but if I had to recommend one to read because it's more...more
Nov 13, 2009 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to John by: Lonely Planet Germany
This was, for the most part, a witty and hilarious light read. I haven't read anything as funny for some time. It was full of stereotypes of the British, the Germans, the Americans, the French, and anybody else they could think of, but it was all in good fun.

The last two chapters were more serious, and oddly prescient given that World War I broke out little more than a decade after it was written.
Pete daPixie
The write up states that 'Three Men on the Bummel' appeared in 1900 and tells of a hilarious cycling tour through Germany's Black Forest. I'm not too sure of the 'hilarious'. Didn't enjoy this as much as 'Three Men in a Boat'. Perhaps I am developing curmudgeon tendencies!
Hilarious at times, a very gentle, a very civilised read indeed. More English than the soggy tweed or a public school toady, a pint of lager or a Sunday roast.
I read this as an e-book on my computer at work, during breaks of course! It's a good job I am alone most of the time as it made me laugh out loud.
laugh. laugh. laugh. until your stomach hurts. and then even more.

When the three friends decide to go on a journey on their own (plus a dog) a huge bag of jokes comes in addition to the unforgettable memories they create. It's not only the hilarious sense of humor (which is the reason I adore this author) but also the way he makes you believe what's happening is absolutely normal and you're absolutely not crazy to laugh at the ridiculous situations the main characters get in.

I recommend this boo...more
Karan Gupta
After Dostoyevsky's "House Of The Dead" I could definitely do with something lighter. I picked up this book that had been gifted to me on my last visit home. The book contains two of Jerome K. Jerome's work : "Three Men On A Boat" and "Three Men On The Bummel". I has read the former earlier and had postponed the latter for a later date. Jerome's writing was witty and humorous. So I picked up "Three Men On The Bummel" with similar expectations.
I was not really far off. Jerome was as witty as I re...more
Daiana Damacus
How do you convince your wife to let you go on a trip with just your best mates? Jerome K Jerome seems to have found the answer in the sequel to his hilarious novel Three Men in a Boat. “We need to find a place where a delicate woman and a well-raised child couldn’t live under any circumstances; a country with bad hotels and sloppy roads, where we’ll be forced to sleep in a different place each night, earn a bed and maybe starve a little.”

The success of Three Men in a Boat, which is an honest st...more

Like everyone I feel too that laughs were missing when compared to its prequel. I was really snoozing in the first part. This is more of a travel guide than a comedy and was little longer to start until J. started getting into his well appreciated anecdotes as he would drift off off the story and narrates something that happened earlier. With others it would often be difficult to look through what was past and what was present but Jerome's narrative style will never lets you feel dubious about

Hákon Gunnarsson
Three Men on the Bummel is a sequel to one of my favorite comic novels, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), so of course I had to read it. It is about the same three friends, Jerome, George and Harris who this time around take a cycling trip to Germany. The one main character from Boat that is missing here is the dog Montmorency.

The style of the two is very similar, a collection of sketches that are connected together and all take place on the trip. And there are some truly funny s...more
Patrick Neylan
The barely-known sequel to the classic Three Men in a Boat isn't a bad book. Jerome's humour is intact, but it lacks the impact of the earlier work and the unifying theme of the river. Jerome's descriptions of pre-WWI Germany and the Germans conform roughly to the stereotypes, but the teasing is gentle and it is the vanity and faintly absurd attitudes of the Englishmen that invite ridicule.

It's a pleasant description of the English upper-middle classes of a bygone age, with plenty of deliberate...more
Jason Mills
Jun 21, 2013 Jason Mills rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Forgiving fans of "Three Men in a Boat"
This sequel to Three Men in a Boat only sporadically achieves the joy of its progenitor. The narrator and his pals George and Harris (he says nothing of the dog) polish up their bicycles and go a-roaming through the Black Forest in Germany. Naturally they get into scrapes and adventures, and these are sometimes very funny. Here, gentle fun is poked at the Germans' horror of stepping on the grass:
In a German park I have seen a gardener step gingerly with felt boots on to grass-plot, and removing
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in January 2001.

The sequel to Three Men in a Boatt was written over a decade later, and Jerome begins with his characters aged an appropriate amount, two of them married with children. "J", George and Harris decide they want a break from London, and so set out on a bicycle tour of the Black Forest. They choose a suitably roundabout route to get there, via Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden, and have several reasonably amusing adventures. (A bummel, by the way, is an...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
Explaining why Three Men on the Bummel is a disappointment is as much about explaining why Three Men in a Boat was a classic. The latter is a marvelous mix of satire and situation/character comedy mixed with a dash of not-to-heady moralization all set against a trip down the Thames by boat. Not only is the book hilariously funny and mildly intellectually stimulating, it is also a wonderful snapshot of the late Victorian era as seen by one of its own, and all with the air of thoughtless innocence...more
Lesser-remembered sort-of sequel to Three Men In a Boat, and I can see why its predecessor gets remembered and this one doesn't so much.

There are still good bits throughout (there's a bit about how difficult it is to sleep in late as a guest in a house with young kids that's forever true that Og the caveman would have nodded at sagely once you translated it into cave pictographs and got past difficult concepts like croquet and beds and whatnot), but overall it's simply a lesser work. Less of the...more
Lorenzo Berardi
This is the zenith, the summit, the highest peak reached by a certain kind of British humour I like.
Those who are keen of PG Wodehouse may object a couple of things to this remark and probably they have their point: the thing is that I never read anything by Wodehouse (by the way: from which book should I start?).

There are moments of this German bummel or escapade in which Jerome is simply impossible to stand any further. I daresay it's not legal, being that funny, sharp and witty. One...more
Maria Thermann
It's light hearted fun and a perfect read on a lazy afternoon while contemplating where to go on holiday next. Naturally, I love the bit in the book about their experience in the alpine regions best, given my nationality and the fact that Northerners in Germany view their Southern counterparts with the same benevolent malice as people do in the UK.

Jerome K Jerome's exploits about three friends who escape their respective families to have perhaps one last flutter of freedom before middleage claim...more
Jayne Charles
I read this while on holiday in the Black Forest, the very destination of the novel. I was desperately hoping some of the destinations we visited would be mentioned, as it would have been fascinating to 'see' them as they were a hundred years ago. Unfortunately I was disappointed on this score. Otherwise, the humour I remembered from Three Men in a Boat was still there - the early account of the bicycle being dismantled, and the long story about the boat, were excellent, as was the section about...more
Richard Magahiz
Feb 16, 2013 Richard Magahiz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: enthusiasts for English humour
Half of my enjoyment came from the reading by Peter Yearsley available in the public domain over at Librivox, who somehow never lets the interest flag, even when the author is expounding on the the most routine of subjects. The best parts feature the comic byplay between the three companions but this is only about half of the text, which is given over to probing observations of German national characteristics circa 1900. Now and then a modern reader may receive an odd ghostly feeling when someth...more
Where is Montmorency ?

Jerome K. Jerome’s first book „Three Men in a Boat“ has been called „the most harmless book ever written“ and as far as harmlessness is concerned the sequel isn’t far behind (apart from the ominous last chapter on the Germans‘ blind obedience to authority), yet it lacks the freshness and innocence of its predecessor.

„Three Men in a Boat“ was truly original, charming, gentle, atmospheric and funny in a very sweet way and though in „Three Men on the Bummel“ Jerome tries to fo...more
Having toured extensively by tandem I can only concur with all comments about what it is like to ride in close proximity for days through the country side this way, on a bummel. I cannot swear to what prewar Germany was like but Mr. Jerome tells all the details with the quirks of a British tourist in a foreign land. They struggle with wayward bikes, aching rear ends, and the German character in 1900.
This book is told with a delightful look at the travails of cyclotouring amid short discursive vi...more
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Laughing very loudly in lots of public places 1 10 Jun 02, 2014 03:06PM  
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Jerome Klapka Jerome (May 2, 1859 – June 14, 1927) was an English author, best known for the humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat.


More about Jerome K. Jerome...
Three Men in a Boat Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow Novel Notes Diary of a Pilgrimage

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“I also think pronunciation of a foreign tongue could be better taught than by demanding from the pupil those internal acrobatic feats that are generally impossible and always useless. This is the sort of instruction one recieves: 'Press your tonsils against the underside of your larynx. Then with the convex part of the septum curved upwards so as almostbut not quiteto touch the uvula try with the tip of your tongue to reach your thyroid. Take a deep breath and compress your glottis. Now without opening your lips say "Garoo".' And when you have done it they are not satisfied.” 8 likes
“A 'Bummel', I explained, I should describe as a journey, long or
short, without an end; the only thing regulating it being the necessity
of getting back within a given time to the point from which one started.
Sometimes it is through busy streets, and sometimes through the fields
and lanes; sometimes we can be spared for a few hours, and sometimes for
a few days. But long or short, but here or there, our thoughts are ever
on the running of the sand. We nod and smile to many as we pass; with
some we stop and talk awhile; and with a few we walk a little way. We
have been much interested, and often a little tired. But on the whole we
have had a pleasant time, and are sorry when 'tis over.”
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