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Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel (Three Men #1-2)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,440 Ratings  ·  213 Reviews
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 Montmo ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 25th 1999 by Penguin Classics (first published 1889)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 06, 2013 Mmars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are feeling nostalgic for the good old days of say, Charlie Chaplin - only British and not American, like pre-Titanic and pre-WWI, when if one were lucky enough to be well off enough not to work and not forced to grow up before the age of say, twenty-five, then this book may fit the bill.

It's not something I would have picked up on my own, but for these pages only. I started this as a free Kindle book but felt like I was missing something reading it that way. And was I ever. I picked up
Jan 23, 2008 Adam marked it as to-read
This is heralded as one of the classics of English literature in Turkmen textbooks. Turkmen children will ask you if you've heard of it, they'll write essays about how they like to read it (baldfaced lies), and some will be genuinely confused if you don't list Jerome K. Jerome as one of your favorite authors. All this in spite of the fact that not only has no one in Turkmenistan ever read Three Men in a Boat, virtually no one in the entire English-speaking world has either. At some point a Sovie ...more
Althea Ann
Apr 06, 2016 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since this book was an influence on Connie Willis' fabulous and funny novel (, I figured I should read it and see what she was getting at.
It's a short, comic Victorian novel. The humor is based on the fact that none of the events of the book are of any importance whatsoever, but that the narrator makes every little thing out to be practically an incident from a heroic epic.
It's very short, and it is funny - but I think it's good that it's short, because I
Kyriakos Sorokkou
Three Men in a Boat
Jerome's simple [humorous] tale of a journey up the river Thames is complicated by his off to record historical events, by his excursions into the by-paths of memory, and, principally, by anecdotes: stories embedded in the main narrative that occasionally belong to another genre [...] written in a different style [...] Specks of funny moments, Tons of anecdotes, Slow-paced many times, it didn't live up to my expectations but it was a fine story, although I got tired from many
Jamie Collins
Feb 24, 2010 Jamie Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, classics
I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's laugh-out-loud funny in many spots.

Apparently Jerome had intended to write "The Story of the Thames", its scenery and history, with some "humorous relief", but the humor took over the book. (He had just returned from his honeymoon and "had the feeling that all the world's troubles were over".)

So it turned out to be mostly a set of funny stories about the three men (to say nothing of the dog) and their adventures on the Thames and other bodies of water. There is th
Dec 03, 2012 Gary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Three Men in a Boat regularly had me looking away from the book, laying back in bed, and laughing uncontrollably. It's full of moments shared between the author and reader, where both are in on a joke in which the characters are blissfully unaware they are playing a part.

At times Jerome produces some magical scenes which are deeply touching and emotional, all the more so for being closely bound to fine humour. Although very easy to read, I would not say this was mere fluff. The world is a little
Jun 12, 2009 Natlyn rated it liked it
I read Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog because I was going to read Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog and wanted to know what the relation was. Three Men … is the story of three friends and a dog on a boat trip up the Thames from Kingston to Oxford, To Say Nothing … incorporates a boat trip up the Thames made by three men and a dog and dwells on the same types of small annoyances of boating and any endeavor (such as packing) and uses the same tone of muddling through with u ...more
Tom Hodgkinson
Nov 29, 2012 Tom Hodgkinson rated it it was amazing
Still laugh-out-loud funny after all these years. The central joke is the way our attempts to create idyllic situations seem doomed to fail. A group of us had great fun discussing this book at the first Idler Book Club. Jerome was the editor of The Idler magazine during the Edwardian era and also wrote many essays on idleness, collected in Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow and Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow.
Jan 28, 2008 Maggie rated it really liked it
I am amazed by how fresh and vibrant these works still read. Three Men in a Boat is essentially some of the cast of The Office, trying to have fun on a vacation on the river. Three Men on the Bummel consists of the same trio trying to find rest and relaxation away from their families on a bike trip in Germany. If you are newly married, you will find this extra hilarious.
The Cat
Dec 17, 2012 The Cat rated it it was amazing
What can I say about this book. It is the funniest, best written comedy book ever to have been written. Sadly it makes all comedic writers, myself included, sound forced, clumsy and gauché.

Happily there has never ever been a film adaption that was anywhere approaching the quality of the writing and all have failed to reproduce the gentle mocking humour.

This book is a must read, it is more important that you read this book than any other one you could think of especially if you happen to like Eng
Dec 31, 2010 Raj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, humour
Three young men are ruminating together on their various imagined illnesses and how much they need a holiday. Together with the dog, Montmorency, they hire a boat and travel up the Thames from London to Oxford and hilarity, as they say, ensues.

I found this to be a delightful book, very easy to read, picturesque and hardly dated in the language and humour. While I was reading it, I found it quite striking how it intersperses the comic antics of the protagonists with beautiful descriptions of the
Kressel Housman
Feb 09, 2011 Kressel Housman rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
In many ways, these two books are the literary equivalent of the sitcom "Seinfeld" - comedies about "nothing." But instead of three guys and an ex-girlfriend going through the antics of daily life in Manhattan, the first is about three Englishmen and a dog going through ridiculous antics while rowboating up the Thames, and the second (written and taking place some ten years later) is about the same three men on a bicycle trip in the Black Forest of Germany. Written in late Victorian England, the ...more
Apr 30, 2016 Thekelburrows rated it it was amazing
A heck of a lot of fun for anyone who is willing to skim past the very 1890s attitudes toward social politics.


“It always does seem to me that I am doing more work than I should do. It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.

You cannot give me too much work; to accumulate work has almost become a passion with me: my study is so full of it now, tha
Jun 17, 2015 Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, classici-moderni, uk
Tre uomini in barca finito il 20.10.2008
A metà tra guida di viaggio e diario umoristico, Tre uomini in barca rientra pienamente nella più gloriosa tradizione di letteratura umoristica britannica (alla quale appartiene anche Wodehouse). Tre baldi giovani, poco avvezzi al lavoro e leggermente tendenti all'ipocondria, decidono di guarire i loro mali per mezzo di una corroborante gita in barca di due settimane. Questo dà la stura a una serie di aneddoti (alcuni accaduti durante il viaggio, altri ric
Jul 06, 2009 Alicia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Americans who lived in England and Germany
Recommended to Alicia by: Marilyn from Meridian's book club
What a fun read! THis book follows 3 men over 100 years ago who decide to take a boat ride down the Thames River. The second book follows the same men 10 years later on a bike trip through the Black Forest of Germany. Since we lived in both of these places, I found Jerome's descriptions hilarious. The story was simple but was full of tangents ("That reminded me of the time that ...")and insights on life.

Here's a long quote I liked from chapter 3: "George said: "You know we are on a wrong track
Kārlis Žaka
Feb 28, 2012 Kārlis Žaka rated it really liked it
Džeroms K. Džeroms ir angļu rakstnieks un humorists, kurš vislabāk ir pazīstams ar savu humoristisko noveli „Trīs vīri laivā”. Šīs grāmatas notikumi norisinās Lielbritānijā, precīzāk, uz Temzas ceļā no Londonas uz Oksfordu aptuveni 19.gadsimtā. Šī grāmata stāsta par 3 vīru atvaļinājumu, kurā viņi izvēlējās braukt, lai būtu kāda novirze no viņu ikdienišķajām dzīvēm. Šajā grāmatā ir 4 tēli: 3 vīri- Džordžs, Džeroms un Hariss - un Džeroma suns Montmorensijs.
Grāmatas sižets ar dažādu smieklīgu atgad
Oct 24, 2009 Clint rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this book started off hilarious on the very first page and never let up. It's only about 150 pages long, but the consistent level of hilarity in itself is still remarkable. The very basic story is just 3 guys and dog who decide to take a constitutional river cruise for a couple of weeks in a small boat. Most of the book is made of digressions, something happened that will remind the narrator, known only as J., of something a friend once told him, or something that happened to him once, whic ...more
Kavya Chilukuri
Dec 14, 2014 Kavya Chilukuri rated it really liked it
There is such natural comedy in this book that it makes you laugh out loud (even when in public, much to my embarrassment!).
There is nothing forceful or overdone about his humor. Jerome K. Jerome takes up some mundane events and adds to them some seriously hilarious angles (pun intended).
You sometimes relate to the situations he describes, but are struck by the way he describes it. This book speaks volumes of his wit.

3 Men in a Boat describes the journey of 3 British men up the river Thames on
Aug 24, 2015 Carly rated it liked it
This book was quite humorous and made me laugh out loud. The problem was that in between the funny parts were drawn out, boring parts. Also the book seemed to end very abruptly.
Wayne S.
Apr 10, 2016 Wayne S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in eighth and ninth grades, our Latin teacher, Mrs. Ruth Mackey, wrote a different aphorism on the blackboard every day. One that has always stuck with me is “I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours,” attributed to Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927). I was recently surprised to learn that this quote is taken from a book by Jerome, Three Men in a Boat, published in 1889. Three middle-class Victorian friends, J. the narrator, George, and Harris, all young and single, ...more
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three Men in a Boat:-

One of the most hilarious books one could find. The title mentioned here is incomplete, the real title is "Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing About the Dog".

The three friends start off on a boating trip for pleasure, and it is hilarious from the beginning. Packing, setting off, towing, locks, cooking, and anecdotes galore.

Friday, September 12, 2008.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it
Three Men in a Boat:-

One of the most hilarious books one could find. The title mentioned here is incomplete, the real title is "Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing About the Dog".

The three friends start off on a boating trip for pleasure, and it is hilarious from the beginning. Packing, setting off, towing, locks, cooking, and anecdotes galore.

Friday, September 12, 2008.
Nov 10, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
I love this kind of humor. It's a rare author who can make me laugh out loud, sitting alone in my bed with a book. Jerome does it with almost every chapter. I also enjoyed recognizing places I have been, along the Thames. I have friends in Reading, one of whom lived in Sonning, a quaint little village the three men visited which seems not to have changed much since "Boat" was written.

There were many favorite passages, but the one that made me so hysterical I alarmed and offended my cat was at th
Jun 03, 2014 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Three Men In A Boat - There is a reason this is a classic. It's not just that it's hilarious, although it is. It's the way that you know people like George, Harris and J, and everyone's had disasters just like theirs.

The other interesting thing is that you don't feel like you're reading something set more than a hundred years ago. It's just the occasional mention of things like steam launches that make you remember it.

This is awesome.

Three Men On The Bummel - I can see why Jerome didn't write a
Dec 28, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
Recommended to Jessica by: Ah-Choo!: The Uncommon Life of Your common Cold by Jennifer Ackeman
Shelves: fiction
Pretty inconsistent writing and rather outdated ranting make these slow reads, at best. While both books did have a few funny moments, it's a lot of wading to get there.

Boat starts out bogged down in background and trip prep and quickly moves to over-describing the banks of the river. When things are focused on the guys and their buffoonery or a little story aside occurs, the story becomes quite fun.

Bummel starts out much better, and has many more, and funnier, anecdotes than Boat. It does get
Jul 28, 2015 Juniper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, humor, britain
I truly love this book. It's one of my "classics" : it's among the ones I turn to when I don't know what to read next, and it's always a pleasure to read it one more time. No matter how many times I read it in my whole life, I bet this story will always make me laugh.
Mar 01, 2015 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by a friend years ago. The actual title is Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog). Connie Willis, the science fiction writer, actually appropriated the second half of the title for one of her books. Written in the 1880's, the book can still be found today. That alone is a recommendation. The beginning line is "There were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency." Montmorency is the name of the dog. The three humans decid ...more
Jul 09, 2010 David rated it did not like it
I accept the fact that I am obviously a fascist, an anti British slug, or just plain stupid. I tried for over 9 days to read this book and only got to page 123 before I buried it in the back yard.
My wife thought it was wonderfully funny: I thought it was just a waste of time and not funny.
What I did enjoy greatly is the Introduction.
Enough said.

Not a good read.
May 19, 2011 DoctorM rated it it was amazing
"Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)"...simply put, one of the great comic gems of the last century and a half. (There's a late-'70s film version with Tim Curry and Michael Palin--- go find!) Witty, clever, hilarious, a bit melancholy. In the tradition of "Tristram Shandy" more than Wilde. A major favourite--- and a very well-done send up of travel lit. Highly recommended.
May 13, 2016 Feliks rated it liked it
Shelves: classic-brit
Brit humor very much in the style of Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, and Stephen Frye. Except, sometimes very much not. Turn to any of those comic talents to see this brand of humor actually made serviceable and workable. In this book, it is often 'a slog'.

A very mixed bag of writing. The tone and voice are extremely low-key and dry; underplayed; but to the point where the tale bogs down. The author has a bent to pedantry which he has trouble restraining. This is not short, sharp, or spry shots of
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Three Men (3 books)
  • Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1)
  • Three Men on the Bummel

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