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Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel
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Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,874 ratings  ·  179 reviews
When J. the narrator, George, Harris and Montmorency the dog set off on their hilarious misadventures, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts, imaginary illnesses, butter pats and tins of pineapple chunks. Denounced as vulgar by the literary establishment, Three Men in a Boat nevertheless caught the spirit of the ti ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1889)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Adam
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
Mmars
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
...more
Natlyn
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
Jamie
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
...more
Gary
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
...more
Tom Hodgkinson
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.
Maggie
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.
Raj
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
...more
Kressel Housman
Feb 09, 2011 Kressel Housman rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
The Cat
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
...more
Roberta
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
...more
Alicia
Jul 06, 2009 Alicia rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...more
Kārlis Žaka
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
...more
Clint
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
Diane
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
...more
Claudia
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
...more
David
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.
DoctorM
"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 it...now!) 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.
Mike Clarke
The perfect holiday read - tales of laziness and inconsequentiality on the banks of the Thames and the Schwarzenwalde of Bavaria. J, the narrator, and his fellow travellers George and Harris, get into scrapes, fool about, but nothing bad ever happens and they're usually finished by the time the kettle's boiled.

Jerome feels like a modern writer. Although inspired in his career by a chance meeting with Charles Dickens when he was a boy, they are worlds apart stylistically, morally and in the world
...more
Jessica Sirotin
When I lived in Russia I took to checking the shelves in every apartment I visited, and invariably (or at least 9 times out of 10) I was successful. I'm not sure why but there it is.

There is a gentle humour in Three Men in a Boat that is well sustained throughout the novel. It's not the rollicking silliness of PG Wodehouse but a pervasive sense of the ridiculous that leads to thoughts that time spent with these young men would be very fun indeed.

Three Men on a Bummel is a bit more grim only beca
...more
Elisabeth Winkler
Published in 1889, Three Men in the Boat, was a hit from the start.

I love Jerome K. Jerome because he gently mocks human folly in an hilarious way.

You know when you find someone attractive and it increases when you find you share similar values? Well, I recently learned Jerome K. Jerome hated poverty and oppression. “His early political instinct was radical socialist” and he later joined the Fabian Society, according to the editor of my 1998 edition, Geoffrey Harvey.

Thank you, Geoffrey Harvey,
...more
Rachel Noffke
My dad says he can always tell when I'm reading this book because I'll just be sitting there chuckling. Something about British humor just gets me. It reminds me of the three stooges.
Serendipity Reviews
Now I know this is a worldwide classic that has been published many many times over the years and is loved by a wide majority, but it didn't really do a lot for me. I found it funny and entertaining to begin with, but then I found myself getting bored with it and to be honest I struggled helplessly to the end. I felt like an untrained marathon runner, crawling to the end of a very long race.
The book follows the adventures of three men and a dog as they travel along the River Thames by rowing bo
...more
Beth
I'm thinking that humor really is universal and that I finally have a legitimate reason to use the texting acronym, LOL! I guess my third thought is that I need to own this book. Jerome K. Jerome was born in 1859; Three Men in a Boat was published in 1889, and Three Men on the Bummel followed in 1900. I have to assume the author and narrating character in these works, "J," as he refers to himself, was neither well-to-do nor impoverished. He and his two friends, George and Harris, and, for that m ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in November 2000.

Three Men in a Boat may be one of the best known classics of English language humour, but bits of it have dated quite seriously. The novel tells the story of a short holiday taken by three bachelors (and a dog), rowing a boat up the Thames from Kingston to Oxford and is part commentary on the ludicrous misadventures which are part of the trip and part parody of Victorian travelogues. It is the second aspect which has dated; modern travel writ
...more
Beth
This is one of those books that made me laugh out loud, repeatedly, throughout the story. Jerome K. Jerome's writing style is not only humorous and detailed, but still spot on regarding human quirks and opinions 125 years after the story was first written. I still can't believe that I had not heard of this book before...it is its own kind of masterpiece!

Favorite Quotes:

"I called for the cheeses, and took them away in a cab. It was a ramshackle affair, dragged along by a knock kneed, broken-winde
...more
Aathavan
This is an edition with two books and these are my thoughts on the first in the sequel - Three Men on the Boat. The book was meant to be a travelogue punctuated by anecdotes involving the author and his cousins as they row down the Thames. With the editors having thrown out the majority of the 'travelogue' sections, what remains is a series of anecdotes that are for the most part well connected. Numerous anecdotes are memorable - especially the ones on the packing of hampers for the trip, the ma ...more
Spiros
Jul 25, 2008 Spiros rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of humor featuring "silly asses"
In his latest book Peter Ackroyd cites THREE MEN IN BOAT at least half a dozen times. This, and a hazy recollection of a Peter Lovesey Sgt. Cribb mystery based on Jerome's book, piqued my curiosity. Having just spent the past week pretty much "on the bummel" myself, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the comic adventures of Harris, George, and J, our narrator, to say nothing of Montmorency, the dog; Montmorency being replaced in the second narrative by Mrs. J results in no loss to the humor.
The writin
...more
Carol C
What a constantly funny book! The narrator and his boatmates have many opportunities for funny observations of each other and strangers encountered on their journey also some very nice poetic moments. Three Men on the Bummel is a bit less funny than In a Boat, but also contains very prophetic observations concerning the German people/government. His description of children waking early is a riot. After reading a few parts of the book(s) to my sons, one said, "I didn't know that they liked funny ...more
Christopher Roth
Why had no one ever told me about this book before? I grabbed it on a whim last year while in China when we found a much-welcome English-books store in Shanghai. I knew nothing about it. But it is absolutely hilarious. It has all the elements of British humor and wit that I like best. Like Stephen Leacock, it is proto-Pythonesque, and it has a kind of Tristram Shandy joyous unstructured randomness about it. At the same time, it is steeped in Victorian gentility—or in lower-middle bristling again ...more
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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.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_K...

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

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