Richard Magahiz's Reviews > Three Men on the Bummel

Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome
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's review
Mar 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ebook, audiobook, read-in-2013
Recommended for: enthusiasts for English humour
Read from February 11 to 16, 2013 , read count: 1

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 something in the story happens to remind one of the bloody cataclysm between the British and German nations fifteen years later, but that is inadvertent. It is a time of peace and serenity at the turn of the century with signs of the modern world starting to displace social customs which have been in place for hundreds of years, fertile ground for the work of a sharp humorist.
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Quotes Richard Liked

Jerome K. Jerome
“Believe me, a highly strung brain such as yours demands occasional relaxation from the strain of domestic surroundings. Forget for a little while that children want music lessons, and boots, and bicycles, with tincture of rhubarb three times a day; forget there are such things in life as cooks, and house decorators, and next-door dogs, and butchers’ bills. Go away to some green corner of the earth, where all is new and strange to you, where your over-wrought mind will gather peace and fresh ideas. Go away for a space and give me time to miss you, and to reflect upon your goodness and virtue, which, continually present with me, I may, human-like, be apt to forget, as one, through use, grows indifferent to the blessing of the sun and the beauty of the moon. Go away, and come back refreshed in mind and body, a brighter, better man—if that be possible—than when you went away.”
Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on the Bummel
tags: humor

Jerome K. Jerome
“Occasionally the poster pictures a pair of cyclists; and then one grasps the fact how much superior for purposes of flirtation is the modern bicycle to the old-fashioned parlour or the played-out garden gate. He and she mount their bicycles, being careful, of course, that such are of the right make. After that they have nothing to think about but the old sweet tale. Down shady lanes, through busy towns on market days, merrily roll the wheels of the “Bermondsey Company’s Bottom Bracket Britain’s Best,” or of the “Camberwell Company’s Jointless Eureka.” They need no pedalling; they require no guiding. Give them their heads, and tell them what time you want to get home, and that is all they ask. While Edwin leans from his saddle to whisper the dear old nothings in Angelina’s ear, while Angelina’s face, to hide its blushes, is turned towards the horizon at the back, the magic bicycles pursue their even course.”
Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on the Bummel

Reading Progress

28.0% "Tickles my sense of humor just right. No one is exempt from the ridicule, and I have yet to encounter any of the purple prose that you'll find in the earlier work."
42.0% "There was a little of that flowery language a couple of chapters back after all, but less than I expected. I spent a while looking up what the meaning of the term "screw-hammer" might be and came to the conclusion that this tool for bicyclists is neither a screwdriver nor a hammer but something like an adjustable wrench of Victorian times."
71.0% "I thought the cycling would be more in the foreground, but it is like the earlier work in this respect which had only a few scenes concerned with the goings-on on the boat"

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