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Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
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Aug 19, 2012

it was amazing

By Jerome K Jerome. Grade A+
I have never laughed till tears have started rolling, or maybe stomach starts aching, but by God this novel brought me close, too close. There is only one reason one can hate it, and that is if the person does not like humor or came looking for a serious read. This book has a British air about it, it smells British, so anyone who is incompatible with the trademark dry, in your face British humor, steer clear of it.
“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.”
The humor rings true because of its relevance, but the beauty of the novel resides in its style, in the meandering way it is written, as if to match the meandering way in which people think. There is nothing much to write about the book, but then there is nothing much to write about any humorous novel. But let me try to get this review straight.
“Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.”
I am inching closer to my idea of a respectable length, so let’s talk about the book. It is about three friends who decide to go on a cruise in their own boat to get away from the humdrum of life. It talks about the places they visit and the things that go wrong (quite inevitably considering it’s a comedy). The book was originally meant to be a serious travel guide, something that we were thankfully spared of and got this charmer of a novel. The author says that he did not know that he was funny, it was only during the course of this novel that he discovered so. This novel written during the Victorian times was obviously trashed by critics, some being paranoid to the extent that they called it a conspiracy against the Crown and others thinking that this novel has suspicious tendencies to form a new class of comedy. The novel nonetheless succeeded and was a commercial hit. This is undoubtedly the funniest novel I have read, rest in peace Bill Bryson who held this position for long. The thing that separated it from commonplace C.B. humor is the depth of all the innate facts and truth in it, the feeling of being in the situation before, the ability of the author to look through a funny lens. The author rarely tries to be funny, but it is the uncanny situations that always have you rolling on the floor.
“I can’t sit still and see another man slaving and working. I want to get up and superintend, and walk round with my hands in my pockets, and tell him what to do. It is my energetic nature. I can’t help it.”
Read this book and laugh, and remember no situation is dull, or too serious, all you need is a funny lens!

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