>Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
The book begins with the narrator, J and two of his friends, sitting at home tired of their dull lives. They need a break, not just to have fun, but to get rid of the chronic case of hypochondria that they seem to have! Eventually, they decide to go boating on the Thames. The three men(who are, incidentally, all terrible boatmen) pack their supplies and pile into a skiff, along with J.’s hurricane of a dog, Montmorency and set off on the two-week long trip. Little do they know how disastrous it is going to be!!
‘Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)’ was published in 1889. It is written by English writer Jerome K. Jerome. It was originally supposed to be a travel guide, but ended up being a humorous account! But the book does have long travelogue-ish descriptions of the history, nature along the journey from Kingston to Oxford. They may be slightly boring for the non-nature and history-loving readers, but these descriptions too have that hint of sarcasm in them! Along the journey, the writer adds different amusing incidents and stories from his memories; without straying from the main plot! Not to mention, there are these little comical ‘blurbs’ at the beginning of every chapter, that give us a Cliff notes version of what happens next! This is a book that makes you ‘Laugh Out Loud’!
I see that I have said nothing of the dog! According to the author, “Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs are.” And Montmorency is truly a ‘terror’ in that respect – along the journey – he almost fights with a tom cat, also with a kettle (but unfortunately, loses) and in Oxford he gets into 25 fights!
This delightfully whimsical book has a quintessentially British air to it. The book has perfectly captured the Victorian era and all its stereotypes! Today, ages later, the humour still doesn’t seem stale. To all the P.G Wodehouse, Terry Pratchett fans out there, and to anyone in search of a good laugh: this book is for you!!