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Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Review of Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome is a book that details the week-long journey of the title characters down the River Thames from London to Oxford and back.  Along the way, all four characters (including the dog) experience of adventures hilariously described by Jerome.  Th trip commences when the narrator discovers he has every disease except housemaid's knee and basically exhibits a "general disinclination to work."  He and his two friends, George and Harris, along with the dog Montmorency embark on a boating trip with many humorous occurrences.

One of the funniest stories involves the transport of smelly cheese.  While they are packing and preparing to begin the trip, the narrator tells of his consent to take some cheese to the home of a friend, who plans to return home later.  During the trip, the narrator clears out an entire train car with the "two hundred horse-power scent."  The smell of the cheese, upon arrival at the friend's house, forces the wife to take her children to stay in a hotel, rather than live in the house with the cheese.  When the owner of the cheese attempts to take it to the mortuary, the coroner declares the smell could wake up the dead.  Ultimately, the cheese is buried on a beach that becomes a haven for consumptive people.  Therefore, the narrator decides that one should never take cheese on a trip.

Harris tells the story of his attempt to conquer the Hampton Court Maze.  A cousin had given him a map that solved the maze by taking the first right every time.  When he attempted to use the map he ended up getting himself and a big group of people lost.  With the group infuriated at him, Harris gives up and gets the help of the keeper, who is new on the job and can't help the group either.  Eventually, a more experienced keeper helps everyone escape.

One of my favorite accounts involves a trout in a glass case mounted on the wall of an inn.  An old gentleman tells the men that he caught the fish 16 years previously and that it weighed over 18 pounds.  After he leaves the room, another man enters and claims to have caught the 26-pound fish five years before.  They meet three more men, including the landlord, who claim to have caught the fish of various weights.  George climbs to get a closer look at the famous specimen when he slips and knocks the trout off the wall, causing it to shatter several pieces.  The stuffed trout proves to be a plaster of Paris fish.

The book contains many other amusing stories, including the description of the nearing drowning of the men while trying to pose for a photograph.  The book is also valuable for its historical accounts of sites and cities along the way.  I highly recommend this cavalcade of whimsy to anyone who enjoys a delightfully clean, entertaining tale.


  1. Glad you enjoyed Three Men - it's one of my fvaourites. Three Men on the Bummel is very funny, too. You might be interested to know that I'm publishing a biography of Jerome K. Jerome in the autumn:


    1. Looking forward to your book! I plan to read Bummel as well, probably later this summer.

  2. There r 2 many spelling mistake in the book review..

  3. ppl say itz boring..dont knw wat to do..should i read it or not..??

  4. really thnx for dat..

  5. Liked But NOt USE ful In MY Project can you write summaries of chapter 10 to 19

  6. Can any one provide me with critical review of the book(Three Men In A Boat) including its story-line, characterization and plot. Please........

  7. Where is d summary?

  8. yar muje bhi summary puchni hai



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