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Three Men in a Boat (Collector's Library) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Collector's Library; Main Market Ed. edition (1 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904919529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904919520
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.6 x 15.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Wonderfully fresh and funny, and among examples of Victorian humour I would place it high in the pantheon, right up there with The Importance of Being Earnest and The Diary of a Nobody...Jerome's writing...triumphantly stands the test of time, with its comic flights of exaggeration, its occasional archness, and its entirely innocent hint of the camp" (Daily Telegraph)

"A charming comedy of friendship and human nature" (Independent)

"One of the funniest books I've ever read. I laughed out loud and that doesn't happen often" (Vic Reeves Daily Express)

"Brought laughter to a country in the throes of Victorian gloom" (The Times)

"As well as being very funny, it captures the innocence of a time before adventure became synonymous with bungee jumping into ravines in faraway places" (Observer) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"number two in Esquire's funniest books list...Jerome's comic tale...is reissued...with 30 charming illustrations by...Vic Reeves" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Nadine Goodinson on 18 May 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems that human nature hasn't changed much since Victorian times! This collection of anecdotes, observations and witticisms is a true classic, completely unaffected by the passage of time. The author's understated, self-deprecating style of humour had me roaring with laughter virtually from the first page, and even now - a week after finishing it - I still find myself chuckling at odd moments when I remember certain turns of phrase.
I was put off reading it for a long time because for some reason I had got it into my head that it was a rather heavy-going political satire. I don't know where I got that idea from, but I couldn't have been more wrong. It's a gentle, easy read. Not much plot to speak of - just the tale of three friends (and a dog) taking a boating trip up the Thames. Full of mishaps, humourous reminiscences and spot-on comments about the ridiculousness of human behaviour, it makes ideal back-garden reading for the summer.
Highly recommended. If you've never read a classic and want an easy one to start with - this is it!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer McCullough on 9 April 2001
Format: Paperback
I picked up an old war time copy of the book. It had been lurking at the back of my bookcase for as long as I can remember, but I felt like reading something clean and amusing. What a great choice! I think this must be the funniest book I have ever read. The tears ran down my face. I laughed out loud in public places. I could not believe it had been written in the 19th century, the humour seemed so fresh and relevant. If you want just a rollicking good laugh on every page, with the funniest images flicking through your brain, I would recommend this book as one of the most enjoyable I've ever read. Now I am going to get a new copy of it. Every page of my war time copy (made within economical rationing guidelines), fell out as I read it. I think it must have belonged to my grandmother.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Harvey TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 May 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My first recollection of encountering this classic maritime adventure, written by Jerome K Jerome, was in the 70s when I attended a one-man show in which Jeremy Nicholas recounted the story of three men and a dog and their trip up the River Thames. In true tradition the tale was recited, not without error, to a large audience in a comedic style that reminded me of PG Wodehouse, another of my literary heroes.

Jeremy Nicholas's career has been based almost entirely on this one author and he went on to become the President of the Jerome K Jerome Society. I never forgot that performance and it gave me a taste for Jerome K Jerome and his stories.

It was not until three decades later that I encountered this unabridged rendition of this classic story by Martin Jarvis whose name will be instantly familiar to listeners of the 'Just William' and 'Jeeves and Wooster' audiobooks. Martin's comic delivery, animated style and energetic story-telling ability is strongly reminiscent of that of Jeremy Nicholas and for this reason I can heartily recommend this recording.

This recording is, of course, the unabridged version which I much prefer. However, to tell this tale requires 6 CDs and over six-and-a-half hours of listening time. It may be long but it is never boring. It is a complex and steadily evolving adventure story about a boat trip up part of the River Thames. For the most part it is full of humour but it does have its darker moments.

The recording is supplied with a small, 12-page booklet that describes the content of each of the six CDs and also contains a mini biography of Jerome K Jerome and how he came to write Three Men in a Boat.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Tracy Stanton on 28 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first came across this in the school library when I was 12 (35 years ago!) I have read it and re-read it again and again. In a desert-island-disks type moment I chose it as one of my quintessentially English books to take with me when I went to live in the USA for a year. I cannot read it in public - or in the presence of my wife due to the unstoppable sniggering that it induces in me (and the rolling eyes this induces in her!). I love the 'Maze' scene and am laughing now just thinking about it. The hypochondria opening is a classic moment too (Housemaid's knee!)
Please read it - yes it's Victorian humour, but it's STILL funny today.
I was devastated when I found it was number 101 in BBC's 'Good Read' 100 favourite books ever list a couple of years ago - Shame on the BBC!
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Sally-Anne on 2 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
It's a wonderful book. Harmless escapism and lashings of good humour. What could be more pleasant? It's one of my favourite reads. Three men, one dog and a row boat - sometimes lazily and sometimes energetically pulling up the River Thames, having endless adventures, calamities and runs-in with the consequences of "Murphy's law". I wondered if I would enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed reading it and I'm delighted to report that Hugh Laurie has done an excellent job of this abridged reading . It's not surprising really. His television interpretation of Bertie Wooster is spot on for that character, and the character of J. (the author/narrator, Jerome K Jerome) in this tale, is so similar in many ways to Bertie - in attitude, speech mannerisms etc - that Mr Laurie seems just perfect for the role. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all the outrageous exaggerations, boasts and scenic descriptions, read in exactly the voice I imagine J. would have. I've listened to it twice so far and will, no doubt, listen to it whenever I need to be cheered up.
There are 2 CDs in the box and the running time is two and a half hours.
Highly recommended.
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