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4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 December 2015
It is a very long time since I have laughed so much at a book. I don't just mean the smile of amusement, I mean a true laugh out loud. Do not read this in public unless you intend to be rather embarrassed!

This is actually a very simple tale of 3 men & their dog who decide to spend a fortnight in a boat upon the Thames. Never has there been a more eventful trip. The description of trying to open a tin of pineapple chunks without a tin opener was hysterical. As for what happens when they see an accured steam launch coming - just brilliant! All those little problems that can happen when holidaying outdoors happened to these 3 men & their dog.

The writing in this book was nothing short of brilliant. It isn't because it is very complex story nor is it because of the complex vocabulary used, it is quite the opposite. With a few short sentences the scene just unfolds in your imagination. I am sure we have all seen artists who in a few short pencil strokes can produce a pictorial likeness of a person. This book does the same but using words.

This is a perfect book for those moments when you are feeling a bit out of sorts but aren't sure why. Reading this is a couple of hours well spent.

I loved this book & have no doubt that I will read it again & again. My only regret is that it has taken me until now to discover it!
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on 31 March 2017
A giggle on every page.
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on 17 August 2014
Brilliant. Timeless and wonderful. Always reminds me of adventures on boats. Very memorable characters too.
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on 2 October 2006
There isn't much more to say. It might have been written over a century ago, but it is still an absolute corker of a novel. I first read it in a foreign library and had to keep running out of the door to burst into laughter. Available in lots of versions, including audiobook. I'm sure I've even seen a download version to read on your mobile phone somewhere! That shows how popular this novel is and I advise reading it as soon as possible to make sure you fit the maximum possible laughs into your life.
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on 11 April 2010
As a confirmed Hyperchondriac as well as a born again Englishman I can quite happily say that this is a bible for anyone looking to truly understand the complexities of the British psyche. All our foibles, our delibertaions, our occassional skirmishes with sentimentality, our gentle romantic philosophising and our love for nature are laid out in this incredible masterpiece of Victorian literature.

Having suffered for many years with health anxiety, a condition which doesn't prompt much sympathy from non sufferers "Three Men In A Boat" offered truly profound consolidation. Jerome K Jerome encapsualtes the neurosis of the condition and the hilarity of its self propigating nature within the first 3 pages. It's the funniest three pages in the whole of world literature. It never fails to lift my spirits and help me put my phantom "conditions" into perspective.

As the three men embark on what should be a relatively straightforward boating expedition events turn out to become an odyssey quite as perilous as any greek myth or adventure story.

But it's the serene musings on nature that I find most extraordinary. The novel is not wholly comic, there is great profundity offered here also and that is what helps it beyond being just an amusing commentary on bumbling english folk, messing around on river banks.

In fact, riverbanks always reminds me of that other great English classic Kenneth Graheme's "The Wind In The Willows" with its lyrical passages that encapsulate a similar spirit. Toad, Ratty and Mole would not seem out of place in this world of idle romanticism and tomfoolery.

A perfect double bill then. Both books offer us a nature on a page and what a lot of pages there are to enjoy in these odes to Mother Earth.
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on 11 January 2007
This is probably the funniest book I have ever read. Improbable really, considering it's a Victorian novel. Basically it's a bunch of boys getting drunk and getting up to pranks on the river.

Some of the things the characters think and talk about are absolutely outrageous. For example, they hate riverside landowners who put up signs to say that you are not allowed to go on certain parts of the river. One of them rants and raves about one of these signs to an extraordinary degree: he would like to tear it down and hammer it over the head of the person who put it up until he has killed him, then use the sign as a tombstone over the grave, then slaughter his whole family and all his friends and relations and, finally, burn down his house!
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on 22 August 2014
wRITTEN 100 years ago. Three very silly young men in a boat but think they were typical of that era. Easy to read and quite amusing. Disappointing.
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on 10 July 2012
This piece of literature was written over one hundred years ago...and it had me in fits of laughter. It was such an absolute joy to read, it turned my mundane robot like commute into my favourite part of the day. The way Jerome tells a story is timeless, hilarious and at times poetic. Its an amazing piece of escapism that transports you back in time and takes you along the beautiful (in most parts) stretch of the Thames with Jerome and his friends...not forgetting the dog!

It really does deserve its label as a classic if only because its stood the test of time and I honestly cannot see how it would fail to ignite the imaginations of everyone that reads it.

If I can offer any advise to those of you that have taken the time to read my review it would be this...buy the book, it WILL put a smile on your face and ignite your sparky grey matter.
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on 28 April 2014
Jerome's tale of a trip up the Thames in a boat with two friends and a dog has never been out of print and has been translated into many languages, and was even a school set text in Russia at one time.

It’s astonishing how the humour in this book stays fresh.Jerome’s main trick is to start to tell a story in a normal way, then start to exaggerate a little, then a lot, until the narrative becomes quite surreal - for example his account of trying to find the right train at Waterloo (a popular subject for nineteenth century humorists).

The book started off as a travelogue, but Jerome’s verbal meanderings occupy much more of the book than the descriptions of the places visited (apparently all the pubs still exist), and went down better with his public. I’ve heard some of his stories before, but maybe Jerome was the first to tell them. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Some of the author's purple prose is a bit much, and did we need to hear about the drowned woman? Otherwise, a terrific read.
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on 22 June 2015
If you only know Victorian humour from old Punch cartoons, you might be surprised at how modern this is. The prose is fresh, becomes quite lyrical in places, and JKJ is a natural raconteur. I laughed out loud throughout and was quite happy spend a pleasant few hours in the company of three fellows and a dog who lived 126 years ago and yet feel as if they might be people you could meet tomorrow.

Caveat: the book is in public domain so there are a lot of Createspace editions out there, of variable typesetting quality and possibly with changes to the text. I even saw one that had altered part of the title (to "Don't Mention The Dog"). You're on safe ground - well, water - with the Penguin edition, though.
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