This is my mother's favourite book, and I have to say that I don't quite share her enthusiasm, although it was amusing enough at times. This is the true story of Darlington and his wife, both retirees, who own a narrow boat which they use to pootle up and down the waterways of the black country. They also have a very nervous dog which travels with them with great reluctance and spends a lot of time hyperventilating. For some strange reason one day they take it into their heads that the thing to do would be to take the narrow boat through England, across the channel and down through France. This is, if you know anything at all about narrow boats, extremely dangerous. They are not made for waves, they are about as good at steering as a child in a bumper car, and they are so heavy they sink during times of adversity. The book is the tale of their ill conceived oddity. At times it is very funny, and is always very honest. It is however written in an singularly peculiar style which I found rather trying and incredibly hard to get into. It was at worst like reading a very poor translation, at best quirky, and almost always annoying. If you can get past the style issues, it is a good book, but you really have to work at it.
18 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?