"Three Men in a Boat"
Published on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 10:07am
Thanks to a patron, I came across a lovely little gem of a book this month, entitled Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. Published in 1889, this short, humorous novel has never been out of print.
It is narrated by J, and concerns a trip he takes on the river with his two friends George and Harris, and his dog. Nothing much happens during their excursion, but small events get exaggerated, and often provide an impetus to recall past events and give opinions – think of it as a precursor to Seinfeld.
For example, the three men dearly want to eat a tin of pineapple after a long day, but they find they've forgotten to pack a can opener, and set about injuring themselves and falling overboard trying to open it.
My favorite parts were actually the summaries at the beginning of each chapter, which give a preview of the contents. In Chapter 8, you will find: "Blackmailing -- The proper course to pursue -- ...How Harris sings a comic song -- A high class party -- Shameful behavior of two abandoned youth -- Some useless information -- George buys a banjo." Doesn't that just whet your curiosity?
You will laugh out loud at the absurdity and delightful humor. I recommend this book for a light summer read, or for anyone going on a boat trip.