Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a BoatThree Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You could call this book The Three Stooges Meet The Marx Brothers, or The Three Amigos Take on the Thames. Either way, the ensuing hilarity will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next.

The story (to use the phrase loosely), is about three aspiring hypochondriacs who decide to take a two week river ride to get away from it all and recharge the batteries if you will. As is the case with many “getaways,” they not only do not recharge, but come out of it further away from their “goal” than what was planned. The world that they wanted to get away from follows them as well. Everything they do reminds them of some event prior to the trip. My apologies if that sounds a little dark; that would not be characteristic of this book at all. Each chapter is a hilarious recounting of the bumbling getaway, with anecdotes abounding. You keep turning the pages to see how Jerome can top himself in the next chapter.

If there was an issue with this book, it’s that Jerome may have been too good in the earlier chapters. They are so funny that you can’t imagine the book getting even more amusing, but it does-to a point. Not that the latter chapters are bad; in fact, each chapter in isolation is pure writing genius. But when you place them side by side, some are naturally better than others. My recommendation is that you read this book at a leisurely pace, and absorb each chapter, because they all have something to say, and all are entertaining in their own right.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, and wavered between a four and five. I settled on a four, but a high four. Very good, one of those gems I wished I had discovered years ago.

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