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If this is your first encounter with Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) you're certainly in for a treat! One of the most delightful examples of Victorian humor, this book by Jerome K Jerome is all the way a fun cruise down the Thames River with some funny characters for company. Three Men in a Boat was originally meant to be a serious piece of travel writing, full of local flavors, legends and folklore about England's mighty river. As it turned out, somewhere along the way, the author Jerome found himself catapulted into a madcap adventure. The plot is relatively simple. It describes three friends, namely, the author himself, Jerome, George Wingrave and Harris, who set out with their dog on a boat trip and encounter a series of amusing, poignant and strange happenings along the river. Wingrave and Harris (Carl Hentschel in real life) are both friends with whom Jerome often took trips on boats. The dog Montmorency however, is fictional! The three friends meet one evening and begin discussing their busy lives and how they feel stressed and overworked. They also imagine that they are prey to exotic and fatal diseases. The solution, they feel, is a nice long holiday. After much discussion and consideration of many options, they decide to take a boat and sail along the Thames from Kingston to Oxford, camping in suitable places along the way as the river takes them. There are interesting nuggets of history thrown in like the landmarks of Hampton Court, Marlow, Magna Carta Island and the like. In between, the author goes off on several entertaining tangents regarding a host of topics like anecdotes about his Uncle and Aunt Podger, imaginative flights of fancy, the mischievous doings of Montmorency and a hundred other digressions. Jerome's thoughts on steam ships verses tug boats, putting up tents, cooking on oil stoves, the uselessness of barometers and many more add spice and zest to the mix. First published in 1889, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) was initially received with a less than enthusiastic response but soon became a runaway bestseller. It has been extensively adapted for stage, screen and television and has even contributed to the Thames becoming an important tourist destination in England. The book holds immense appeal for readers of all ages and is one that evokes the same entertainment even after multiple readings.
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