Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog)

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. JeromeThis is very funny. Very, very funny. Especially if you happen to be the sister of three younger-but-technically-adult brothers whose middle-class antics could easily result in a similar affair (although, to be fair to them, with a little less pompous entitlement). The writing is brilliant and the humour is spot on. It is very British, and there is a timeless quality to it – I could easily see the events in this book happening, exactly as described to a group of unwitting campers (of privileged upbringing) in the current day. The hopeless lack of planning, the canopy construction catastrophes, pineapple shenanigans and unintentional self-harm are essential elements to any holiday-with-the-lads.

I’d be driven to distraction if I came across three such men as these (though I’d make an allowance for the dog), and I think any one with left-wing leanings would be! At the same time, the genuine tongue-in-cheekedness and clear intention of the author to convey his own characters’ buffoonery warms you to the tale. I have to admit I was drawn over to the dark-side for the duration!

Based on the writing and my enjoyment it really should earn the full five stars, but I can’t quite bring myself to give them to a story so entirely lacking in gravitas, moral dilemma or philosophical significance of any kind! I feel that, while it may appeal to a certain chino-wearing, latte-drinking, country-dweller of the southern counties, someone of a different background might not be so amused…

100% recommend it as a holiday read, particularly if you meet the aforementioned stereotype. Chin, chin! 😉

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