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Book Review: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome

Three Men in a Boat is a story of three men (George Harris and J) and they are friends. The men are suffering from over work and they feel like to take a much needed break from their monotonous routine. While in a cottage lying idle they decide to take up something for sure. First they discuss the possibilities of having a stay in the countryside and then a sea voyage. But none of the things look plausible to them due to various reasons mostly for the fear of sickness.

After much discussion, they arrive on a boating trip to be taken in the Thames River for the duration of two weeks. They plan to start the trip the following Saturday. Since George has to work on Saturdays till two in the noon, the two of them has to go to Kingston by train. After some difficulty they manage to reach Kingston because that is their starting point of journey. They take up all necessary items along with them and decide to camp on the ground during night. With them is also a dog called Montmorency for company and general vigilance. As they travel from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford, J keeps telling stories and history of the places they pass by. They talk a lot. And in that the novel becomes popular for its jokey and witty tone.  It is an old story published in 1889.

Readers would have come across the civil engineering and scientific terms like lock, weir, upstream, barometer, etc. It seems that the story was majorly based on personal experiences of the author and his friends. However, the dog is fictional. Today’s readers may find a chance to know about the peculiarities and cultures of the landmarks and the villages that were discussed in the novel as a travelling account, like Hampton Church, Magna Carta Island, Monkey Island.

Other than travelling information, pieces of comedy scenes have also worked up to spice up the overall feel of the book. It was a hit book then, after this book the author wrote a sequel of it: Three Men on the Bummel.


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