Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Review: Three Men In A Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome

I just finished Three Men In A Boat, and it’s worth mentioning the version I had (a Christmas gift) had many annotations by Christopher Matthew and Benny Green. Very often the annotations helpfully explained certain things I was unfamiliar with, or elaborated upon interesting periods of history. Sadly, this edition is out of print, so if you want the annotations second hand is the way to go (I can recommend AbeBooks.co.uk, where I bought Philippe Contamine’s War In The Middle Ages for less than half the list price).

The book tells the tale of three men (and a dog) travelling up the Thames in a boat, during the late 19th century. Boating had become something of a popular pastime, and so J, George and Harris spent a fortnight or so on a riparian break.

The style is very charming, and suitable for people of any age. It’s effortlessly warm-hearted, and quite a joy to read. Despite its distant publication (over a century, now) the sentiment of three chaps messing about on a river has entirely survived the passage of time.

Sometimes the author drifts into a melancholy, wistful and slightly more serious tone, but this bubble is usually pricked by a swift return to wry and witty remarks.

The book is liberally peppered with photographs and illustrations, the former particularly interesting as a window into a bygone era. It’s easy to see why this is rightly considered a timeless classic.





  1. Now, go and read Three Men on a Bummel, a sort of sequel - the same characters, less the dog, but ten years older and married and on a cycling holiday on the continent. In many respects I think it is the better book. The kindle edition is free on Amazon.

    Anyway, I hear you are having problems with being stealthy enough in the game Dishonoured. I really look forward to your review of the new Thief game due out at the end of the month.

  2. Mr. Llama, I have a pretty hefty to-read list. There must be 10-20 things on my Kindle (currently 3/4 through one of them), and 4 'real' books too. Glad to hear of a free edition though as my finances are, er, sub-optimal. The only game I'm guaranteed to buy this year is Dragon Age: Inquisition, which looks bloody fantastic. Incidentally, if you haven't seen it already you might want to check out Kingdom Come: Deliverance. ETA is 2015.

    I had quite a lot of fun being stealthy in the first proper mission (the jail-break was harder) but apparently killed 2 people... and I have no idea who.

    Never played a Thief game, but I was dismayed to hear the (apparently beloved) voice actor was ditched because they wanted an actor who could also have modern scanning done of his face for cutscenes... when the protagonist wears a mask. Reminds me of David Hayter being axed from Metal Gear Solid (I'm unlikely to get Ground Zeroes, as a protest. I really love good voice-acting, and ditching an actor for no good reason is bloody stupid).