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Publisher's Summary

If you've never read anything by Jerome K. Jerome, you'd be well advised to heed this warning by the Glasgow Herald: "It would be dangerous to [listen to] this book in any place - - say a full railway compartment - - where the reader was not at perfect liberty to laugh as loudly and as long as he chose." The passage of time has not altered that verdict. Here is a perfect picture of those lazy summer days "messing about in boats."

After his final trip up the river Thames with his three companions - - Harris, George, and Montmorency the dog - - Jerome K. Jerome sat down to write his proposed book, The Story of the Thames. But before he could tackle the work in the serious manner intended, his humor took over and gave birth to a masterpiece of unquenchable comedy. This is a classic of English humor, justifiably loved around the world.

©2006 Jerome K. Jerome (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Three Men in a Boat

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An absolute gem of a book!

When I first saw this book, it came with the advice that one should not read it if one were in a place where sudden fits of uncontrollable laughter were frowned upon. What good advice that was. The story is an absolute stitch and the narrator perfect for it. I most heartily recommend it.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Classic for a Reason

This is one of those books that you find authors referring to in the oddest places. After reading... or rather listen to...Connie Willis' "to Say nothing of the Dog" I was excited to see this in Audible. Now I will have to go back and re-listen to Willis's book.

The humor is so dry and so very British. You can see the the influence of this book on so many of the great British humorists of the modern day.

The author occasionally drifts in his descriptions but you will still want to reserve a seat on a boat on the Thames. A delightful listen to escape the commute.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Really delightful

Very, very funny in a classic British fashion and read in a way that beautifully showcases the humor. It's remarkable how well it's aged.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J.
  • 01-23-12

what charm and fun

Would you consider the audio edition of Three Men in a Boat to be better than the print version?

Yes

What about Frederick Davidson’s performance did you like?

His accents and different intonation for separate characters are delightful.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, almost. I knew I couldn't do that entirely, but it would have been my preference

Any additional comments?

Print version is engaging but the Audible version captured more of the humor

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Will listen again and again

This was my 3rd read over last 30 years: a classic.. And Frederick Davidson is a 6 star narrator! Thank you Jerome

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a book full of wit!

I loved this book. the use of language was captivating and the wit resonated across every minute of this reading. Due to complexity of the imagery described in this book I would often go back and listen to sections again, and every time I would find something new and wonderful I had missed. my favorite section was at the end of chapter 9 where the narrator describes the embrace of sleep and tells of a knight errand lost in a dark wood of sorrow. That section was very moving and is something I will think about for a long time to come. For anyone interested in the book who has a love for comedy I highly reccomend this. You will find parallels to current jokes about the fickle nature of weather or how things such as the cords of your head phones always getting tangled in your pocket echoed in the writing describing something a common as three friends taking a trip together on the river.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful!

This book is a perfect gem! It feels like the inspiration behind PG Wodehouse, with similar humor and wit and devil-may-care narration. Davidson’s reading is perfect.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

For a book written in 1889 it holds up amazingly well. It is also rather silly.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Jarring Anachronisms Aside, Pure Hilarity

I knew it was supposed to be a funny book, but I had no idea the hilarity would "keep" all these decades later. I literally chuckled and laughed aloud at several points.

There was one casual racial epithet that really took me out of the book for a minute, but other than that the satirical misadeventures of three fairly horrible hypocrites (and their dog) are pure fun all the way through.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great narration

The first few times I read this book, I found parts exceptionally funny. It can be hard to recapture this as the surprise is no longer there. I found with this particular narration with the tones of the voices and the pacing of the reading, it took me back into the story and I found myself smiling and amused again.

I realise old English humour is not to everyone's taste, but I think this book is a rare gem for its tales and observations of people, and possibly of characters that you may recognise from your own circle of friends. Delightful and charming. We could do with more of these in the world!