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Monday, March 2, 2009

Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K Jerome (Jackie's Review)

Three Men in a Boat is a light read, about a journey along the River Thames during Victorian times. It is full of humor, but most of the time I found myself smiling at them, rather than with them, as the puns are just too obvious:

Then we discussed the food question. George said:
‘Begin with breakfast.’ (George is so practical.) ‘Now for breakfast we shall want a frying pan’ - Harris said it was indigestible; but we merely urged him not to be an ass, and George went on - ‘a teapot and a kettle, and a methylated spirit stove.’

I live just two miles from the River Thames, and know it very well. I loved learning about what it was like over a hundred years ago. It was really nice to see places I visit regularly described in the book:

You pass Oatlands Park on the right bank here. It is a famous old place. Henry VIII stole it from someone or other, I forget whom now, and lived in it. There is a grotto in the park which you can see for a fee, and is supposed to be very wonderful.

I have taken my boys to play in Oatlands Park many times, and have never seen a grotto, so I looked it up on the Internet. I was amazed to find out how beautiful it was. There’s a photo here. Unfortunately it was dynamited in 1948, as people were trespassing on it, and the owners thought this was unsafe. I can’t believe such a special place has been destroyed.

Many other places I recognised were described, and I recommend this book to anyone who knows the Thames well. I can’t see much attraction to other people, as it is just a bit silly.

Originally reviewed here.


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