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Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – August 3, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0199537976 ISBN-10: 0199537976

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Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel (Oxford World's Classics) + The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays: Lady Windermere's Fan; Salome; A Woman of No Importance; An Ideal Husband; The Importance of Being Earnest (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199537976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537976
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geoffrey Harvey is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Reading.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is one of the funniest books I've ever read.
Carl Skutsch
There are very, very few laugh-out-loud literary classics, but this is one of them.
Robert Moore
Actually that is exactly what happens when you read these two books.
"amalim"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in translation to Russian, many (too many!) years ago. In the former Soviet Union (and in Russia proper, before there ever was a Soviet Union), this and other books by Jerome. K. Jerome were very popular. When I came to Boston 20 years ago as a refugee from Soviet Union, this was one of the first books I bought. I was hoping that, in its original language, it would be even a greater fun to read and I was not disappointed! In fact, the book has been in constant use ever since, having been loaned to many friends and even taken by some of them on a holiday trip to England (which included a week-long boat trip on the Thames!). It is very funny and its wit is timeless. This book is a great antidote against winter blues. It is also good as a remedy for our tendency to exaggerate shortcomings of others while papering over our own little faults and imperfections. Whether discussing their problems, high on the list of which is their "general disinclination to work of any kind", or planning their trip and packing supplies for it; whether rowing their boat or pitching a tent and trying to keep dry on a rainy night -- the characters are totally alive and recognizable. In fact, I am sure we all met people just like them, except they were not dressed as Victorian gentlemen on a holiday! But forget what they wear and what items they pack (or forget to pack) for their trip, or the fact that a cab they take to the railroad station is horse-driven, and these guys could be living in an apartment next door! Never will you hang another picture on your wall without thinking of Uncle Poger and never will you buy Stilton cheese again without some trepidation! I'd recommend this (and other Jerome's books, especially, "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow") to anyone above the age of 12 and possessed of even a bit of a sense of humor. P.S. Did I mention that this book improves upon re-reading? A rare quality, indeed!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Carl Skutsch on July 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. So why only 4 stars? Because it's not consistantly funny. The problem seems to be that Jerome started to write a travel story, with some serious thought on history and life, and added a few humorous bits as he went along. His editor got him to tone down the history and emphasize the humor, but we, the readers, are still stuck with some dreary Victorian romantic musings.

But then there are the funny bits. And there are a lot of them. I'd say 80% of this book is funny, and a good 10% is hysterically funny. Well worth the few dull patches.

WARNING: Do not read this in a public place. You WILL embarrass yourself by laughing out loud. The pages on cheese are especially deadly. I still giggle uncontrolably each time I re-read them.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
Three Men in a Boat (To Mention Nothing About the Dog) is a timeless wonder in humor-writing whose value as a cure for many psycho-somatic maladies of the present day, high-speed, existense shall keep the voloume ever-popular. The book begins in an ominous note as one of the rowers-to-be is self diagnosed to be sufferring from all maladies but Housemaids Knee, in the compendium. A professional advise calls for a change of air which plunges the three men on a boat. The hilarious (mis)adventures apart, the story is embroidered with a picturesqe description of the English rain-meadows, the likes of which are feared to be on their banks of extinction, along with a quaint narrative of the history of the places. All these together catapults the story to a great height, with roars of laughter, but not only that. Recollections of, the happenings at the Maze; the curios incident of the German singer; and Montmorency: his very thoughts; will continue to coerce the reader to belly-laughs The enlivening, to say the least, line drawings as illustrations, is a jewel in the books crown. Never more, than sufferring bleak, cloudy and chill weekends in my present occupation in Strasbourg, have I realised what an a gem JKJ has left for us.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are very, very few laugh-out-loud literary classics, but this is one of them. I speak of THREE MEN IN A BOAT. The sequel is not unreadable, but it is a considerable disappointment after the glorious earlier novel.
The great thing about THREE MEN IN A BOAT is that after you have read it, you can go back to your favorite parts and reread them whenever you feel like it. Or read any part at all. The plot really isn't very important. The narrative voice is all. And everyone is going to have their favorite lines. Mine could well be when the narrator remarks, "I am fascinated by work. I could sit and watch it all day." But the narrative tone is so perfect, that one derives enormous entertainment from the book even when nothing especially funny is being said at all.
So, read this volume for the earlier novel, but if you enjoy the second, all the better.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Revital Rozenhek on April 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book actually contains 2 books: the first and the more famous of the two is " Three men in a boat " , a very Very funny book, and the second " three men on a bummel" wich is the overlooked sequel. it's maybe overlooked but it's a very wothy book, masterfully written, just as funny as the first.
Three men on a boat tells the story of 3 young friends who go for a 2 weeks vacation in a river boat on the thames.
This vacation takes place in the last years of the 19th century in England but don't expect British gentelmans in hamburg hats politely nodding each other at their clubs while sipping their port. oh no - this 3 chaps although being friends, annoy each other to the degree of internal haemorrhage, as any people would do if locked togather fo too long, and the peatty grudges they hold against each other is the funniest thing you'll ever read. that grudge is ofcourse forgotten at once when someone from the outside comes along to ruin their cruise,and immediately they hate him instead.
The essence of the book is what we all know to happen on vacations and trips- we moan and grumble at the food, the prices the weather and everything else, but as we look back at it when we return home, we say we had a great time.
The author has an aproach to life that kind of takes after "Merphy's law" only he is so much funnier.
The second book is about the same 3 chaps and was written after the first book was recieved with great success.
This time they go on a "bummel" ( wich is the german word for trip ) on bysicle across germany.
As i said before, this book is less known, but it's also a must, and although they were both written many years ago, both the writing and the characters are still fresh , precise and unbelivingly amusing.
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