Three Men in a Boat. Finished 9-13-17, rating 3/5, classic, 211 pages, pub. 1889
Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a ‘T’. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks—not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.’s small fox-terrier Montmorency.
Three Men in a Boat was an instant success when it appeared in 1889, and, with its benign escapism, authorial discursions and wonderful evocation of the late-Victorian ‘clerking classes’, it hilariously captured the spirit of its age. from Goodreads
This classic from 1889 is still funny. Three young men and a fox terrier take a boat down the Thames River. Jerome, Harris, and George are tired of the daily grind and decide to get away for a bit with a hilarious boat trip. Mishap and everyday observances combine for a surprisingly modern tale. I enjoyed it, but was bored at points along the way too.
I’m just going to leave you with a taste of the writing for dog lovers…
We got up tolerably early on the Monday morning at Marlow, and went for a bathe before breakfast; and, coming back, Montmorency made an awful ass of himself. The only subject on which Montmorency and I have any serious difference of opinion is cats. I like cats; Montmorency does not.
When I meet a cat, I say, ‘Poor Pussy!’ and stoop down and tickle the side of its head; and the cat sticks up its tail in a rigid, cast-iron manner, arches its back, and wipes its nose up against my trousers; and all is gentleness and peace. When Montmorency meets a cat, the whole street knows about it; and there is enough bad language wasted in ten seconds to last an ordinary respectable man all his life, with care.
I do not blame the dog (contenting myself, as a rule, with merely clouting his head or throwing stones at him), because I take it that it is his nature. Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs are, and it will take years and years of patient effort on the part of us Christians to bring about any appreciable reformation in the rowdiness of the fox terrier nature.
This was my 19th selection for the Classics Club and I have until January 1, 2020 to get to 50. I am woefully behind!