My first recollection of encountering this classic maritime adventure, written by Jerome K Jerome, was in the 70s when I attended a one man show in which Jeremy Nicholas recounted the story of three men and a dog and their trip up the River Thames In true tradition the tale was recited, not without error, to a large audience in a comedic style that reminded me of PG Wodehouse, another of my literary heroes.Jeremy Nicholas s career has been based almost entirely on this one author and he went on to become the President of the Jerome K Jerome Society I never forgot that performance and it gave me a taste for Jerome K Jerome and his stories.It was not until three decades later that I encountered this unabridged rendition of this classic story by Martin Jarvis whose name will be instantly familiar to listeners of the Just William and Jeeves and Wooster audiobooks Martin s comic delivery, animated style and energetic story telling ability is strongly reminiscent of that of Jeremy Nicholas and for this reason I can heartily recommend this recording.This recording is, of course, the unabridged version which I much prefer However, to tell this tale requires 6 CDs and over six and a half hours of listening time It may be long but it is never boring It is a complex and steadily evolving adventure story about a boat trip up part of the River Thames For the most part it is full of humour but it does have its darker moments.The recording is supplied with a small, 12 page booklet that describes the content of each of the six CDs and also contains a mini biography of Jerome K Jerome and how he came to write Three Men in a Boat. On there journey up the Thames the Three Men and their dog have ludicrous adventures during almost the whole journey but they also encounter history and an often lovely riverscape It is an epic journey, but they survive in spite of their not inconsiderable incompetence But there are always delicious asides which are so typical of the author s style The saga belongs to that golden era before the Great War an era which was not entirely mythical. Not much what I would call comedy Merely observations of the middle classes doing their best to have leisure time in the late 1800 s The phrase mad is used a lot one assumes that the phrase these days would be doing our heads in 3 4 of the way through it now and getting a little bored However, A family man hanging a picture Uncle Podger is a gently funny belly laugh to all those that struggle to put a shelf up The rest is a rambling farce. Its sort of hard to describe the plot of this book It doesn t really have one exactly, it s a collection of humourous observations and funny anecdotes As others have noted the humour has aged very well and much of it feels quite modern Just like the trip itself it does feel sort of pointless but then not everything has to have one I suppose. First off, I really enjoyed this book But it really isn t that funny It s mildly amusing at best, not laugh out loud funny like so many of the reviews here suggest It is however, an extremely enjoyable little read, being half travel guide half comedy, with some amusing scenes and anecdotes interspersed with historical accounts It was actually originally intended to be a travel guide interspersed with personal anecdotes but when he started writing he turned it into a novel I live on the Thames and it did inspire me to visit some of the places mentioned such as Sonning which is described as one of the most beautiful spots on the Thames and just up the road from me in Reading which is described as the worst place on the Thames In fact when they arrive in Reading a body is floating in the river Despite this I would recommend this book as it s short, entertaining and will inspire you take a holiday. 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 Montncy Three Men In A Boat Was An Instant Success When It Appeared In , And, With Its Benign Escapism, Authorial Discursions And Wonderful Evocation Of The Late Victorian Clerking Classes , It Hilariously Captured The Spirit Of Its Age