'In the present instance, going back to the liver-pill circular, I had the symptoms, beyond all mistake, the chief among them being “a general disinclination to work of any kind.”
What I suffer in that way no tongue can tell. From my earliest infancy I have been a martyr to it. As a boy, the disease hardly ever left me for a day. They did not know, then, that it was my liver. Medical science was in a far less advanced state than now, and they used to put it down to laziness.'
I read Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome for the Classic Comic Novel category of the Back to the Classics Challenge 2019 hosted by blogger Karen at Books and Chocolate. Apparently, the book started off as a travel guide for points of interest along the Thames. That part of the book was a bit of a miss for me since I am not very well acquainted with British history. Nor am I familiar with boating and the technicalities of that such as using tow lines, punting, etc.
Occasionally in the travelogue parts, the writing was flowery about sunsets and flowers and the like and the tone more serious. But was it funny? Generally, yes. The sense of humor was very familiar; fairly broad and a bit silly. The punchlines usually weren’t terribly clever such as never finding a cab when you need one but when you don’t there are tons. My first real laugh came when the narrator is describing his dog Montmorency, who “came to live at my expense…” That is a perfect description of the dogs and cats in my home. They live at my expense…total freeloaders! 😺
There is no plot. Three young men set off boating for two weeks on the Thames. Some shenanigans and minor disasters happen and there are many digressions, like the inadvisability of offering to store a wheel of cheese for a friend for any length of time or a friend who gets himself and his fellow tourists lost in a maze and almost lynched by the mob of people trying to get out.
I read the unabridged text in physical form but because it was only two hours and twenty minutes, I also later listened to the abridged audio version narrated by Hugh Laurie which was delightful.