Friday, June 10, 2011

Classic Book Review

I do not read "classics" as a rule; I don't even read popular books. My literary tastes are more or less lowbrow, mostly Science Fiction and old pulps.

But Heinlein gives it a mildly left-handed recommendation* and, finding myself a bit stale on what I'd been reading, I looked for, found and have now read Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog).

It's a remarkable little book; a bit uneven but charmingly so, a comically mishap-laden vacation trip up the Thames leavened with the author's musings on history of the passing towns and islands. (It was supposed to be the other way 'round, but that's how things often go). Published in 1889, the style and tone are remarkably modern and if you admire P. J. O'Rourke's smooth snark, you'll find Jerome's a familiar voice. The setting is just about the peak of civilization in Britain (IMO), which may be food for thought.

As Wikipedia points out, all the pubs and inns are still around, and I believe most of the weirs and locks as well (to say nothing of the islands). With only a little ingenuity, one can recreate the entire river voyage on the 'net.

I should not have the least doubt the book can be had from Amazon, via the link at Tam's.
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* In Have Space Suit -- Will Travel. No, the young hero's first name is not "Wire."

6 comments:

Mark Alger said...

Is available in a free Kindle edition on Amazon.

M

Guffaw in AZ said...

When I was a child, I watched 'Have Gun - Will Travel, and even then, thought what a stupid first name!

Thanks for telling me I wasn't the only one!

Alan said...

If you liked Three Men In A Boat, look for "To Say Nothing Of The Dog" by Connie Willis.

Laura said...

Guffaw - funny you bring up "Have Gun - Will Travel." we've been watching it now that it's on Netflix Instant. it's a darned good series!

Nathan said...

+1 for the Connie Willis homage.

jefferson101 said...

I, too, took the recommendation from "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" to heart, and bought myself a copy (Finally!) in about 1989.

I still have it, and still read it occasionally, when my wife's not around. She gets upset over me laughing that much.

I've never looked at a can of pineapple in the same way since I read it, for sure. And, being a dog person, I will surely note that we will say nothing of the dog.

Well worth the time. It's short.