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Summary

Three Men in a Boat is one of the most amusing and durable books in the English language. Semi-autobiographical, it recounts the adventures and mishaps of George, Harris, J. (the author), and his remarkable dog Montmorency during a boat trip along the Thames from London to Oxford. Jerome K. Jerome originally intended the book to be a guide to the Thames Valley, but his publisher thought it so entertaining it was published as a comic novel and has endured as a classic of the genre ever since. Wonderfully light and surprisingly modern in tone, the sense of fun is irrepressible, the enjoyment unstoppable. Real laugh-out-loud stuff, masterfully narrated by Hugh Laurie.
(P)2003 CSA Telltapes Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Classic English Reminiscence

Three Men in a Boat is an all-time classic, and one that has entertained my whole family for decades. We first heard it from my father's reading it to us, and then via a tape borrowed time and time again from the mobile library. I don't know how Hugh Laurie manages to read it without collapsing into fits of mirth (or perhaps he did and they had to cut hours out of the recording?) but he has the perfect voice and delivery for the perfect English period memoir. One step down the social ladder from Bertie Wooster, Jerome K Jerome is nevertheless an upper-class idler, with too much time on his hands and a dry humour that will appeal to many. Its only fault is an occasional tendency to lapse into very purple prose, but we can forgive him anything for such classic memories as those of the delightful Uncle Podger.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Colin
  • DundeeUnited Kingdom
  • 10-08-07

Better than reading it

Hugh Laurie's skill is to be the character whose words he's reading, and his ability to pick up on the classic, dry English understatement in this book is masterful. I didn't realise how pompous yet drole Harris was until listening to this version. This is flawless reading, timed to perfection, nuanced, subtle, funny, always appropriate, a joy to listen to. I was disappointed when I realised the last sentence had been read, and would almost have started again from the beginning if I didn't have a list of titles to work through. Couldn't recommend this more for anyone who wants to be taken back to the late 19th century, with its slower pace of life, and time for 'strolling' down the street (or river) with friends.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ssssss
  • london, LON, United Kingdom
  • 01-08-05

3 men in a boat

Hugh Laurie provides the perfect voice for what is the perfect bit of English nonsense. Adorable.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emma
  • Boston, Lincs, United Kingdom
  • 21-04-09

A total joy

Oh, how I love this! Quite possibly my favourite audiobook, Hugh Laurie has just the right combination of upper class twit and wistfulness in this reading. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It could only be improved by being the unabridged version, so as to have even more to enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully read but missing so much

I'll start by saying that this book is my all time favourite. JKJ was a good writer and brilliant comic, the book is now about 150 years old and still relevant, relatable and very funny. Hugh Laurie is the perfect person to read it to and the whole thing is produced to a high standard. It's so dissapointing then, to find that this is an abridged version as this could have been so much more! It's missing so many funny parts which is a real shame, especially noticable is the exclusion of my favourite part, Harris and the comic song. For this reason, I can't help but feel dissapointed with this audiobook.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Amusing, gentle book.

Very well narrated. Dead pan seriousness ads superbly to the humour.
This is a fine book, but will not "remain with me" a single moment after the end.
present mirth...etc.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hilarious and beautifully read

This has been a favourite story since I was a child - it is brilliantly funny for children and adults alike in a dry/well-observed way. It is impossible not to laugh out loud - which is probably amusing for others when one is listening with headphones on public transport.

It is abridged, but has been done well.

Hugh Laurie has the perfect voice for this. I hear his voice when I read the book! Very highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An all time favourite

Performed with feeling and insite; (a clever and powerful peice of acting). This book will always hold a place in my heart.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Abridged, but no umbrage!

What did you like most about Three Men in a Boat?

The Thames boasts many bridges as have cut short pleasant riverbank wanderlust many a time, but Laurie makes the crossover between the rough and eddies in this choppy edit with an almost imperceptible effortlessness of narrative flow.

What other book might you compare Three Men in a Boat to, and why?

Three Men on the Bummel is the sequel of sorts which includes the Thames's Germanic cousin, the Rhine, but has more angry rowing over cycles than cycles of rowing aquatic.

What about Hugh Laurie’s performance did you like?

His tone embodies the breezily bungling nature of the tome as he swans through the work in a third of the time whilst yet seemingly maintaining that 'unbroken loveliness' Jerome prided the verily verdant reach of Cookham Deep Dean for. A charming addition to the unabridged version also available.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's never been a headache to hear this in one sitting... In fact, sitting rather eased my housemaid's knee! ;)

Any additional comments?

Very generous of Amazon to publicize lesser rivers ;)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jas
  • UK
  • 07-04-13

Delightful

Have listened to this twice and no doubt will again. It's a delightful book and Laurie the perfect voice for it

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. T. R. Semple
  • 01-02-18

Possibly the perfect audiobook

Would you listen to Three Men in a Boat again? Why?

I've read TMiaB more times than I can possibly count and plan the read it and listen to it many more, truly bears repetition.

What does Hugh Laurie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It feels like Hugh Laurie was born to read the character of J, you'd miss out on his absolutely perfect voicing of the role.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cariola
  • 28-07-09

Not as Hilarious as I Was Led to Believe

by bookloving friends who recommended it. Three bumblers (and a dog) decide to take a barge trip down the Thames and run into a series of mishaps and misadventures. Hugh Laurie's superb narration makes it somewhat worth listinging to.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful