Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, October 24, 2005

LMAO

Every now and then one encounters a book so outrageously funny that passers-by cast sympathetic glances at the reader, thinking that he's gone insane, when he's really just choking with helpless laughter. Such a book is Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K. Jerome. I've been re-reading it recently, and it's simply laugh-out-loud hilarious. It's the story of three lazy men (to say nothing of the dog) taking a boat trip down the River Thames , and in spite of being over 100 years old it's fresh and funny and rings true to anyone who's ever gone camping.

"Humor is oftener than not hardship recollected in tranquillity, or at least in dry clothes," states the introduction. How very true of this book! George, Harris, and J. have decided that they need a change of scene for their health, and hit upon the plan of living the simple life while boating down the Thames. The dog is dubious of the whole venture, but comes along in hopes of causing some trouble. Things go wrong, things go right, and many charming and philosophical observations are passed upon human behavior, English history, and the incompetency of everyone else.

And the incident with the can of pineapple never fails to make me guffaw.

8 comments:

Deep Furrows said...

hmmm. I'll have to read it. I really enjoyed his "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow."

MrsDarwin said...

Oh, do. It's a classic of humor writing. The first time I read it, I was almost crying from laughing so hard -- especially about the can of pineapple. :) Unfortunately I've never read any of his other works, so now we both have a reading list.

Bernard Brandt said...

Being a parsimonious soul, and wishing to spend as little money as possible, I managed to find a free copy on internet, with the original illustrations, no less:

http://www.forgottenfutures.com/game/boat/boat.htm

And I'm still trying to work the acronym in the title of your entry out. I'm convinced that it must mean, "Laughing my anxieties off." :)

Julie D. said...

Now you must read Connie Willis' tribute to that book, "To Say Nothing of the Dog."

Darwin said...

We do have a copy, though I'm not sure MrsDarwin has read it. I went backwards and read To Say Nothing of the Dog but haven't read all of Three Men In A Boat.

MrsDarwin said...

Bernard--

Actually, LMAO is commonly used in chatrooms (which I never frequent, to tell the truth) and means "laughing my ass off". The reason I used it here was a reference to a couple of threads over at Happy Catholic (hi, Julie!). Don't let my vulgarity scare you off the book, though! I'm going to have to check that site you mentioned and see the original illustrations.

Julie D. said...

Darwin, I went backwards also. Maybe that's why I liked Willis' better.

Anonymous said...

The sequel of 3 Men is "3 Men on a Bummel" - George, Harris, and J. are married now and take a bicycle trip through Germany - is quite hilarious as well. We lose the orginial characters' story a bit as Jerome writes on the Germans...but it is good.
And speaking of Connie Willis, I would recommend her work, The Doomsday Book. Historical time-travel back to the Middle Ages. Very engaging - it's a page-turner, and it's also fascinating to see the ways she predicted (sometimes wrongly and sometimes accurately) life and scientific advances in the present day.