Dover Book

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This one will bring you chuckles and chortles, and even a guffaw or two. Jerome reads like a Victorian Dave Barry. He frequently goes off on a tangent, (that often has nothing whatsoever to do with the story line), with bursts of melodrama and (bad) poetic prose, and long, long sentences that seem to go on for a whole paragraph. The story is simple enough: three bumbling bachelors, George. Harris, and J. and a fox terrier named Montmorency (who has strong opinions and likes to chase cats), decide they are overworked and need to take a boat trip down the Thames. Of course, along the way, they meet all kinds of people and have all kinds of things go wrong, as can only happen to the truly inept. And so. . . J. proceeds to tell the tale, describing each little action with way too many words. And therein lies the humor!
    They begin to plan their trip, discussing sea sickness, reminiscing of past experiences with collapsed tents and rain-soaked food, and speaking of food, decide what foods they should pack. They squash the tomatoes with the jam jar and accidentally trod on the butter. J. tells a long story about transporting some very stinky cheese from Liverpool to London.
    At last they are all set to leave. They oversleep, take a train to Kingston, and embark upon their rented boat. Harris tells an exciting story about going through the Hampton Court Maze with his cousin. He swore it was easy to get out by just turning right at every corner. They begin to meet people who had been stuck in there for nearly an hour. Everyone starts following Harris. Harris is lost, however. He becomes unpopular. They call for the keeper. The keeper gets lost. It is after dinner when they finally escape. J. tells of a terribly embarrassing moment at a party. George buys a banjo. They run out of water, so they decide to boil some of the Thames for tea. When they see a dead dog float by, they are suddenly not thirsty. And so they continue their journey, mostly getting into trouble and usually finding a way out.
    This book is not so much a story, as dozens of mini stories strung together. One thing is for sure: It will keep you laughing.


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