Three Men in a Boat

(To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Cover image for


Published: 1889
Language: English
Wordcount: 67,117 / 186 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 83.1
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 66,881 3986

Based on a holiday boat trip made by the author and his two real-life friends George and Harris. This humorous travelogue includes local history of towns along the Thames, as well as a few serious and sentimental passages, but remains at its core a comic novel.

Show Excerpt

down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.

I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist's, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back.

He said he didn't keep it.

I said:

"You are a chemist?"

He said:

"I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me."

I read the prescription. It ran:

"1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand."

I followed the directions, with the happy result - speaking for myself - that my life was preserved, and is still going on.

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


Average Rating of 4.8 from 19 reviews: *****

very funny and interesting



renu jain

as a teacher i can say its a good study material n very interesting novel every chapter of this novel consist humour and philosophy too.


its a very nice book
we have this book in our syllabus n its really worth reading

Henry L. Ratliff

(1889) Humor / Satire
Plot bullets

  • Life can get boring. A vacation is needed.

  • Three men (and the dog) take that much needed vacation, as a trip, in a small boat on the Thames.

  • Thee three friends, not very much alike in temperament or ability, have enough problems getting things ready and getting off.

  • The river offers even more opportunities of humorous mishap, and they occur as each leg of the trip is encountered.

  • And there are the reminiscence of other adventures to accent the slow times.

  • If any three men can do everything wrong and still have fun, these are the men.

Consistently in the top 10 British Humor ratings and in the top 100 of all humor book ratings.

There is a sequel: Three Men on the Bummel. A bicycle tour in Europe.


this is good book. all people love this book or novel.


very funny in parts and dull in others. i was tempted to put it down but get going and kept being rewarded by laughs. only for it to get dull again. had some great lyrical passages about nature also. I don't think I will attempt 3 men on wheels or 3 men on a bummel, as i've read that this is the best of the three.

Paul Hatton

I have read this book more times than I care to remember. Each time I laugh until it hurts and gasp at the descriptive writing in between the humour. I still have tears rolling down my face with the tin of pineapple (Harris sustained a slight flesh wound). This must be one of the greatest books written in the English language. If you haven't already read it..... DO. It cannot be recommended highly enough


I love this book. The first time I read it I was amazed. The writing style is very modern sounding, considering when it was written. A great way to spend the afternoon when you really should be doing something else.

Fred Kiesche

Hilarious stuff, especially for anybody who has ever "roughed it" (even with today's equipment). I went camping this weekend and had brought this book along. We set up in the pouring rain, went to bed wet, and woke up to sunshine. When I started reading this, I couldn't stop laughing from Jerome's descriptions of various bits. The pineapple tin is priceless!


One of my favorites.


truly hilarious


exellent book ,a masterpiece


One of my most favorite books of all time! Hilarious!

Let me quote JKJ's own introduction to the later editions of this classic: "The world has been very kind to this book. The sales of the English editions in their various forms have exceeded a million and a half. In Chicago I was assured many years ago, by an enterprising pirate now retired, that the sales throughout the United States had exceeded a million; and although, in consequence of its having been published before the Copyright Convention, this brought me no material advantage, the fame and popularity it has won for me among the American public is an asset not to be despised."

"It has been translated into, I think, every European language, also some of those of Asia. It has brought me many thousands of letters from young folk, from old folk; from well folk, from sick folks; from merry folk, from sad folk. They have come to me from all parts of the world, from men and women of all countries. Had these letters been the only result I should feel glad that I had written the book. I retain a few blackened pages of one copy sent me by a young colonial officer from South Africa. They were taken from the knapsack of a dead comrade froun on Spion Kop…"

A breezv little volume, this one. Enjoy :)

puja majumdar

nice n funny


Just read the para about the dog montmorency and you will get an idea about what JKJ can write. Simply Hilarious!!!


Old, good and very English book.

Worthwhile re-reading.


Fantastic book. Follows the journey along the River Thames of 3 men (and a dog) and comments on their stories, thoughts and adventures.

Strongly recommended for anyone that enjoys boating, pubs, tall tales or the odd bit of meditation on the English landscape and its history.

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