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Three Men in a Boat

Written by: Jerome K. Jerome
Narrated by: Ian Carmichael
Series: Three Men, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

In this comedic masterpiece, three young men, increasingly given to thoughts of hypochondria, decide to embark on a journey along the river Thames.

Confident that the fresh air and daily exercise will grant them immunity from a myriad of illnesses and diseases, they pack up their frying pans, toothbrushes, food and canine companion, Montmorency, and set off on an unexpected adventure.

As the men come up against hilarious and often avoidable obstacles on their journey from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford, Jerome K. Jerome offers listeners a unique look back at the joys of youthful naivety, comradery and playfulness.

Supremely English in nature, Three Men in a Boat, paved the way for the later works of authors such as James Thurber, PG Wodehouse and Nick Hornby.

Based on a real-life experience, Jerome's comic approach to this story transcends the passage of time as his themes and subjects remain universal. An explorer of new ideas and customs, Jerome K. Jerome developed great insight along his travels throughout Europe and the sheer plausibility of his stories serves to enhance the comedic effect of his writing.

As an international best-selling title, Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat was met with such immediate success that it has never been out of print since its publication in 1889.

Narrator Biography

Ian Carmichael was a veteran comedy actor, best known for his roles in Private's Progress, I'm All Right Jack, Brothers in Law and School for Scoundrels.

He played Dorothy L. Sayers' gentleman detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, on television and radio and his audiobook narration of these stories can be found on the Audible website.

Ian was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and after a brief stint in the Royal Armoured Corps during the Second World War, he graced stage, screen and radio for over 50 years.

He was and remains a national treasure and was appointed an OBE in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

©2007 Jerome K. Jerome (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"[Narrator Ian] Carmichael, the quintessential English gentleman, captures perfectly the delicious inanity of our intrepid heroes' conversations and the bemusement of the locals they meet along the way. He conveys beautifully Jerome's evocative, almost wistful, descriptions of Thames-side towns whose august historical pasts illustrate the glory that was Britain. This delightful performance crystallizes the author's humor and vision and is sure to enchant its audience." ( AudioFile)
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  • Jerri C
  • 2011-12-04

Timeless humor

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

I will listen to Three Men in a Boat many more times in the future. This book was written pre-1900, but I love it's timeless sense of humor. Many things have changed since then, but human nature is still the same. And Ian Charmichael does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Montmorency, the dog, is a delight. Jay, the Point of View character is a great deal of fun as well.

Which character ??? as performed by Ian Carmichael ??? was your favorite?

I think that Ian Carmichael brings a feeling of reality and importance to George that I hadn't noticed when reading the paper version of the book.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Virginia Waldron
  • 2008-07-05

Great Narrator

Entertaining performance. Although I found the story lots of fun, it is dated and becomes a little laboured in its humour. A nice idea for a narrative but a little tedious for me as the story progressed. Beautifully performed and that does keep the listener interested. I'm glad I've experienced this story as it does give the reader a sense of time and place which is fascinating. The characters are humourous caricatures but I did not warm to them as much as I expected. I got the feeling the writer was playing for laughs rather than being funny after a while. Fun and interesting in its own way however. Worth a listen regardless of its being rather stereotypic.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ms.
  • 2012-08-20

Victorian Comedy and Boating Trip

It's verbose, but it's Victorian so one would expect that, and the funny parts are in the deadpan details. The reader makes me believe he is actually the story's narrator, a young man who wants very much to believe himself capable and dashing.

The narrator tells a very brief story with so many tangents that it runs on and on, and I giggled each time he recalled himself back to the main story line. Very funny, and well worth a listen with this narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Inky Fingers
  • 2020-05-04

Classic British humor

One of the few cases where the narrator outshines the book, and the book is pretty awesome.