Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reflections: Three Men in a Boat

Fans of P.G.Wodehouse have to read Jerome K. Jerome - especially this book. It is a witty account of the (mis) adventures of three men (and a dog) taking a two-week-long vacation riding on a boat. There isn't much of a plot, but that doesn't in anyway affect the reading experience! The narrator's reflections and ruminations  are laced with satire and wit. In fact, I found Jerome's satire to be even more sarcastic than Wodehouse's - and the contrast was good! Jerome's humorous anecdotes are often packed in wise words on human nature and life. So the book is more of a satirical social commentary on life and people of the 19th century. 

A couple of memorable quotes:

"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing."

"How good one feels when one is full -- how satisfied with ourselves and with the world! People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained.

We are but the veriest, sorriest slaves of our stomach. Reach not after morality and righteousness, my friends; watch vigilantly your stomach, and diet it with care and judgment. Then virtue and contentment will come and reign within your heart, unsought by any effort of your own; and you will be a good citizen, a loving husband, and a tender father — a noble, pious man."

 I loved the book and highly recommend it for a light, refreshing read!

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