We all heard about the non-standard English humor! It is said that only the initiated can understand it, and the British themselves are unspeakably proud of the sophistication of their brain reactions. It so happened that the brightest example of British humor for years passed by me: I did not read “Three in a boat, not counting a dog” either in school or later, and only now this book was in my hands. Unfortunately, only now!
What is this book about?
It was first published in 1889. In its idea, it was not something unusual, non-standard, something original! Three friends go on the river Thames on a short trip – from London to Oxford. The writer – Jerome Klapka Jerome – originally conceived it as a detailed guide-guide on the specified route, but instead it turned out what happened. Critics did not spare words and places in the newspapers in order to respond as sharply as possible about the read work. Jerome disliked immediately: his places vulgar language did not suit the stiff English, and in the period of regularity and confidence in his present and the future of the British, he was struck by the impulsiveness of the main characters and sometimes the hopelessness in the book. It is hard to imagine that during the prosperity of the British Empire, a true Englishman could afford such an aphorism: “I love the work: it fascinates me. I can sit down and watch this for hours! “. Now it is perceived as a very witty joke. And with such witticisms the book literally abounds.
If we do not take into account the seriousness of the original idea of the author, he got a great work about the journey, flavored with a wonderful portion of English humor, and in the best traditions of picaresque novels. As an example, the work of the Spanish classic of the golden age of Cervantes and his Don Quixote comes to mind. In it we also observe travel, riddles, adventures and humor, but not simple and harmless, and sometimes ironic or even satirical, aimed at exposing human weaknesses and low hopes. It is noteworthy that, it would seem, even in the most ordinary and ordinary situations, Jerome find a strange thing that necessarily causes laughter or a smile. Nevertheless, his humor does not cross the bounds of “allowed”: he does not offend, does not joke in the style of the American youth, dirt and vulgarity in his anecdotal situations is missing as a reality. Perhaps this is the hallmark of the famous English humor!
But do not make the mistake of assuming that the whole book consists of a compilation of anecdotes with a hint of unaccustomed humor for our ear. In fact, “Three in a boat” is a book about simple life situations: about friends, about friends of friends, relatives, acquaintances. A realistic portrait is a distinctive feature of Jerome’s book. He exquisitely draws a portrait of Harris and George, but does not forget about giving unique features and the fourth – a dog named Montmorency. He is the fourth and integral part of the journey. Well, how can I not remember the story references to Uncle Pojer (perhaps the most ridiculous and instructive moments in the book), in the image of which each of you probably will see his friend or relative.
I think, even in a real masterpiece, you can always find details, to the quality of which you can find fault. In the book “Three in a boat, not counting a dog” such a detail can be considered its ending – so sudden, as if the author simply bored with writing his work. But in spite of everything, this book with a whole cascade of adventures, crazy stories, jokes and frank madness will leave in your soul the warmest impressions.