"I did not intend to write a funny book, at first" wrote Jerome K. Jerome of Three Men in a Boat, which ahs since become a comic classic.
J. the narrator, George, Harris and Montmorency the dog set off on their hilarious misadventures...they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather forecasts, imaginary illnesses, butter pats and tins of pineapple chunks. Denounced as fulgar by the literary establishment, the book nevertheless caught the spirit of the times. The expansion of education and the increase in office workers created a new mass readership, and Jerome's book was especially popular among the "clerking classes" who longed to be "free from that fretful haste, that vehement striving, that is every day becoming more and more the bane of nineteenth-centry life."
This book may have been written in the Victorian age, but its humor can still be appreciated today - and indeed, Three Men in a Boat is considered to be one of the great comic masterpieces. Three hypochondriacal, pampered and quite incompetent aristocratic men and a dog take a journey down the Thames, roughing it. While chronicling their river journey, they get lost, go in the wrong direction, and create all sorts of trouble for themselves. The humor is sometimes dry and sometimes rip-roaringly funny.