Sunday, November 7, 2010

To say nothing of the dog. For once.

Listening on my iPod to a download of a sadly abridged reading from the BBC of Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in A Boat, one of my favorite books.

(Why is this author always given his full name? He's never referred to as just "Jerome." I suppose people like saying it. The K stands for Klapka, incidentally, which shows he got his sense of humor from his parents.)

The file info says the reader is the great Stephen Fry, but it turns out to be his equally talented friend and former performing partner, Hugh Laurie. I find myself laughing aloud in the street at passages like:
" . . . [Having moored on the bank of the Thames and prepared a meal] We had just commenced the third course — the bread and jam — when a gentleman in shirt-sleeves and a short pipe came along, and wanted to know if we knew that we were trespassing. We said we hadn’t given the matter sufficient consideration as yet to enable us to arrive at a definite conclusion on that point, but that, if he assured us on his word as a gentleman that we were trespassing, we would, without further hesitation, believe it."

Plug here for Connie Willis's hilarious science fiction time-travel novel To Say Nothing of the Dog, which draws heavily on this story and on the works of Wodehouse.

1 comment:

  1. I listened to the entire book in installments, via Librivox last winter, while running on the treadmill. You try running and laughing at the same time...

    I have lately been ill, and I was reflecting this morning that I think I have everything except Housemaid's Knee.

    (p.s. The Willis book is wonderful)