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Humorist Jerome K. Jerome Worth A Read

During World War II my Papaw picked up a Jerome K. Jerome book in England called Idle Thought of an Idle Fellow. In my teen years, he shared it with me, saying it was the funniest thing he’d ever read. I read it, confirming my ancest-editorial position. Jerome K. Jerome was indeed a brilliant English humorist.

JK is the original LOLer.

My Papaw searched in vain in those days to find anything else by Jerome. But now, there’s the internet.

(Hugh Laurie reading!)

I’ve since had the pleasure of moving on to other JKJ gems, like Three Men in a Boat (Not to Mention the Dog). This hilarious travelog-become-novel is Jerome’s most popular book (to my knowledge). This link is a free audio version.

My cousin, Tyler, sent me this article from NPR by Julia Stuart which so rightly recommends the delights of this now-obscure author. Here is a bit. It’s not long.

As for who is better at preparing for the trip, J(erome) jokes: “When George is hanged Harris will be the worst packer in this world.” And while the dog may look like an “angel sent upon the earth,” his life’s greatest object is to “get somebody to stumble over him, and curse him steadily for an hour.”

A little further on he recalls a time when he was in a picturesque graveyard. Such was its loveliness, he forgave all his friends and relatives for their wickedness, but when an old man startled him out of his reverie, J threatened to slay him.

I’d warn against reading this book in public: You may get arrested for breach of the peace.


  1. I loved Three Men in a Boat – when I read it several decades ago – should pick it up again. I’ve never heard of the other book but here I go….

    By the way, you’re comments on the LOTR Facebook thread also left me laughing out loud!

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