Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) illustrated Jerome K. Jerome - The journey upstream of some impressionable young men into a mysterious, challenging interior. An inevitable reckoning at the source. Finally, the terrible return to reality. Here, surely, is pre-Edwardian English fiction at its classic finest. But this is not Heart of Darkness, and the river is not the Congo. Actually, it's the Thames, and the narrator is not Marlow but J, or Jerome, K Jerome. Published in 1889, 10 years before Conrad's novel, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), is one of the comic gems in the English language. An accidental one, too. "I did not intend to write a funny book, at first," said its author. Humour in literature is often not taken as seriously as it deserves. Nevertheless, there are a few seriously funny books that remain great for all time. Three Men in a Boat is one of these. Ostensibly the tale of three city clerks on a boating trip, an account that sometimes masquerades, against its will, as a travel guide, Three Men in a Boat hovers somewhere between a shaggy-dog story and episodes of late-Victorian farce.