Can you give me a summary of the novel Three Men in a Boat (Chapters 1-10 only)?

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chsmith1957 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the original set-up of the book, each chapter begins with a group of statements that sum up the action to follow. So, you can read these opening lines in order to learn what key events and tales are contained in each section. Please know that in addition to relating the basic details of the current river trip, the narrator (J.) tells many stories that he thinks are relevant. I’ve not included these references here in this quick summary.

Chapter I: The three men – narrator J., George, and Harris – discuss their various ailments. They decide to go on a boat trip along the River Thames to relieve their stresses and improve their health. Chapter II: They decide to camp out only in good weather and to use inns whenever it rains. Chapter III: They debate and decide what equipment and clothing to take along on the trip. Chapter IV: They decide what food to take. Then they pack. J. packs the equipment and the clothing; George and Harris pack the food. Chapter V: J. and Harris get up late. They take the train to Kingston and get on the boat. Chapter VI: J. and Harris begin the river trip. Chapter VII: They reach Moulsey Lock. Harris falls into the hamper and J. must pull him out. Chapter VIII: They have lunch at Kempton Park, go on past Sunbury lock, and later pick up George, who is carrying a banjo and an instruction book. Chapter IX: The men and the boat continue through locks. Chapter X: They tie up at Picnic Point. George and Harris get tangled up as they put up the tent. They eat supper, make tea, relax, and go to sleep under the stars.