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The author, Jerome, or J as others generally refer to him, is very often irked by his companions, Harris and George, during their trip together along the Thames. They annoy him by their antics, comments, and boorish behaviour, and on the occasion when he is packing for the trip he is irritated as the other two don't help and just watch him intently and critically. For example, Harris points out that he's left the boots out only when he's already shut the case, and he fumes that:
That's just like Harris.He couldn't have said a word until I'd got the bag shut and strapped, of course. And George laughed - one of those irritating, senseless, chuckle-headed, crack-jawed laughs of his. They do make me so wild. (chapter 4)
The book is packed full of hilarious instances involving disagreements between the three men and also with other people that they encounter before, during and after the journey. Practically every incident is used to illuminate some common human failing or foible, but generally in a wry and light-hearted rather than serious manner. And, despite their differences, the three men in the boat - not forgetting the extremely disobedient dog Montmorency - essentially share a bond of close friendship and companionship, which helps to make the trip a memorable one.
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