Published in 1889, Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat is most often praised for its humor, which holds up to the present day. Although it began as a serious, if fictionalized, travelogue based on a real vacation trip Jerome took with two friends from Kingston to Oxford, the humorous aspects of the story soon took over the account. The book benefitted by being written in simple, commonplace language and became a bestseller.
Examples of humor include such hijinks as two drunken men getting into the same bed unbeknownst to each other, the humorous mess Uncle Podger makes of trying to hang a picture, and the men's dog companion trying to add a dead river rat to the men's leftover stew.
The book also includes detailed description of the travel route, which is so accurate that people today are able to recreate the journey. It also includes information about local history. All in all, it is a lighthearted caper that records a time when the Thames River moved from being primarily a route for commercial shipping to a route for leisure travel.