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They and I

They and I by Jerome K. Jerome

A man and his three children leave the “Little Mother” at home in the city and set up temporary housekeeping in a country cottage to supervise the remodeling of the house he has just purchased there. The story is narrated by the father. His interactions with his children, interspersed with his own recollections of past events, make for hilarious reading.

This is Jerome at his best, IMHO, although this is apparently one of this lesser known novels.

First Page:


by Jerome K. Jerome


"It is not a large house," I said. "We don't want a large house. Two spare bedrooms, and the little three cornered place you see marked there on the plan, next to the bathroom, and which will just do for a bachelor, will be all we shall require at all events, for the present. Later on, if I ever get rich, we can throw out a wing. The kitchen I shall have to break to your mother gently. Whatever the original architect could have been thinking of "

"Never mind the kitchen," said Dick: "what about the billiard room?"

The way children nowadays will interrupt a parent is nothing short of a national disgrace. I also wish Dick would not sit on the table, swinging his legs. It is not respectful. "Why, when I was a boy," as I said to him, "I should as soon have thought of sitting on a table, interrupting my father "

"What's this thing in the middle of the hall, that looks like a grating?" demanded Robina.

"She means the stairs," explained Dick.

"Then why don't they look like stairs?" commented Robina... Continue reading book >>

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