The preface of the novel is the summary of it.
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The story begins by introducing george,harris,jerome and montomorency.the men are spending an evening in jerome,s room,smoking and discussing illness they fancy suffer from.they conclude that they are overworked and need a holiday.a stay in the country and a sea trip are both considered then rejected after jerom describes bad experiences by his brother-in-law and a friend on sea trips.the three decide on a boating holiday up the river thames from kingston upon thames to oxford,during which they will camp,not withstanding jerome's anecdotes about previous experiences with tents.
they set on the following must go to work that morning,so jerome and harris make their way to kingston by train.they are unable to find correct train to kingston,bribe a train driver to take his train to kingston where they collect the hired boat and start the journey.they meet george up-river at weybridge,
the remainder of the story describes their river journey and the incidents that occur.jerome,the narrator describes passing landmarks and villages such as Hampton palace,hampton church,monkey island, magna carta island and marlow and muses on historical associations of these places.
however he frequently digresses into humourous anecdotes that range from unrealibility of barometers for weather forecasting to difficulties encountered whenlearning to play scottish bagpie.