Published: 1872 as a serial, 1873 as a completed book. Because it was published so long before copyright existed, you can get electronic copies free at places like Gutenberg or even Amazon. You still have to pay for a paper copy, though.
Genre: fiction – one of Verne’s Voyages extraordinaire stories
Length: 237 pages
Setting: various places around the world, 1872
Interest: When given a choice of books, Mr. Curiosity chose this one for me to read to him before bed. I shouldn’t have been surprised since he also chose Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea a previous time.
Summary: Phileas Fogg is an English gentleman with very set habits, which makes it very surprising when he takes off around the world with 20,000 pounds and his servant, Passerpartout. He has bet members of the Reform Club that he can make it back to London in exactly eighty days. While the trip starts out according to plan, he soon runs into problems. Detective Fix is sure Fogg is a bank robber and follows him on his journey so as to arrest Fogg when they get back to British soil. They rescue a widow, Mrs. Auoda, from suttee in India, and she travels with them back to London. There are several makeshift sea voyages and mishaps on trains, but ultimately Fogg makes it back in time to collect on his bet.
Final thoughts: We always enjoy reading Verne, even if he’s not the easiest to read out loud. There are a couple of parts to the story that remind you how long ago the book was written. For one, the portrayal of the natives is quite negative, both in India and in the U.S. Also, there was quite a fascination with the American countryside as Verne seemed to list every little town the railroad passed through out West. Mrs. Aouda is largely a silent character, and we never do learn her first name. Even so, we had a lot of fun tracing Fogg’s journey around the world. Verne managed to make the journey believably exciting (except for one train story). It came down to the very last chapter of the book whether or not he’d make it in time.
Title comes from: The topic of the book
Reading challenges fulfilled: 82/100 in the Read-a-Latte Challenge, and a V in my A-Z Reading Challenge author challenge (11/26)
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