Title: Around the World in Eighty Days
Author: Jules Verne
Length: 248 pages
To honor an absurd bet, Phileas Fogg set out to travel the world in 80 days. That is, he would go from train to steamboat to train, back-to-back in order to cross the continents and loop back to London before the 80th day expired. All odds – including weather, kidnappings, natural disasters, etc. – were against the eccentric Fogg. Would he win the bet or would he face financial ruins?
Verne’s novel enchants the reader into a fantastical, globe-trotting journey. While certain aspects of the plot are indeed incredulous and the characters lack depth, the details don’t matter so much as the wonderfully thrilling adventures of Fogg and crew. I found myself rooting for Fogg as he ingeniously overcame every obstacle. I enjoyed the view into the world of the late 19th century – a world before airplanes/cars made traveling a no-brainer. With the snappy writing and page-turning action, the novel felt really short. It is such a fun, heartwarming, and touching story with endearing characters.
A novel at once adventurous, thrilling, and humorous, Verne offered a delightful read! Although the glimpses of various cultures around the world were stereotypical, I admire Verne’s ability to create circumstances around a seemingly boring expedition of mathematical precision. Although the characters were mostly two-dimensional, they possessed great charms. In fact, as little as we know about Fogg and his origins, this character is the exemplar of my literary hero – mysterious, charitable, respectable, innovative. I fell heads over heels for this Renaissance man.
Around the World in Eighty Days is a charming and exciting novel that’s fun for all ages. Upon finishing the book, we hastily recommended it to our niece and nephews who are avid readers.