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Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
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Around the World in 80 Days (original 1873; edition 2009)

by Jules Verne

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8,633136353 (3.8)302
Member:avitkauskas
Title:Around the World in 80 Days
Authors:Jules Verne
Info:Huey Depot (2009), Kindle Edition
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (1873)

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Around the World in 80 Days is Jules Verne’s classic adventure story. One evening at the Reform Club, Phileas Fogg “impulsively” bets his companions £20,000 that he can travel around the entire globe in just eighty days. Breaking the very well-established routine of his daily life (one could say compulsive), the Fogg immediately sets off for Dover, accompanied by his servant Passepartout. Travelling by train, steamship, sailing boat, sledge and even elephant, they must overcome storms, kidnappings, natural disasters, Sioux attacks and the dogged Inspector Fix of Scotland Yard - who believes that Fogg has robbed the Bank of England - to win the wager. The story is simple and fun, though for the modern reader one may be surprised by the bias of the main character—particularly towards the natives of India. In addition I found that the main character for me was Passepartout—a wonderfully funny character—who in many ways really saves the day. But in the end we also see the growth of the character Fogg, who begins to see the importance of friendship and love above his usual concerns of reserve and punctuality. He is willing to lose his bet in order to personally help a friend, and he doesn’t care about defeat because he has won the hand of the woman he loves. I actually listened to the novel being read by Jim Dale (of Harry Potter fame)—which made this novel even more enjoyable. 4 ½ out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Aug 7, 2015 |
I read this book so long ago that I had forgotten most of the details of the plot. Phileas Fogg is an unflappable Englishman who lives his life through mathematical precision and time. While at his club playing cards, he takes up a bet for 20,000 pounds that it is possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He leaves immediately, taking his new French manservant, Passepartout, with him. Adding to the plot is a Detective Fix who follows Fogg on his journey believing that he is a thief.

Verne wrote this book in 1873, and his view of the world at that time was full of stereotypes. If you can get past that, it is a great adventure tale, that uses many of the new events of the time (the opening of the Suez Canal, the completion of the Transcontinental Railway in the U.S., the widespread use of the technology of the steam engine). Plus, this unabridged version was so much better than the version I read as a youngster. Jim Dale's excellent narration, with different voices for all of the characters, added a lot of life to the story.

As for the air balloon on the cover, there is only a passing mention of an air balloon, and Fogg does not use one on his journey. It may be that the excellent film, with David Niven (and many others fine actors), is the idea behind that cover art.

I think that this is one of Jules Verne's most well known works, along with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and From the Earth to the Moon. It was a lot of fun.

August 2014 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
At no point does Phileas Fogg or Passepartout get in an air balloon. Lies, all lies. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
A super fun adventure. Following dutiful, straight-laces, prompt and no-nonsense Phileas Fogg around the world through exotic and strange places is almost too funny to bear. Amazing, quick, and to the hilarious point. Clever! ( )
  ReverendMoon | Jan 26, 2015 |
Jules Verne is considered one of the early authors of the sci-fi genre. While Around the World in Eighty Days may not immediately fit our mold of "science fiction", when you figure that this was originally written in 1873, the science involved is pretty significant even if it is all based on accurate science rather than fanciful imaginations. Prior to reading, I knew the basic story and characters but not much more than that. Eccentric and meticulously orderly Phileas Fogg places a bet with members of his social club that he can travel around the world in 80 days. The date is chosen based on a loose claim listed in the newspaper based on the outlined timetables for trains and ships.

The first thing I found interesting was the character of Phileas Fogg. Based solely on my knowledge of the plot, I had expected him to be some wild and crazy madcap character with all sorts of outrageous behavior. Instead, Verne spends the first many pages showing us that Fogg is very much a creature of habit with ordinary behaviors. If anything, Fogg is a bit boring as a character. He has a precise daily and weekly schedule dictating when he wakes, when he sleeps, when he eats and everything he does in between. He doesn't have any extravagant hobbies or pastimes and doesn't do much of anything to engage in social events of the day. His flippant and sudden placing of the bet seems out of character and is quickly followed by quick adaptation to a new schedule as he immediately rushes home from his club, packs a quick bag, grabs his servant and proceeds to his first destination. Even in his quick trip, we seldom see him Fogg rushing or impetuous in any way. He is the picture of calm even as his trip faces adversity.

As a contrast to Fogg, his servant Passepartout is a very emotional character full of as much passion and frustration as Fogg is full of calm. Passepartout is stymied by his master's wager but rushes along with him on the adventure, excited to see the world. He is dismayed as he realizes that the whirlwind tour will result primarily in him seeing the cabins of ships or trains and very little of the world they're passing through. With each obstacle that comes their way, Passepartout practically shrieks in frustration and really adds to the sense of suspense and tension in the adventure. He is a great counter to Fogg's character and really helped make the book more entertaining.

Beyond the effects of nature or problems with transportation, the main obstacle facing Fogg is Inspector Fix from Scotland Yard. The Bank of England has recently been robbed by a man matching Fogg's description. When set alongside Fogg's erratic change in behavior and his willingness to throw insane sums of money at ship's captains and train engineer's, there is a very strong argument that Fogg could be the thief. Verne very carefully keeps details of the robbery hidden and makes sure that we are closely aligned with Fix's prejudices and beliefs. I had a hard time deciding whether or not Fogg was truly the bank thief or if it was merely an unfortunate coincidence. The interactions with Fix are humorous but distanced. Fix is waiting for his arrest warrant to arrive and until then he tries to stay just out of sight of Fogg while also delaying his progress so that the warrant will catch up with them and allow an arrest to be made. The entire situation leads to some rather funny encounters.

I really enjoyed the meticulous way in which Verne outlines the voyage. We sit with Fogg as he consults timetables and records his progress. There is a very careful accounting of days, weeks and hours. Alongside this, and usually alongside Passepartout rather than Fogg, Verne presents some fun narrative and adventures that give insight into a variety of different locations and cultures. For the late 19th century this was surely a lot of the novelty and appeal of the story. Even in the 21st century I applaud his presentation of these distant cultures. The technology and ideas are a bit dated, but there is still a sense of wonder, education and enjoyment that goes beyond the years.

My biggest complaint comes in the final section of the novel.

SPOILER ALERT - this next paragraph contains a spoiler about Fogg's eventual completion of his trip

When Fogg finally returns to London after overcoming numerous obstacles in amazing ways, he is distraught. Upon consulting his trusty notebook, he finds that he is at exactly 80 days. However, the wager included a TIME of day to ensure the voyage was completed in precisely 80 days of 24 hours. Unfortunately it looks as though Fogg has arrived a few minutes late. Rather than return to the club and consult his friends and concede defeat, Fogg returns home with his companions and goes to sleep. The next day he mopes about most of the day and then later sends Passepartout on an errand. Passepartout returns frantically informing his master that an error has been made and TODAY is the end of the wager and that if Fogg hurries, he can make it to the club in time. Fogg races through the streets to arrive at the club and win the bet. The reason for the miscalculation is presented by Verne essentially as the fact that Fogg traveled Eastward around the globe and crossed the "date line" effectively losing a calendar day and traveling a full 24-hours for free. This is all well and good and scientifically sound...where the problem breaks down for me is the fact that the original bet included a DATE on which Fogg should return. And every leg of the journey, Fogg is consulting time tables many times involving identifying the day and date that a transport will depart. Even as Fogg leaves the East coast of the U.S., day numbers are presented. As such, the exact DATE is perfectly known to Fogg and his companions. Thus, even if he did tally off 81 "days" of 24 hours in his notebook, it would have been VERY clear that they were right on time simply by consulting the timetables, the newspaper or any other item that they frequently looked at. The twist/surprise ending was entertaining but the logic of it fell apart for me.

END OF SPOILER

Overall I really enjoyed the story. It was a fun adventure with some great details and wonderful characters. The writing was engaging and the plot was a lot of fun. As I mentioned before, even though aspects of the science and technology are certainly dated (after all, you can now travel around the world in a single day), they are a joy to read and make me want to seek out more books from this father of science fiction.

*****
4.5 out of 5 stars ( )
2 vote theokester | Nov 26, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (213 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Verne, Julesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benett, LéonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butcher, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colacci, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glencross, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingpen, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, EyvindTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malvano, Maria VittoriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maraja, LibicoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neuville, Alphonse deIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prunier, JamesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Towle, George MakepeaceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, Frederick PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814.
In the year 1872, No. 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens -- the house where Sheridan died in 1814 -- was occupied by Phileas Fogg, Esq.
(William Butcher's translation).
In the year 1872, the house at number 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens - the house in which Sheridan died in 1814 - was lived in by Phileas Fogg, Esq., one of the oddest and most striking members of the Reform Club, even though he seemed determined to avoid doing anything that might draw attention to himself.
(Penguin 2004 edition translation)
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This LT work should be the complete text of Jules Verne's 1873 novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. Please do not combine it with any abridgements, adaptations, young readers' versions, pop-up books, graphic novels, annotated editions, multi-title compendiums, single volumes of a multi-volume edition, or other, similar works based on the original. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014036711X, Paperback)

For a bet, Phileas Fogg sets out with his servant Passeportout to achieve an incredible journey - from London to Paris, Brindisi, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York and back to London again, all in just eighty days. There are many alarms and surprises along the way - and a last minute setback that makes all the difference between winning and losing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:00 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

For a bet, Phileas Fogg sets out with his servant Passepartout to achieve an incredible journey -- from London to Paris, Brindisi, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York and back to London again, all in just eighty days! There are many alarms and surprises along the way -- and a last-minute setback that makes all the difference between winning and losing.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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