My result for The Classics Club’s last wonderful Spin feature was Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. I can’t say I was pleased or displeased with this choice as I neither been excited about or dreading reading Around the World in Eighty Days. This did at least give me a push to pick up my first Jules Verne novel.
Around the World in Eighty Days follows the wealthy English gentlemen Phileas Fogg and his French manservant Passepartout as they try to traverse the world in just 80 days. Fogg has made an out of character bet with some gentlemen from his club that could break him if he loses. Therefore poor Passepartout who only wishes for a quiet life finds himself travelling with his new master through Europe, skirting Africa, through Asia, over the Pacific ocean, through North America and finally over the Atlantic ocean. Along the way they will travel by boat, train, palanquin, sledge and even elephant.
Around the World in Eighty Days protagonist Phileas Fogg is a wealthy gentlemen residing in London whose life and routine is ran like a military operation. Fogg has no family and no real friends he instead finds happiness in dining, playing whisk at his club and retiring to bed at midnight. Fogg is known to be eccentric but a respectable and generous man. Making the fact he makes a bet and sets out immediately to travel around the world so completely out of character! While I found Fogg interesting it was his friendly and long-suffering manservant Passepartout I really liked. Similar to Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr Watson. Passepartout is energetic, open-minded and loyal. While he wished for a quiet life he is the one truly immerses himself in all these new countries and cultures. Fogg has no interest in sightseeing he is just a man on a mission.
Around the World in Eighty Days is the first novel I have read by Jules Verne even though I am familiar with his tales through adaptations and popular culture. I thought Around the World in Eighty Days was well written, with interesting dialogue, good description, and surprisingly with a down to earth style. I imagined that Verne’s work would be dense and difficult to read but that is not the case at all. Instead I found myself whipping through this delightful adventure in only a few days. There is no big finale necessarily but the ending is neat and satisfying rather like Fogg the protagonist himself. I am now really looking forward to reading the other Jules Verne novels off my Classics Club list.
Around the World in Eighty Days is a delightful and eccentric adventure around the world in days gone by. I highly recommend to those who enjoy an adventure, history and the classics. This is my 20th read off my Classics Club list. I have Journey to the Center of Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to choose from next. Great read.
Have you read this? What Verne adventure should I read next?