Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Book Review: Around The World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

The story of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout can hardly be new to anybody these days, so often has it been turned into movies, television series and cartoons, however, I thought it worth reading the original just to see how accurate all the movies are.

This is a surprisingly short book which reflects the attitude of Mr Fogg in traveling around the world; he is more interested in the feat than the places he visits, and it also reflects the tone of the book which is very descriptive in its style. The constant chronology of travel connections is broken up by a series of problems, all of which are brushed aside remarkably easily and with a minimum of words on the author's part.

The saving grace of this story is Passepartout, who is an emotional and reactive individual and his interactions with Mr Fix, a detective who is stalking the travelers, make for some interesting reading. However, at times it feels like reading a travel schedule less than a novel with this book.

The way in which the characters behave reflects the society of the time and it was irritating to me that even though Passepartout effected the Indian Princess's rescue, it is Phileas Fogg as the gentle man who she becomes infatuated with.

Probably the best thing about Around the World in 80 days is the beautiful vocabulary and grammar used by the author and the sense of adventure it projects although the author never really injects much passion into this adventure.

I would recommend this book to readers who have enjoyed other Jules Verne novels and those who liked King Solomon's Mines by H.Rider Haggard.

Score: 7/10

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