I think most people love to travel, and have a wishlist of places to visit. One way is to travel is through books. For one with imagination, it can be quite satisfying too, even if the experience isn’t the same. I had heard of Jules Verne’s Extraordinary Voyages collection, but hadn’t read any. This was my first Verne book.
No one knows much about Phileas Fogg, but makes some assumptions that come close to the truth based on his lifestyle, which didn’t change very often. It is because of that lifestyle that Passepartout seeks employment with him. At the Reform Club, a discussion about a bank robbery leads to an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph that states that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it was possible to travel around the world in eighty days. Fogg is in agreement with it, others at the Reform Club are against. Fogg accepts a wager to complete the journey in that time or before. And thus begins this extraordinary voyage.
Honestly, the first part of the book is very slow paced. I know it’s a classic, but I didn’t quite expect it to be this slow. It does however bring the character sketch of Fogg quite nicely, and the rest of the novel keeps to this sketch too. I could understand why Monsieur Fix had the notion of Fogg being the bank robber too, not just because of the description given to him, but also because Fogg’s character has that air of mystery or secrecy about it.
Once the journey begins, and the adventures start, the pace picks up, and brings some much needed humor too. This has a lot to do with Passepartout’s antics too. I loved his character a lot, perhaps even more than Fogg’s. I loved the circus scene a lot, and how the train crosses the bridge despite Passepartout’s very correct observation. I think the determination of Fogg to finish the journey in 80 days, and that of Fix to apprehend him on English soil was another thing that kept the book interesting.
This had been in my to-be-read list for a while, and I didn’t even realize the book was originally in French. That says a lot about the quality of the translation too, I guess. I quite liked reading this classic, and will definitely read more of Verne’s work in this series soon. I would reread this book later too, perhaps from another translator, to see for minor changes.
|Title: Around The World in Eighty Days||Series: Extraordinary Voyages #11|
|Author(s): Jules Verne||Genre: Classics|
|ISBN/ASIN: B0756ZS2DT||Publisher: AmazonClassics|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
23rd February 2018)