Author: Jules Verne
Mr. Phileas Fogg is a wealthy British man who lives a precise, solitary life. On the morning of October 2nd, 1872, he is in the process of hiring a new manservant, a Frenchman named Jean Passepartout, who is glad to get away from the excitement of his previous years. Later that morning, Mr. Fogg is having a debate with some other rich gentlemen from the Reform Club about whether it is possible to actually travel around the world in eighty days— after all, a new railway section has just opened in India. So, in a rather rash moment, he wagers £20,000 that he can and will travel around the world in eighty days. Mr. Fogg is very determined not to lose his bet, and poor Passepartout is not pleased at all! They pack everything up in a carpet bag and catch a train to Paris. Meanwhile, Mr. Fogg begins planning out their entire journey in his journal. They must travel from London to Suez (via Paris), Suez to Bombay, Bombay to Calcutta, Calcutta to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Yokohama, Yokohama to San Francisco, San Francisco to New York, and arrive at London on December 21st, at exactly 8:45 p.m.
The pair travels by train, steamer, sail boat, cargo ship, sledge, and even by elephant! Along the way, they encounter many different cultures and people, and even save a charming Indian woman, Aouda, from her death at a traditional ceremony, who then continues on the voyage with them. However, Passepartout knows something that Aouda and Mr. Fogg do not— an undercover detective from Scotland Yard, Mr. Fix, believes that Mr. Fogg is a criminal who stole £55,000 in bank-notes from the Bank of England not too long ago. Between storms, kidnappings, imprisonment, transportation delays, and Inspector Fix doggedly pursuing them, will Mr. Fogg and Passepartout be able to reach England in time?
This is a stunning, extremely suspenseful read that you simply won’t be able to put down once you pick it up. The book is rich in detail of the descriptions of the diverse cultures and countries as they were during Jules Verne’s day, which I find to be very interesting; they are quite different than how we view other peoples around the world today. Reading this book really has an emotional connection for me (see why at Book Chat #2) and gives me that “warm, fuzzy feeling” inside that I always get from reading the classics. 🙂 You’ll love all the twists and turns they encounter in all the different countries, but perhaps the best one is at the end… Around the World in 80 Days is the story of the epic adventure against time that you always wanted to have but never could.