While I anxiously awaited word last week from a loved one travelling around Russia for 8 days, I embarked on my own journey by perusing the very entertaining Around the World in 80 Days. It was the perfect distraction, but worthy of much more than being considered a diversion.
Verne spins a tale in which the reader will become so absorbed as to believe they are a part of the journey that must conclude in precisely 80 days. A master storyteller with the ability to captivate, entertain and provide some world history along the way, Verne deserves all the praises sung for him.
Phileas Fogg, an enigmatic bachelor living in London makes a gentleman’s bet with some friends from his club and sets off on an 80 day adventure. As the journey unfolds, so does the man, layer by thin layer, until his inner identity is revealed. Proof positive of slow and steady winning the race.
Newly acquired servant, Jean Passepartout, is looking for a simple and routine arrangement. Thinking he has found just that with the disciplined Fogg, he is set to packing before he has time to second guess his decision to work for the man. Passepartout, like Fogg, is revealed bit by bit and is not the man he at first appears to be. He shows great courage by coming to the rescue at the last moment more than once.
Aouda is a beautiful Parsee rescued from being set ablaze in a ritualistic sacrifice. When her intended delivery to a relative in China falls flat, she invariably joins the race for the world journey. Her gratitude and admiration toward Fogg grow and develop into much more.
A meeting with Mr. Verne would not be isolated to a single location, but rather would consist of various locales and modes of transport. Perhaps he’d share his ability to study the law while penning great works.
My rating for Around the World in Eighty Days is a 9 out of 10.
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