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4.2 out of 5 stars
Around the World in Eighty Days
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on April 19, 2015
Loved it!
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on July 9, 2004
The story is about an eccentric Englishman named Phileas Fogg who makes a twenty thousand pound bet with five of his rich country club friends to travel around the world in eighty days with his trusty servant Passepartout a Frenchman. Along the way they have to overcome many obstacles. Fogg spends most of his fortune overcoming these obstacles and if they don't win the bet he will be ruined. There are some things however that even money can't overcome and several times Fogg is faced with a moral decision that if he pursues the right thing to do will significantly set him back on time.
Their travels take them through England, Paris, the Suez Canal, Egypt, India, Hong Kong, Japan, America, and Ireland. In India they rescue a princess who stays on with them throughout the rest of their journey and a love interest grows between her and Fogg. There is also another subplot involving a bank robbery in England where 55 thousand pounds have been stolen, and Fogg is considered to be the main suspect. A detective Fix is assigned to follow Fogg and to arrest him once he sets foot on English territory.
This book seems to be split into two parts. During the first part of the book when things are going smoothly the servant Passepartout seems to be the main character. At each port Fogg stays in his cabin and just focuses on the next leg of the trip while Passepartout ventures out and gives you a description of the land. It would seem a shame to travel all around the world and not pause to take in any of the sights as Fogg does. I found most of these early chapters pretty mundane and uneventful.
The subplot with Fix at times becomes annoying, and it isn't until they are all working towards the same goal, that this line of the story improves. I also found the exchange rate between dollars and pounds confusing at times. The pound must have been about four or five times greater than the dollar at the time this story was written. Fogg leaves England with around twenty thousand pounds and spends it seems over a hundred thousand dollars on the trip.
Later on as the story progresses and things start to go wrong the focus changes over to Fogg. Passepartout still does some heroic things, but Fogg takes charge and shows some redeeming qualities. The pace of the story quickens and becomes more enjoyable with a few skirmishes taking place in India and America. Fogg seems a different person upon returning to England, and his life is changed forever.
My wife has a framed poster that hangs on one of our walls with a collage of all of the movies that have won the best picture of the year award. "Around The World In Eighty Days" won the award in 1956, and the picture is represented in the collage with the main character Phileas Fogg and his trusty servant Passepartout taking a balloon flight. Based on this picture for years I always assumed the book was about a trip in a balloon around the world. I was surprised then to find out once I finally got a chance to read the actual book that they travel by boat, train, car, sled, and even elephant, but that they never travel by balloon. It turns out that the most memorable scene from the movie was made up by the director and added on to the story. The director seemed to have come to same conclusion that I did, that the written story itself was very good, but I was expecting something a little more.
The book was written in 1873. Jules Verne the author is a Frenchman. In this day and age it was pleasing to see both England and America looked upon in such a favorable light. Englishmen were portrayed as noble and Americans were portrayed as wild and adventurous.
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on June 28, 2004
If you saw the movie that was alledgedly based on the book, and now want to read the book, don't, the movie and book have nearly nothing in common. Phileas Fog is a rich English man who during a card game makes a bet that he could go around the world in 80 days. He buys train ticket, and goes to France where he meets his personal assistant on his journey. Phileas and his French friend begin to journey around the world, but people are after Fog, because they think that he is a thief. Along the way, Fog helps out an Indian princess, who accompanies him the rest of the way, and his assistant gets lost in Japan, and joins a circus troupe accidentally. My only gripe about this book is that the ending is kind of stupid, and you feel that Verne just pulled something out of a hat at the last second for the ending. But, in the end this is a legendary adventure, and you should read it. As you could tell, I couldn't remember the French guy's name, and some other details, because I read this book about a year ago, but you should read it.
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Around the World in 80 Days continues to be an entertaining read even as world travel has become so common place. It also provides a snap shot of the countries as they were when Verne wrote the book.
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on April 12, 2004
Actually, this book is more of a 3.5 stars for me. I was a little handicapped reading it because I was actually reading the book on my palm (Zire 71), therefore I'm limited with just words. My imagination wasn't aided by visuals from paperback materials. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the journey with Mr. Fogg and Passepartout.
Although there were a lot of boring scenes, the part where Mr. Fogg rescued Aouda and when Passepartout got lost because of Mr. Fix, these episodes were enough to keep the story moving.
I like that Jules Verne didn't make the book very linear. His way of storytelling does not leave its reader in the dark. Everything has an explanation for what is happening. For me, I believe the ending was the best part in this book. I was almost disappointed because I thought their journey failed but the author just tricked us a little. And although Mr. Fogg did not gain financially with the wager, it was more than material possession that he has gained. And that is a lovely lady whom he shared an exciting adventure.
This book is well-recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2003
I discovered why this book is a classic. The characters are fascinating, the situation is absurd, and craft is supernal. It is a great classic, and a wonderful way to get into Jules Vern's other writings.
I think the key to the book is not just the absurd bet that Fogg makes, but that Verne adds to the deadline tension by having this idiot Inspector Fix trail Fogg on his voyage around the world. Fogg not only has to combat the perils of global travel in the 1890's, but also Fix as he sabotages Fogg's journey. That is genius.
This book is all plot: you are whooshed along for the ride and it never eases up. The Chapters are short, adding to the sense of speed. The only thing offensive in this book are some of the stereotypes: Asians, Indians, Yankee Americans and Mormons are all misrepresented in this book. Alas, that is the bigotry of the Victorian era that somehow still lingers.
This is a great book for your boy who hates Jane Austin novels.
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on June 29, 2003
This is my first Jules Verne book, and I must say that I'm disappointed. This is a "classic"? Everything is viewed from afar. Verne never let me feel as though I were right there. There is almost no dialogue, and even the action is related as though it were second-hand. Although I didn't expect it to be in Jane Austen's league, from its reputation I was hoping for something in the range of Stevenson, Tolkien, and Wells. It's not. This sort of storytelling is more of the Edgar Rice Burroughs or Stephen King variety.
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on March 14, 2002
From the introduction of the hero, Phileas Fogg, to the lovely ending, I consider this book one of my favorites. I read this book every 2 years or so and each time it succeeds in taking me to interesting places and people.
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on March 8, 2002
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

The classic Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, is a story about a wealthy man by the name of Phileas Fogg who bet s half his fortune that he could tour the world in 80 days (it's 1872!). With his servant, Passepartout, Fogg embarks on a journey against time and an adventure he'll never forget, to accomplish some thing never done before.
The characters are very interesting. I liked Passepartout because he kept messing up and doing things wrong. I dislike Fix because he seemed like trying to stall Fogg. The theme is that "Hard work leads to great achievements." What liked most was when Passepartout gets in trouble with three Hindu priests while in India. I didn't really like it when they were in Japan, though. I was satisfied with the ending because Fogg gets a big surprise in the end.
The book can keep you interested for a while. It tells you all you need to know. The vocabulary is difficult though because some of it's French. I dislike how some of it is French. I think the age should be ages 10 and up for some mild language. I recommend this book for people who like adventure. I give this book **** for being a little slow in some areas.
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The book stars out by describing Mr.Fogg. Then Passepartout takes the place as his servent because the other had broughten his shaving water too cold. Fogg decides to travel around the world in 80 days or less after his friends bring up the conversation. He brings his newly hired servant w/him. Before they leave there has been a robbery discovered @ the bank. The first days are smooth riding, then a detective,Fix comes to the conclusion that Fogg is the culprit. He befriends Passepartout to find out info. on Fogg. They encounter many difficulties including broken tracks and herds. They mustcut aross India where they pick up an Indian Lady named Aouda. They also must buy ships too, because they are late. They @ one time purchase an elephant. They get attacked by Siox indians which causes Passepartout to get lost, which slows them down. They rush back to England only to find that they were 5 mins. late or were they? Verne's moral? Love and its' attaintment is more important then all the challenges and money in the world.
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