“All right,” said Mr. Fogg; and, turning to the others, he continued: “I have a deposit of twenty thousand at Baring’s which I will willingly risk upon it.” “Twenty thousand pounds!” cried Sullivan. “Twenty thousand pounds, which you would lose by a single accidental delay!” “The unforeseen does not exist,” quietly replied Phileas Fogg. And with that Phileas Fogg was off on one of the most famous and wonderful adventures of all time. Join him as he has one adventure after another, attempting to do the nearly impossible.
I have to thank TBM for her intriguing review @ 50 Year Project, she said “This is not a dud. Right from the beginning I couldn’t put the novel down“.
Around The World in 80 Days is a very famous story that almost known by every generation…BUT most of us (me included) know about this story from movies or simple children books. I have never had the desire to read the proper book because I already know the story…until I read TBM’s review!
The book is available for free (as public domain) at Aldiko, an ebook application I used on my mobile phone. I downloaded it straight away after I read her review but I didn’t read it yet because I was in the middle of my previous book (The Cycle of The Werewolf). Once I begun reading the book, I was instantly hooked (much like TBM) and it was indeed difficult to put it down (too bad, I have work and other activities that forced me to put the book down).
Phileas Fogg is a very unusual person. He is so precise in everything. You can easily see that he is such an interesting character and also boring at the same time. I can’t imagine living with someone who calculates everything to the second.
He appeared to be a man about forty years of age, with fine, handsome features, and a tall, well-shaped figure; his hair and whiskers were light, his forehead compact and unwrinkled, his face rather pale, his teeth magnificent. His countenance possessed in the highest degree what physiognomists call “repose in action,” a quality of those who act rather than talk. Calm and phlegmatic, with a clear eye, Mr. Fogg seemed a perfect type of that English composure which Angelica Kauffmann has so skilfully represented on canvas. Seen in the various phases of his daily life, he gave the idea of being perfectly well-balanced, as exactly regulated as a Leroy chronometer. Phileas Fogg was, indeed, exactitude personified, and this was betrayed even in the expression of his very hands and feet; for in men, as well as in animals, the limbs themselves are expressive of the passions.
He was so exact that he was never in a hurry, was always ready, and was economical alike of his steps and his motions. He never took one step too many, and always went to his destination by the shortest cut; he made no superfluous gestures, and was never seen to be moved or agitated. He was the most deliberate person in the world, yet always reached his destination at the exact moment.
Passepartout, his servant, on the other hand is so different to his master. He is such a lively person.
These two unlikely companion, as we all know it, goes around the world in 80 days. At the era where plane hasn’t been invented yet, all they can do is traveling by boat and train. Fogg’s decision to go around the world is merely because of a wager with men in his club. At first, Passepartout doesn’t believe him but he soon finds out that Fogg is a man of honour and that makes him admire Fogg more and more.
However, it won’t be a fun story without obstacles. Fogg and Passepartout is followed by Detective Fix who is so sure that Fogg is the famous bank robber.
I don’t actually need to sum up the story as it is very famous. What’s so interesting about reading this book is of course the wonder of Jules Verne’s knowledge and description. He knew so much about the world and how he shared them in details is so easy to understand and very engaging. I love the way he told his story. He reminds me so much of Michael Crichton. Even though I know how the story will end but I can’t help feeling curious with his journey.
Because of this book, I now have about 5 books by Jules Verne ready to read (thanks to Aldiko and feedbooks)
Reading this took me back to this two great shows:
Around The World in 80 Days, a mini series staring Pierce Brosnan and Eric Idle. I watched the miniseries when i was still in my teen. The miniseries had extra adventure compared to the book but I remember clearly how Brosnan totally embodied Fogg. I don’t even have the will to watch that new movie with Jackie Chan as Passepartout even though I love Jackie Chan…it’s simply because Fogg in that movie is different to Brosnan’s Fogg. Now that I have read the book and love it, I am glad I never watched that movie.
You can see the miniseries on youtube 😉
Apart from that miniseries, I also truly enjoy and love Michael Palin’s Around The World in 80 Days. This funniest man in Monty Python did a tour around the world in 80 days without using plane at all. He must take train and boat (and bus) just like Fogg. So nice to see how polite and nice Micheal Palin is. He looks like ordinary people even though he is a legend in the world of comedy.
I highly recommend this discovery because Palin has shown how people from different part of the globe behave and how friendship can be created in the most unlikely places.
Ps. I love the fact that 2 Monty Python were involved in Around The World in 80 Days 😉