Book #14 Around the World in Eighty Days

Last time we were in the library, I chose this classic novel by Jules Verne, and at the same time chose The Twenty One Balloons for MA’s read aloud. I had no idea of the similarities in these two books. After reading them, it is easy to see how Around the World in Eighty Days, written in 1873, influenced the writing of The Twenty One Balloons in 1947. Jules Verne is known to be one of the founding fathers of the science fiction genre, and this book is definitely adventuresome.

Around the World In Eighty Days is the tale of eccentric English gentleman, Phileas Fogg.  On a wager with his social club acquaintences (for Fogg is so eccentric he has no one he could call “friends”), Fogg sets off with his faithful companion, the lively Passepartout, to travel around the world in eighty days. The stakes for the wager are high, all of Fogg’s fortune, and so his motivation to finish the journey on time is intense. Utilizing most every form of transportation available at the time, including a most amazing trip atop an elephant, Phileas races against the clock to try to secure his fortune.

While traveling through Egypt, Fogg makes the acquaintence of Detective Fix, whom it is supposed is coincidentally travelling the same path as Fogg. It is later discovered that Fix is a detective with Scotland Yard who is tracking Fogg, whom he believes is the culprit in a Brisith bank robbery.
While in India, Fogg and his entourage have opportunity to rescue a parsee princess from certain death, thanks to the crafty Passepartout who devises the plan. Upon the success of the rescue, Auoda joins the group for the remainder of the voyage.

Can the peculiar and bizarre Fogg save his fortune, or will his race against time destroy him? I won’t give away the ending, but I will tell you that it was ingenious and surprising. Maybe that’s why this book has remained in circulation for so long.

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