I survived the week with our friends. Oh boy did we cram a lot in. Here are the highlights: The British Library, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Pubs, Borough Market, more pubs, shopping, an Arsenal football match at Emirates, and guess what, more pubs. Whew! I’m exhausted, but we had a great visit. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet up again later this year. Now back to business.
Okay, I have to admit that I believed this book would be a dud, just like I thought The Time Machine would be boring. I know, I shouldn’t go into a reading experience with this thought. I also thought I was doing a good thing, getting a dud off my 1001 list instead of saving it to the bitter end. By the way, The Time Machine wasn’t boring at all. I need to stop thinking that and avoiding certain books.
‘To go around the world…in such a short time and with the means of transport currently available, was not only impossible, it was madness’
One ill-fated evening at the Reform Club, Phileas Fogg rashly bets his companions £20,000 that he can travel around the entire globe in just eighty days – and he is determined not to lose. Breaking the well-establised routine of his daily life, the reserved Englishman immediately sets off for Dover, accompanied by his hot-blooded French manservant Passepartout. Travelling by train, steamship, sailing boat, sledge and even elephant, they must overcome storms, kidnappings, natural disasters, Sioux attacks and the dogged Inspector Fix of Scotland Yard – who believes that Fogg has robbed the Bank of England – to win the extraordinary wager. Around the World in Eighty Days gripped audiences on its publication and remains hugely popular, combining exploration, adventure and a thrilling race against time.
This is not a dud. Right from the beginning I couldn’t put the novel down. Phileas Fogg (I love the name) is a curious man. What I really liked was that even though the story is about his adventure, the readers don’t really get close to him. Instead, we get inside the heads of Passepartout and the detective. Fogg is a reserved man and if we got inside his mind, I think it may have ruined the story. It’s better to have him on the sidelines since that’s how he is in life.
But this novel isn’t just a character study. It’s about adventure! Many of you know, I love to travel. In the beginning I wasn’t too interested in the bet. I was more curious about what they would see and do.
However, once they started encountering one obstacle after another, I was on the edge of my seat. Would they arrive in time? Or would Fogg be ruined?
I won’t lie, I stayed up past midnight to finish this novel. It’s a wonderful adventure story and I ended up really liking the characters. This is my first novel by Jules Verne. It won’t be my last. This novel is a classic that stands the test of time.
This novel is the 90th novel from my 1001 list. I’m narrowing in on 100, the first milestone.