Book Review: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

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.

The Goodreads synopsis:

‘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.

My review:

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.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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46 Responses to Book Review: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

  1. niasunset says:

    You are amazing reader dear TBM 🙂 Thanks and Love, nia

  2. I’m still giggling reading how many pubs were interspersed throughout that list :). This is another book I have never read, and it has now become clear to me that although I am a voracious reader, I have been sorely neglecting the classics. Your progress, on the other hand, through the 1001 list is very impressive!

  3. Beth Ann says:

    Glad you had a great visit but it sounds exhausting!!!! Welcome back to the real world. 🙂 I always judge a book by it’s cover….and title…and this is one I most likely would have judged harshly even though it is one of those “classics” right??? Good to read the review!

    • TBM says:

      It’s so hard not to judge it by it’s cover or title. And I thought it would feel dated. Not one bit. I loved this book and feel silly for thinking that way.

      I am exhausted! But I can’t complain since it was fun and I loved seeing our buddies.

  4. Wow, you are great hosts! Sounds like a really fun visit.

    I have to admit to having the same prejudices about both books. Thought they’d be dated and boring. Thanks for the review. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I have to admit, our guests made most of the suggestions. They’ve been here before and these were things on their list of to dos. And I’m always up for any type of adventure.

      Whew I’m glad I’m not the only one. And I have to admit, I’m glad I finally read them. Both were equally enjoyable.

  5. Rorybore says:

    This is actually one I have never read. Hard to believe after 4 years of studying English Literature! I will have to add it to my reading list this year. I am trying to alternate between one “modern” book – and one classic.
    Glad you had a great week with your friends.

  6. So glad you had a good visit with your friends! That sounds like a FULL week. And good to know you enjoyed the novel. I read it in high school, but remember very little of it. I’m wondering how you find time to do all that you do. You’re amazing!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    This book inspired many people!

  8. poppytump says:

    TBM shame * another one not read 😦 but seen the film Lol
    Glad you had such a great week … Oh Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake …. what did you think …have read about it … don’t know anyone who has seen …

    • TBM says:

      I should say I haven’t seen the original Swan Lake. Saying that, I have to say I enjoyed Bourne’s modern version. It got to be a little long in parts, but I found it impressive. And the dancers–amazing!

      I haven’t seen the film of Around the World. I need to add it to my list.

  9. Glad to hear this book didn’t disappoint you, especially since you expected it to be a dud!

  10. lynnsbooks says:

    I read this a long time ago and can barely remember any of it – I should give it a reread.
    Phileas Fogg – it is a great name isn’t it!
    Lynn 😀

  11. Darlene says:

    There is something about a book that never gets old. So glad you are enjoying these classics. I haven’t read this one so will put it on the list.

  12. arleendee says:

    I would think the same of old popular books, or classics, and I have always been pleasantly surprised. Being from Latin-america, one of our lit classics is “A hundred years of solitude”. I always dreaded having to read it and I managed to avoid it for many years, until I finally did and it is now my favorite book ever.

    • TBM says:

      I read 100 Years last year and really enjoyed it. Such a great book. It’s funny the ideas we get in our heads. At least we can both admit we were wrong 😉

  13. I read this at school aboout 35 years ago – and remember enjoying it then! Time to revisit I think 🙂

  14. I’ve neither read this book nor seen the film, but your review makes the book sound very worthwhile. That said, I probably won’t read it. I’m still trying to catch up on today’s edition of the New York Times online. If this is the 90th book you’ve slogged through, that means you have 911 to go? Oy! That would take me the remainder of whatever time I have left walking this earth coupled with three more lifetimes wherever I’m headed next (first guess: the void). I’d rather spend more times in pubs.

    • TBM says:

      It’s been a long time since I’ve read the NY Times or the majority of it. I hate that they charge for it now. I understand why they do, but I don’t have to like it. 911 more to go! Actually I think it’s best if I think, 90 done and keep the TBR number hidden.

      Good thing I love to read whilst in a pub. Bring your NYT and I’ll tell you which beers will be cold.

  15. Awesome! Very glad you are ticking so many things off the list. Wish I could be tagging along for the ride!

  16. Novroz says:

    Oh!! I have this on my TBR 🙂 … but I am a very slow reader now, I haven’t even finished my current book.
    I like how you mention that you are eager to know whether they’ll arrive or not even though it’s hardly a secret anymore

  17. Pingback: Traveling the world one country at a time | 50 Year Project

  18. Caroline says:

    When I was a child my father wnet through a Jules Verne phase and read over 20 of his books I think. Since he’s ususally rather into very literary books I thought he can’t be that bad but I remember this wasn’t his favourite. I think he liked 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea a lot.
    Funny enough I’ve never read him.

    • TBM says:

      20,000 is on my list as well! This is my first introduction to Verne and if this is your father’s least favorite I think that means good things for me. They get better. Who’s your dad’s favorite author? Who is yours?

  19. Vishy says:

    Nice review, TBM! Glad to know that you read your first Jules Verne book and liked ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ though you were expecting that it would be a dud. This was one of my favourite books when I first read it – I think I read it first during my schooldays when I was visiting my uncle and aunt during the summer holidays and I borrowed my cousin’s copy and read it. I have also read ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ and liked both of them very much. There is a 1989 TV series version of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ which has Pierce Brosnan playing the role of Phileas Fogg. Maybe you might like it.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Vishy. I’ll look for the movie. And I think the other two Verne’s books you mentioned are on my list. Looking forward to reading them.

  20. Pingback: Around The World In 80 Days by Jules Verne | Polychrome Interest

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