Around the World in Eighty Days (original French title: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is an adventure novel written by French author Jules Verne, and published in 1873. It is the 11th book in Verne's series The Extraordinary Voyages. It tells the story of Phileas Fogg, a wealthy English gentleman, who makes a £20 000 bet while playing whist that he can circumnavigate the world in just eighty days. Travelling with his French manservant Passepartout, he sets off for Dover; for there is no time to lose...
The book has been adapted many times for film, television and theatre.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I found the character of Phileas Fogg slightly irritating. However, the actual journey was fantastic, and the author brings the book to a final, brilliant finish. I particularly enjoyed comparing the countries that the characters travelled through to the more modern-day picture of the countries, like this for Singapore:
The island of Singapore is not particularly large or impressive. It lacks mountains to make it attractive. However, there is a certain charm to its compactness. It resembles a park with fine roads going through it. A handsome carriage drawn by elegant horses specially brought from Australia transported [the characters]... through groves of luxuriant palm trees and clove trees... Sago trees, large ferns with their magnificent fronds, gave variety to the tropical vegetation and the air was thick with the intense perfume of nutmeg trees, with their shiny green foliage. Hordes of lively, grinning monkeys roamed around the woods, and there were probably tigers, too, in the jungle.
I read this the same day I watched the Formula One 2009 Singapore Grand Prix – which gave quite a different view of Singapore, to say the least!
This is an entertaining read, if a bit far-fetched at times, and dated in some ways. I wonder whether Jules Verne had ever been to some of the places he describes, or whether he'd just heard from others what they were like. Still, it's become a classic journey, often quoted, so it's worth reading the original.
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- Reading Age: 14+
- Reading Aloud Age: 13+
At one point, a woman is about to be sacrificed by Indian priests – but of course, she's rescued.
If you like this you might like
- Other novels by Jules Verne.