Phileas Fogg, a proper Englishman in 1870s England, gambled his life savings on the supposition that he could go around the world, from London to London via France, India, China, Japan, and America, in just eighty days. An amazing number of things hold him up as he travels by train, boat, carriage, and even an elephant.
While Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne was an amusing and easy read, I failed to be engaged in the characters and action. While the characters were interesting, they were also stereotyped. The plot was predictable. But, at the same time, it was interesting to learn about the 1870s culture as I read. It must have been quite a project to travel around the world in those days! Now, of course, one can travel around the world in 24 hours. It is a glimpse of a different era to read Jules Verne’s novel.
Many people commented that they read this and loved this as a child. Maybe it’s an adventure story for children, then, because as and adult I didn’t love it.
I read the novel via dailyreader.net, reading just ten minutes a day for a few weeks; occasionally I was interested in the scene and read more, and by the end, I was reading it all at once because I wanted to read what happened. I want to blame the lack of engagement in the story on the disjointed time period in which I read it, but I know that wasn’t the reason because I read The Age of Innocence in a similar manner and enjoyed it thoroughly (thoughts here).
In the end, I enjoyed reading Around the World in Eighty Days for the entertainment value and the amusing peek into the past, but the stereotyped story and characters probably won’t stay with me long.
Do you ever finish a book that you enjoyed and then realize you have nothing to say about it? I’ve even put this book off for a week and a half because I felt stuck. However, I would like to review all the books I finish (unless there is a good reason not to) because I want my Rebecca Reads portfolio of books to be complete. So here you go.
Have you ever traveled around the world? My husband once took a business trip from Chicago to the Philippines, traveling east both directions, so it ultimately took him around the world. I’ve been to Australia and back twice, but we didn’t end up going around the world, even if the distance technically added up to it!
Around the World In Eighty Days was the 5 Minutes for Books Classics Book Club discussion book this month. Go check it out; there are links to many more reviews.
If you have reviewed Around the World in Eighty Days on your site, leave a link in the comments and I’ll add it here.
While I’d love to spend all day today reading for the read-a-thon, I cannot! I have far more time to read during the week. At any rate, I hope you read-a-thon folks have a fun time today!