, Research Paper
Around the World in Eighty Days?
Aerie Books LTD., 210, n/a
Reviewed by Yitty Long
In the book ?Around the World in Eighty Days,? Phileas Fogg, a very generous man from London, all of a sudden replies that he can travel around the world in eighty days. The men around him think he is crazy and offer to make a wager. He goes around the table betting every man. They figure he would leave in a few days to plan but he ends up leaving the same night. Along with Phileas goes his assistant Passepartout. Passepartout was a real ladies-man. He had to go to England in a basket hiding from the women. Right after they leave for their journey the Bank of England gets 50 thousand pounds stolen from it. Everyone believes it is Phileas and Passepartout. However, the ones who think it wasn?t them feel that the thief will get away with it. They started off in a hot air balloon and while it was in the air the gas valve got stuck. Passepartout climbs up the balloon to try and fix it but he almost falls out. They end up landing at some sort of dance somewhere in Spain. Deserted in Spain, Phileas asks a man for a ship. The man says yes, but only if Passepartout steps in the ring for a bullfight. So, they get the ship to Mongolia. When they get there, Passepartout, feeling a little confident, decides to fight a camel like a bull. They end up getting chased out of the country on a train. By this time, they think Phileas is a criminal, so they have a warrant out for his arrest. Meanwhile, they realize at some point the track ends for fifty miles. Therefore, they determine to get an elephant. One night they stop to sleep and discover a cult about to sacrifice a woman. In fact she was the princess. Passepartout runs off and saves her himself. All the while, at home, they are reading this in the papers and still think that Phileas is crazy. On their way to another country in a steamship, Phileas tells the Princess about traveling around the world and she is just fascinated. She asks Passepartout about Fogg?s love life because she is interested in him. When they get to land, Passepartout meets up with a detective that asks him to delay Phileas for 24 hours, and tells him that the boat that Fogg wants is earlier than expected. Passepartout ends up getting drugged and taken to Yokohama before he can tell Phileas about the early ship. Consequently, Phileas has to get another ship to Yokohama in order to get the ship to San Fransisco on time. When they got to San Fransisco, they got a railroad right away. However, Indians stopped them, but they were peaceful. It was the Indians further down the line that gave them trouble. Passepartout ended up falling off the train and was captured by them. Phileas would not leave without his man though. Although it would delay him a day or two, he had to rescue Passpartout. At last they get a ship to London. Nevertheless, the boat runs out of steam. Phileas buys the boat off of the ship captain and burns all of the cargo on the ship so the boat gets moving. When they get to London, Phileas gave the boat back to the Captain. Right as they are about to get on the train home, the warrant finally catches up to Phileas. He is arrested with 8 hours left on the clock. Eventually, they find the real robber of the bank. They get the train home thinking they lost the bet. Fogg arranges to marry the princess and sends Passepartout to get the priest. On his way out he picks up a newspaper and figures out that he has a few hours left. Fogg calculates the days and realizes that they crossed the International Date Line, which gave them an extra day. Phileas runs to the reform club and makes it at the last second and won the bet.
Jules Verne (1828-1905) used a combination of scientific facts and his imagination to take readers on incredible resourceful journeys to freakish places. In such books as Around the World in Eighty Days, From the Earth to the Moon, and Journey to the Center of the Earth, he predicted many technological advances of the twentieth century. This included the invention of the automobile, telephone, and nuclear submarines, as well as atomic power and travel to the moon by rocket.
Kirkus Reviews believe that the explanatory captions accompanying the latter are largely superfluous, although they do add random snippets of historical background to the journey. It’s the views of old ships and trains, of costumed natives, and distant ports of call–from Port Said to San Francisco–that evoke the tale’s panorama of the exotic, just as the many lurid Verne trading cards and other spinoffs capture the plot’s melodramatic highlights. Good ways to put both book and story in context for young armchair travelers.
According to Terrance from El Cajon, ?This book was interesting and I couldn’t put it down. Of course, this was written by Jules Verne and was filled with exciting moments. Phileas Fogg, an Englishman, bets 20,000 pounds that he can travel around the world in 80 days with his companion and servant named Jean Passepartout. After betting this money at the reform club, he departs soon from London and travels all the way around the world. After arriving in many different countries by many different means of transportation, he lands in India and runs into an enchanting young princess who is about to be killed. Fogg and Passepartout come to the rescue and keep moving right along. And soon, they fell in love. But this whole time, there was trouble right behind him. Detective Fix thinks Fogg was a bank robber and this detective is following him everywhere so he can arrest him in London. Passepartout ends up thinking this man is a member of the reform club, and thinks he’s trying to stop them from getting there. After many close calls through transportation and an arrest, Fogg arrives. But you’ll have to read it yourself to find out what happens. It’s a wonderful book and if you haven’t read it, it’s a good book to read.?
This is Verne’s classic story of the trip of Phileas Fogg, Passeportout, Aouda, and Detective Fix around the world on a wager. The book is filled with beautiful time and space imagery throughout (I would bet that one could write an entire thesis on all the time and space references in the novel). Thirty-three years after its publication, the world first learns of the space/time continuum. Fogg bets his fellow club members that he can circumnavigate the globe in a mere eighty days. He leaves immediately with his valet Passeportout and is pursued by Detective Fix, who thinks he is a bank robber. Through many adventures, including the rescue of Aouda from immolation, they all return to London.
I feel that the book was very interesting. Many book reviewers said that they could not put the book down, and I felt the same way. It seemed like if I put it down I would miss something like in a movie. There was action after action and if they made this into a movie, I don?t see how it could fail. However, it did take them a little long to get to the point of the story. It was hard to read at first because it was boring. Nevertheless when it got past that part, that?s when I couldn?t put it down. Overall, on a Ten-point scale, I give this book an 8.5.
Yitty Long is a World Literature student at Gateway Regional High School and is planning to major in Secondary Education at West Virginia University.