I must admit that my motivation to read this book came from the book and TV series by Michael Palin (who attempted to go around the world in eighty days strangely enough in the 1980s). Palin’s journey was inspired by this classic.
As you can probably guess, this book deals with Phileas Fogg’s attempt to go around the world in eighty days in the 1800s. Accompanied by his new but trusty servant, Passepartout, he leaves the Reform Club, London promising to return back in exactly eighty days. Armed with a book of timetables of ships and trains (as well as good luck), they begin their journey. However, Detective Fix is on Fogg’s trail, suspecting him of stealing from the Bank of England. Add to this a ride on an elephant, rescue of a young widow, a meeting with the Sioux and a circus troupe (not at the same time) and like Fogg, this book never stops. One thing you will learn is longitude and latitude in an important but fun way!
I found this book fast paced and interesting. It read like a modern book to me, I had no problems with language or dreary bits. Fogg’s trip was interesting from both a cultural and historical perspective. Passepartout was just gorgeous with his devotion to Fogg and his journey. Okay, so it’s dated and the world has changed, but it was written a long time ago!
If you’ve never read a classic, I suggest you start with this one – it’s short and feels completely modern.
9 out of 10.