It has taken me awhile to write here because the past month I was finishing my thesis. On finishing I decided to read one classic “Around the World in 80 Days” Jules Verne. This book was published in 1873. The book opens in London with the main character traveling around the world (technically it is not around the world) in 80 days with his return to London. It is about a wager (bet) made by associates of the lead character- Mr. Phileas Fogg- the wager itself was that Phileas Fogg could not travel around the world in 80 days and if he could there was a cash price of 20,000 pounds to be won by the winning party.
This bet was made in a gentlemen’s club in London, Phileas Fogg bets that he can travel the world in 80 days and as soon as the wager was on, he went to his apartment collected his traveling kit and together with his servant a French man by the name of Passepartout set off for Europe, Asia, North America and back to Europe. Keep in mind that this is a time when the main means of transportation was by water ways or trains. Also keep in mind this is the time when British Imperialism was at its peak which facilitated his travel (e.g Suez Canal, India, HongKong were controlled by the Brits). They get to Suez Canal smoothly and on to India where they faced challenges including rescuing a princess that was about to be sacrificed by burning following some traditions.
Another challenge he faced was that of a British detective who held Mr. Fogg as a bank robber and followed them to the end of their journey only to learn that it was truly a wager among gentlemen that Mr. Fogg was pursuing. From India they sailed to HongKong, on to Japan and to San Francisco. With many setbacks including an attack by native americans, a breakdown of the train, they made their way to New York where they had missed their ship. But thankfully Mr. Fogg was a man of means so he hired a private boat to take him back to Britain. In summary he won the wager but having spent so much on the journey gained nothing monetarily but gained a wife (the Indian princess he had rescued) who traveled with them from India.
This is an easy read, at first the story does not take off because the first few pages describe the wager and the servant’s background. However, as soon as the journey begins the book holds your attention (with intriguing moments of delays and different exciting encounters).
I had only heard about this book since it is considered a classic and I really enjoyed.