Posted in Classic

Around the World in 80 days

This book is rated L
This story begins on October 2, 1872. Phileas Fogg who is a wealthy and eccentric Englishman accepts a bet of 20,000 pounds. from the member of his club. The group discuss a recently newspaper article that states with the opening of a new railroad makes it possible to travel around the world in 80 days. Fogg makes this trip with his manservant Passepartout. On the day they depart, Passertout forgets to turn his gas lamp off and is anticipating a large bill when he returns.

The trip starts off well, but becomes quite complicated when a Scotland Yard detective, Fix, mistakes Fogg for a London bank robber. Fix constantly causes problems for the pair throughout their journey. Fogg and Passepartout travel from Suex to Bombay. They rescue a young woman Aouda who is to be burned with her dead husband. Then the pair heads off to Hong Kong, then Shanghai. Finally they land in San Fransisco. Fix by this point is traveling with the as Fogg is no longer on British soil for him to arrest.
They hop a train to New York then across the Atlantic to Ireland. Of course Fix arrests Fogg, only to discover that the bank robber was caught while they were gone. Of course Fogg is pissed with Fix and punches him. Especially since he has now lost his bet.
Despite his poverty, Fogg does as Aouda to marry him. When Passepartout goes for the minister he discovers that they actually gained a day because they crossed the International Date line. Fogg makes it back to the club and wins his money.

My mom bought a child’s version of this book when I was younger. I loved the tale. I was constantly re-reading it. I didn’t really like Fogg that much. I just thought he was so high-handed or may single-minded. I most certainly didn’t like the way he treated Passepartout. On one hand, I did feel that Fogg had gotten his just dessert in losing the bet. But I did feel bad for Aouda, who had no way to take care of herself. Interesting side note, Fogg’s name always reminded me of that clothes designer London Fog.

When I was younger, I found the whole wife burning thing very disturbing. I do re-call looking up the wife burning in India. I think it is so sad that even now women who lose their husbands are still mistreated. The acid throwing makes me sick. Anyway, I highly recommend this book.

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