Author: Jules Verne
Publication Date: 1873
Review Score: 9/10
Phileas Fogg is a man of habit, going through the same routine every day, reading the paper, lunching at the Reform Club and playing whist, he is a rich man, but no one knows where his fortune came from, in fact no one knows very much about him at all!
It would appear that nothing could shake Mr Fogg from his life of simple ritual, but one day he gets involved in a heated discussion regarding how long it would take to go around the world. The papers claim that it would only take 80 days and Mr Fogg agrees, but no one else in the club does, leading to a rather audacious bet!
All at once the routine is shattered and Phileas Fogg is on his way around the globe, using any means necessary to get back to London in 80 days, including travelling by train, ship, sledge and even elephant (but not hot air balloon! This does not actually happen in the main novel despite what Steve Coogan may do in the film!).
Even if everything went to plan 80 days would be a tight deadline, but Mr Fogg also has to deal with unexpected delays, the sometimes idiotic behaviour of his servant and a police detective by the name of Mr Fix who is determined to stop his journey.
First of all I will start by saying that Around the World in 80 Days is a truly brilliant book! From start to finish I struggled to put it down at all, it was just addictive! Mr Fogg is a truly unique character who is completely mysterious from first page to last and gives nothing away, yet despite his cool countenance and level head the book is dripping with excitement and emotion!
I found myself rooting for Mr Fogg from the moment he set foot on the first train and whilst he gives every delay and inconvenience little notice, as if they were all part of the plan, I found myself getting frustrated on his behalf, just praying that he would make it in time.
It’s original, lively, easy to read and just plain fun! If you liked the film you will love the book, if you have never watched the film, good! Read the book instead, it’s brilliant!