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Book Review: Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in Eighty Days Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t say enough about what an enjoyable journey this was. The characters were vivid and charming, the plot brisk (once it got going), and the language and descriptions were superb. Phileas Fogg, the main character, proved “equal to the task” as Verne says, coming off as an iconic figure who is both mysterious and surprisingly heroic. His slight change towards the end was refreshing and masterfully done. Passepartout is a wonderful complement to his unflappable master, worrying and working himself up enough for the both of them. Aouda though she has a more minor role is also delightful in her own quiet, reserved way. The final main character, the detective Fix comes off as somewhere between pitiable and admirable and is enjoyable to read in his own way.d

The principal thing I came away with from this story is that is was very character driven. Yes there are exotic locations, harrowing escapes, and the resolve and ingenuity of the protagonists is tested time and time again, but by the end I really felt as if the most wonderful thing was simply traveling on a train or steamer with the inimitable Phileas Fogg and his companions. The story might not seem as deep as other classic works but if you are looking for a well written and enjoyable romp, Mr. Fogg will prove an able guide. As I reader, my only regret is that I had eventually to get off the train and return to London. I would have been content to ride on with this formidable Englishman for many, many more stops.

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