17.3.12

AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS by Jules Verne


1872. The Morning Chronicle has just announced that thanks to the opening of the section between Rothal and Allahabad on the Indian Peninsular Railway, anyone can now travel around the world in a mere 80 days.

Would it be possible taking bad weather, adverse winds, shipwrecks, derailments, etc into account?
Phileas Fogg, the English gentleman with the most well-established routine, bets 20,000 pounds on the success of the venture. 
After Leaving the Reform Club, where he must be back on Saturday 21 December, he immediately sets off for Dover, with his astonished new servant Passpartout.
In this brilliant book we can really find lots of information about many different subjects, from detailed descriptions of steamships and trains to a little history of the British Empire and some of its laws across the colonies.
We read about several religions like Hinduism or Mormons and sects like the Indian Thugs. Even native Americans have their space in the novel: they appear to assault the train where the protagonists are traveling to cross the United States from San Francisco to New York.
An Indian elephant, a Chinese tavern frequented by opium smokers, a Japanese circus and a large herd of bison are the frame of this exciting  and unpredictable journey. 
Concerning the writing style of Jules Verne, we can surely appreciate a certain humor when he tells about British customs and laws. His way of comparing English manners to the American ones is definitely hilarious. 
The rhythm of narration coincides perfectly with the rhythm of the trip. It starts in a slow and plain way, almost monotonous. 
The reader may have the impression that everything will be smooth sailing until the protagonists' return to London. But luckily for us the railway in India wasn't really finished and the missing last stretch becomes the excuse to step on the accelerator. From that moment everything gets faster and more interesting.
Don't be surprised if you'll realize to have finished your book in less than a few days.

Here are some ideas for reading and learning about Around the World in Eighty Days. There are also quizzes and word searches inside the children’s edition of the book.