Not only was this book part of my TBR challenge, I also used it for the Cram-a-thon last weekend. I am glad that I have read the book, but even more so that I finished it. I do want to apologize. There will be spoilers. I also want to apologize if I offend anyone.
Around The World in 80 Days, by Jules Vern, is about a classic English Gentleman, name Phileas Fogg, who travels around the world in a set amount of time for a bet.
I gave this book two out of five stars on Goodreads. I will admit that I am not a huge fan of the classics, however I do have some books that are my favorite that are classics. In addition, I will admit that I did go into this book with high expectations due to the fact that this was the book that help put Vern on the map for great authors during that time. I gave this book the following rating for the reasons below.
Let’s start with the reasons why I did not like this book. First of all, all the characters are flat and two-dimensional. There is little to no growth for our characters. Fogg just had a means to get to an end, and everyone else was just there along for the ride. There were a few things that I did expect because of the time period of the novel. I did expect some sexism and racism, and was not surprise that Aouda (are only female) had little to no speaking parts, let alone was labeled as a thing to be rescued. Another thing that I did not like was the writing. I felt that the writing was flat and boring. The book is written as event one happen than another. There were little to no details about the views that our characters were seeing, experiencing, feeling, or about other people. If you do get details about other people, it is mainly because an event is going to happen that surrounds that person. Even then, not everyone is described. For example, I got excited over the fact that we finally got a detailed description of a person that Fogg was fighting with in San Francisco, only to find out that we got to see that person later on. I also felt like I turned in a paper similar to this writing format and I received a C on it. I was very surprised that this was the book the put Jules Vern on the map. I also felt like nothing was believable. I understand that technology has improved in the 142 years since the book has been published. I just felt that the events that happened in the story would not even happen in real life. Almost everything went according to plan for Mr. Fogg. Even in today’s world, we still plan for delays and cancellation of flights and such nots. Even in our best of planning, we still don’t get what we want. I was also surprised in how Mr. Fogg was a void towards emotions throughout the book until the end. No matter what delay our party experienced, everyone was worried for the exception of Mr. Fogg. He claimed it was all “a part of his plan.” You planned for a bunch of Native Americans to invade a train while you were about to start a fight? Who plans for that? It is equivalent to any one of us planning for a hijack airplane. What do you do to prepare yourself for such an event? And even more, Mr. Fogg was upset about being arrested, because that was the one thing he didn’t plan for. Really? Another problem that I had, was the love interest that exist in the book. You never really got to see it developed, unless it was Aouda. I am still having a hard time believing that Mr. Fogg fell in love with this woman, and wanted to marry her.
Though the main reason why it grabbed that extra star was how the book made me think. Not just about the reality of this obscured fantasy, but what life was like during the late 1870’s. I was very surprised to see Vern writing about a cop drugging an innocent servant to keep Fogg from traveling around the world. In today’s world, the cop would be put under scrutiny with the media and the charges on Fogg and his servant would be dropped. I could not help but wonder how as well as why Vern would add that in his story. Were cops under the scrutiny of the media and public for the same reasons ours are?
To end this lovely review I will say if you are not into classics, this is not the book for you. I am actually not going to be recommending this book to anyone. I was not a fan of this book. I do not regret reading this book, but I am not going to let everyone else waste their time with it either. If you have read the book please let me know what you thought about the book in the comments below.
Thank you for everything. I do hope that your weekend went perfectly. See you next time and happy reading!