Around the World in Eighty Days: Part 2

Well I finished my adventure Around the World in 80 Days. And it was a rollercoaster. A fun, exciting, mind-blowing rollercoaster, as all are.

I have to tell you that there will be spoilers in this article, so if you want to ride the roller coaster without knowing about the surprise water splash at the end, read the book now if you haven’t already. But if you are wondering if it is indeed worth the read but don’t want to have the ending spoiled, rest assured you can read my previous article.

I loved Around the World in Eighty Days. It was unlike anything I’d ever read in that it introduced me to personalities and places I’d never known before.

Phileas Fogg. I hardly have words to describe him. I loved how the book stated it, he was “exactly regulated as a Leroy chronometer.” What cracked me up the most was that I know someone like Fogg. He’s always on time to everything. Always as composed as the olive in a martini. Never seems to be phased. I admire him for this because I am anything but composed, I laugh, I shout, I cry, I dance all at the most inconvenient of times. As Phileas Fogg was actually full of powerful emotions within that revealed themselves in bold exclamations at times, I wondered if a surge of emotions streams constantly underneath the blank wall that I sometimes associate with my friend.

Aouda. If I could see her as a Disney princess, I would be satisfied. She’s courageous, kind, smart, patient, and level-headed. When they were playing whist, the card game, I laughed when Verne wrote “Aouda. . . even received some compliments on her playing from Mr. Fogg.” Sometimes all we strive for is for the expert on something to tell us we have done well. It’s like on the Great British Bake Off when Paul gives a baker a handshake and everyone in the tent practically faints because the reigning champion is impressed. Aouda was so accomplished. I thought, what have I been doing all this time? I need to start learning some more skills.

Passepartout. But, who am I kidding? Passepartout was the very best part of all. This Frenchman made me throw back my head laughing 12 times a chapter. He’s a totally respectable guy, but then he somehow gets himself into all sorts of trouble. I remember when he was one of the long noses in the human pyramid and I was totally rooting for him and completely believed he would be able to hold his weight, but then the pyramid came crashing down like dominos. I was so disillusioned! But, no! I learned it was not his fault. And I was happy again. Passepartout was still the famed acrobat.

“Books and news dealers, sellers of edibles, drinkables, and cigars, who seemed to have plenty of customers, were continually circulating in the aisles.”

This scene that happened when leaving San Francisco, made me instantly flash-back to riding buses in Ecuador. Every time you got on the bus in one city you’d have ten people get on saying “Agua, agua, agua!” and “Papipollo, papipollo, papas y pollo, muy caliente!” And I’d just try to hide my face in my backpack so that they didn’t think I had money just because I was a tourist. It always amazed me that they actually had customers. And how they chose which vendor to buy from. I’ll never know I guess.

I loved all the vehicles! How fun that was. I never knew that there were so many methods of transport in the 1800s. As Jules Verne put it, Phileas Fogg “had employed every means of conveyance–steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, elephants”.

The last 10 percent had me totally at the author’s mercy, I was as involved in Fogg’s adventure as Passepartout was that I couldn’t part from the book. When it claimed that Fogg had been late, that he had lost the wager, I was mortified. I said out loud, “What?!”. I didn’t understand. How could Verne do this to me. All of that and nothing to come of it? But then, it came, the sparkling finale. How I cheered with the crowd as Fogg strolled into the Reform Club as cool as a cucumber at the agreed upon time. And of course the jewel that was Fogg and Aouda finally realizing they were both in love with each other.

Let me know…

  • What did you love about Around the World in 80 Days?
  • What other Verne’s do you recommend I read?

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