Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Recently Read: Around the World In Eighty Days, by Jules Verne

I found Michael Glencross' recent translation of Verne's 1873 Around the World in Eighty Days much more fun, fast paced and suspenseful than I expected. Phileas Fogg and Passepartout's ridiculous bid to travel the world using every means (technological or not) at their disposal has been updated and retold many times, but the original story makes the most sense. The technologies used were new then and Verne uses the opportunity to not only create a travelogue, but make wry and subtle observations on the foibles of the British (and other nationalities). It's a whimsical lark, with more humor than many of Verne's works.

The Penguin Classics edition also features an excellent introduction by Brian Aldiss, a Chronology, a Recommended list and many helpful footnotes.

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