Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

Enigmatic Englishman Phileas Fogg wagers his fortune, shocking his stodgy colleagues at the exclusive Reform Club, by undertaking an extraordinary and daring enterprise: to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days. With his French valet Passepartout in tow, Verne's hero traverses the far reaches of the earth - all the while tracked by intrepid Detective fix, a bounty hunter who is certain he is on the trail of a notorious bank robber. Verne's adventure comes vividly alive in this brilliant recording, reflecting on time, space, and one man's struggle to reach beyond the bounds of both science and society.

This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (7 discs/8 hours).

This was actually quite good! Having just seen Journey to the Center of the Earth on DVD I decided to try reading a Jules Verne. I actually did read the children's version of Around the World in 80 Days as a child, but this was the full version.

I was quite impressed with the entire thing. The reader, Jim Dale, was amazing! He also, incidentally, read the Harry Potter books and does the narration on Pushing Daisies. He made what could have been a rather boring book fascinating and kept a great pace throughout.

The story itself is obviously a product of its time, although not quite as dated feeling as I would have expected, despite references to "coolies" and such.

The conclusion was rather obvious. But, I guess this is because we're rather more educated in scientific matters these days. It was, however, a nice twist.

And Fix. Well, I have nothing good to say about him. I suppose every book needs an antagonist, but perhaps not such an annoying one? I hope Fix got fired upon his return to London.

I'm going to give this one seven stars. It was a good read, but I would never choose to read it again. I suppose if someone is into reading the classics it is a good choice, but otherwise it's a bit on the boring side.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆


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