April 23, 2011

Around the World in 80 days!

Around the World in 80 days is a classic novel by Jules Verne and according to Wikipedia it was first published in 1873. The reason i read this novel 120 years after it was published (discounting the time when i couldn't have read it...either because i wasn't born or was incapable of reading) was because i had seen the movie adaptation of the novel around 15 years back.

I still vividly remember Pierce Brosnan travelling in a train in India and bravely saving a woman from the customs of Sati, widely practiced in India during that time. It was a part of this childhood memory that made me read this book, the first amongst all the classic novels that "we" have recently ordered.

The novel based in 1872 is a story of an English gentleman Mr. Phileas Fogg and his newly employed servant/valet Passepartout and their journey around the world. Mr. Phileas Fogg in a bid to win a bet against his friends takes up this humongous task of proving that it is possible to circumnavigate the world in 80 days. The novel in essence is a story of his journey in these 80 days. It is a very interesting read especially since it is based in those times when sea was the only mode of long distance travel in a "shorter" period of time. Imagine taking 22 days going from Japan to San Fransisco in a sea voyage, when nowadays we fret over a minutes delay in flights. Well as they say the world and so has man's patience become shorter over the period of time. Without sounding like a critic, the story has excellent characterization, narration and a perfectly subtle comic timing to it as well. At times it may still fail to connect you with the turmoil and the anxiety that a man might feel when he has almost his entire fortune at stake proving a point. This may be because i had already seen the movie or because the character of Mr. Phileas Fogg is defined as such.

I neways had a good time reading the novel and will be soon watching the movie again.

The book that i have is a combination of 2 novels by the author the other being "20,000 leagues under the sea". I am not sure if i will read this one in the same zest as i had read the other novel. Especially since i am not a sea person,i don't like novels based on sea journeys, one of the main reasons i couldn't complete the book "Life of a PI" as well. I have parked this book for some days and am now going to start with "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", the complete collection. Lets see how that one turns out to be for me.


Calvin said...

Yup, Sherlock Holmes is nice. Though the stories are slightly different than the usual Agatha Christie ones.

shooting star said...

well, i am reading Life of Pi now...and for some reason finding it a bit violent, with all those animals killing each other...shudder!!!