Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days

Another selection from the Midwest Journal Writers' Club - Classic Sci-fi Fiction

 

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About this book:
Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (roughly £1,324,289 today) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne's most acclaimed works.
During this adventure, the reclusive bachelor finds love, is involved in mastering various catastrophes place in his path, and spends half his wealth in pursuit of the wager. The story involves cliff-hanger outcomes right through to the surprise ending.

The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1, 1872. Fogg is a rich English gentleman and bachelor living in solitude at Number 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens. Despite his wealth, which is £40,000 (roughly £2,650,000 today), Fogg, whose countenance is described as "repose in action", lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Foster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout, who is about 30 years old, as a replacement. 
 
Later on that day, in the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph, stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 (roughly £1,320,000 today) from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday, October 2, 1872, and thus is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, Saturday, December 21, 1872.
Fogg and Passepartout reach Suez in time. While disembarking in Egypt, they are watched by a Scotland Yard detective named Fix, who has been dispatched from London in search of a bank robber. Because Fogg answers the description of the robber, Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. Since he cannot secure a warrant in time, Fix goes on board the steamer conveying the travellers to Bombay. During the voyage, Fix becomes acquainted with Passepartout, without revealing his purpose. On the voyage, Fogg promises the engineer a large reward if he gets them to Bombay early. They dock two days ahead of schedule.
After reaching India they take a train from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Calcutta (Kolkata). About halfway there, Fogg learns that the Daily Telegraph article was wrong—the railroad ends at Kholby and starts again 50 miles further on at Allahabad. Fogg promptly buys an elephant, hires a guide, and starts toward Allahabad.
During the ride, they come across a procession, in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is led to a sanctuary to be sacrificed by the process of suttee the next day by Brahmins. Since the young woman is drugged with the smoke of opium and hemp and is obviously not going voluntarily, the travellers decide to rescue her. They follow the procession to the site, where Passepartout secretly takes the place of Aouda's deceased husband on the funeral pyre on which she is to be burned the next morning. During the ceremony he rises from the pyre, scaring off the priests, and carries the young woman away. Due to this incident, the two days gained earlier are lost, but Fogg shows no sign of regret...
(source: Wikipedia)
About the author: Jules Gabriel Verne (8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction. 
 
Born to bourgeois parents in the seaport of Nantes, Verne was trained to follow in his father's footsteps as a lawyer, but quit the profession early in life to write for magazines and the stage. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages Extraordinaires, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days.
Verne is generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism. His reputation is markedly different in Anglophone regions, where he has often been labeled a writer of genre fiction or children's books, not least because of the highly abridged and altered translations in which his novels are often reprinted.
Verne is the second most translated author in the world (following Agatha Christie),and his works appear in more translations per year than those of any other writer. Verne is one writer sometimes called "The Father of Science Fiction," as are H. G. Wells and Hugo Gernsback.
(source: Wikipedia)
About the Midwest Journal Writers' Club:  
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