Monday, March 30, 2009

Around The World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne

I picked this up off the shelf at my local library as it came in a nice edition and I'd always been intrigued by Jules Verne. As it turns out, the novel is really a caper. The main character, or star of the story is really the burgeoning industrial era technology that makes the trip around the world in eighty days possible. The main character, Phileas Fogg, is pointedly described as having no interest in his surroundings while he travels. Beautiful vistas, fascinating places, pass him by. For Phileas, the means to his end are all. This is a story about superior Western technology, not travel.

Hence, the great lands that Phileas travels through are given little description. These countries basically provide land for the Western railroad tracks that straddle the globe.

So I was a bit divided on this novel. If you like psychology and three dimensional characters, you won't find it here. But if you like numbers, technology and adventure, then you'll enjoy this smartly written book.

It didn't inspire me to rush out and read some of Verne's other novels. That's not to say it's a bad book, it's just not so much for me.

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