Teen Review: Around the World in 80 Days
Review by Lazim, member of the Albert Campbell Youth Advisory Group.
Around the World in 80 days, written by Jules Verne, is an adventure book. The story revolves around Phileas Fogg and his servant Passepartout, and many others subsequently. The book starts out with Phileas Fogg making a bet with his friends at the Reform Club on whether or not it is physically possible to travel the world within 80 days as the theoretical travel time is eighty days. To prove his stance, he sets out with his servant Passepartout to journey around the world. This book takes place in the year 1872. So, their motive of transportation is very interesting.
I really enjoyed this book as this book went the extra mile to make it realistic. This book lays out the facts of the travel time repeatedly and for one, who reads the book carefully, can foresee the ending.
The characters in the book were very well written. Even though many of side characters were introduced later in the story, they were meticulous developed. The book is only about two hundred pages, so the development of the minor characters was shown in subtle moments. And the characters were not unrealistically making a one-eighty turn of character, but changing opinions or, changing mindset. As for the major characters, their development was brilliantly laid out throughout the book. A majority part of the book’s first half was the reveal of their personality, background, and attitude. Thus we could see how their latter actions mend with their previous state.
Another aspect of the book that I very much appreciated was the description of the setting. It was not too long and descriptive or too short and brief. It was just as much to get us to the point that the characters are in another country. The setting helped as a way to differentiate the different regions that the story takes place.
This book reflects us much of the author’s life. As a boy, Jules Verne was an adventurous kid. When he was young, he tried to run off and be a cabin boy for a ship but was caught and brought home. But, his dreams come true. Four years after his success with Around the World in 80 Days, he bought a large yacht and travelled from port to port within the European countries. In the book, Phileas Fogg spends a lot of money for his adventurous goal, much like Jules does in real life.
In my opinion, this may not be a life-changing book, but it sure will be an eye-opening one. Many people look at the journey as a tiresome activity; something to sleep through; just an extra part of the real activity. But, this book gives us the aesthetics of the journey. In real life, we are like Phileas Fogg, counting numbers till we reach the destination. But, this book shows us through the eyes of Passepartout, the servant, how to utilize the small amount of time.
I would very much recommend this book. This book has great characters to fall in love with, and an adventure filled with tremendous suspense that will keep you on the edge.