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ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP

After making an audacious wager, the wealthy and eccentric Phileas Fogg attempts a seemingly impossible feat -- to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:


  • A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information
  • A chronology of the author's life and work
  • A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
  • An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations
  • Detailed explanatory notes
  • Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
  • Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
  • A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience


Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON
Published: Simon & Schuster on May 1, 2007
ISBN: 9781416561576
List price: $5.99
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What a fantastic, thrilling, gripping story this is. What a nail-biter! Filled with fun characters, vivid locations, and a sense of desperate urgency, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne is deservedly a classic. I listened to this on audiobook read by Jim Dale and enjoyed every minute (except the truly nauseating little talk, added by the publisher, at the end. But I will rant about that later). I was surprised to realize that I had probably never read the unabridged version of this story. I have a vague recollection of one of those Great Illustrated Classics, with a truly terrifying illustration of Passepartout in the opium den. Though I'm familiar with many of Verne's plots, I haven't really sat down with one of his books as an adult reader. I see I will have to rectify that. Phileas Fogg is an eccentric English gentleman who has followed an unvarying pattern — to the minute — for most of his life. He is meticulous down to the temperature of his shaving water, and when his manservant brings him water that is two degrees too cold, Mr. Fogg has no alternative but to fire him. We arrive at the house in Savile Row the day the new servant, Passepartout, is to begin work. Passepartout is delighted at the prospect of a well-ordered, established life, but it is not to be. That very night, Fogg makes a twenty-thousand-pound bet at his club that he can travel around the world in eighty days. To the astonishment of his colleagues, who are well accustomed to his precise and unvarying life, Fogg sets out that very evening on his madcap voyage.There is an interesting correlation between this story and that of Les Misérables; though completely opposite in tone and plot, both feature a legalistic, misled police inspector trailing the hero on all his journeys. Both inspectors step in to wreak ruin upon their quarry at the worst possible moment, and both, in the end, are foiled. That is probably as far as the comparison goes, but isn't it interesting? Les Misérables was published in 1862, and Around the World in Eighty Days in serial form in 1873. I love Verne's descriptions; they are often so wryly humorous. Anyone who thinks classics are boring and slow really ought to read this book. He says that Fogg is "like an incarnation of the god of punctuality," and continually calls Passepartout a "dear fellow." Inspector Fix is also a very humorous and yet well-rounded character. Of Mrs. Aouda, alas, we do not see much.I can't praise Jim Dale's reading enough; it was wonderful. His voices for the characters were superb. The only weakness was his voice for Mrs. Aouda, but it seems a common failing among male actors; they never can get the women's voices so well as the female actors can get the men's. But apart from that small quibble, I loved Dale's interpretation, especially of the beloved Passepartout! I will always hear his slightly breathless, emphatic, strongly accented voice in my head when I think of the character. (I should mention that another thing I love about audiobooks is that I learn how to pronounce all the words and names... Passepartout is pronounced "Paspertoo;" who knew?).And now for the banal little talk at the end, given by the son of the man who started the Listening Library company (now owned by Random House). First off, the poor man's voice is not a pleasure to listen to after Dale's warm, rolling tones. It's nasally, effeminate, and just plain annoying. Even had his script been wonderful, it would have been hard to appreciate, read by that unfortunate voice. And what he says is bad enough on its own account. Does Listening Library commend Verne for being interested in other countries and cultures, for opening new vistas to his readers, and demonstrating a vivid curiosity about the fascinating world around him? Do they praise his enthusiasm for the exotic and share his excitement for the geographical limitations that technology was removing? Oh no. Instead, the publishers chose to disparage his work as "unacceptable" by today's standards in its portrayal of "certain social structures" and "other cultures." Verne, they self-righteously sniff, displays a staggering "naivete" and "lack of appreciation and experience" for the various cultures that his characters encounter. Sure, Verne had an imperfect understanding of the many cultures in his book. Do we, in chronological snobbery, really think our appreciation of every culture and "social structure" so perfect? Actually I was rather disappointed that the publisher did not actually mention the specific issues with the story, preferring rather to take the safe route of vague, lofty accusation. It's a good thing readers are generally intelligent enough to pick out these things for ourselves — where, oh where would we be without Listening Library to mold our minds? And there are textual refutations to their sweeping claims, if they would but condescend to play fair and be specific about what's giving them indigestion.I find it absurd and unfair to judge a historical figure by modern standards. I think if any sermon must be made of the book's relative level of 21st-century political correctness or lack thereof (again, assuming we readers aren't astute enough to pick it out for ourselves), it ought to focus on the themes of the story rather than passing judgment on the author. The cover art for this audiobook is further proof of the publisher's cluelessness. It features a large hot-air balloon... which Phileas Fogg never takes. Verne mentions a balloon for about two seconds as a method of travel that would most certainly not work for Mr. Fogg — and then the cover sports one prominently. *sigh*But I don't want to leave you with all this negativity. The rating I am giving is strictly for the book. Random House/Listening Library's hamfisted approach is such a pity, because the actual production was excellent. I enjoyed the ethnic music that opened each new chapter, and of course Dale was great. And I suppose it's good the publishers didn't excise the parts they didn't like; this is unabridged, after all. But it's a 50th anniversary tribute to Listening Library's first audiobook production, which was this book. It might look bad if they interfered with the actual text itself.If you think you are intelligent enough to perceive ideas that are in alignment with their historical setting (and actually, perhaps, ahead of their time) — if you're sure you won't suddenly morph into a bigot under Verne's pernicious influence — you really ought to give this book a try. It's funny, well written, and adventurous, and you'll enjoy every minute of Phileas Fogg's eighty days around the world. I certainly did. Highly recommended!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Philease Fogg makes a hasty and rash bet of 20,000 pounds that he can travel around the world in 80 days. He immediately sets off, dragging his newly hired servant Passpartout along for the journey. He meets with many adventures and possible delays that risk preventing him from reaching his destination in time, including Fix, a detective who has mistaken Fogg for a bank robber.The film versions of this books often make this story more exotic and fantastical than it really is, turning Fogg into some sort of an inventor, who sets off in his journey in an air balloon. But Fogg uses regular means of travel in this books, ships, trains, and even on elephant, but there are no balloons. Verne did pen another adventure story, called Five Weeks in a Balloon, in which travels travel across Africa in a hot air balloon (this is on my list to read).That being said, I enjoyed Around the World immensely. Because the book was orginally written as a serial, the chapters are each vignette in which Fogg and his companions meets an obstacle and then over comes it. Verne's characters are something like caricatures, but the have enough depth to be fully entertaining.This is only the second book of Verne's that I have read, but he is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is by far my favorite book by Jules Verne. Phileas Fogg and his sidekick, Passepartout, take a wild adventure around the world in 80 days. I won't give any spoilers, but I loved, loved, loved the ending!! (Hint, hint; nudge, nudge!) Read it!! Trust me, you won't regret it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

What a fantastic, thrilling, gripping story this is. What a nail-biter! Filled with fun characters, vivid locations, and a sense of desperate urgency, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne is deservedly a classic. I listened to this on audiobook read by Jim Dale and enjoyed every minute (except the truly nauseating little talk, added by the publisher, at the end. But I will rant about that later). I was surprised to realize that I had probably never read the unabridged version of this story. I have a vague recollection of one of those Great Illustrated Classics, with a truly terrifying illustration of Passepartout in the opium den. Though I'm familiar with many of Verne's plots, I haven't really sat down with one of his books as an adult reader. I see I will have to rectify that. Phileas Fogg is an eccentric English gentleman who has followed an unvarying pattern — to the minute — for most of his life. He is meticulous down to the temperature of his shaving water, and when his manservant brings him water that is two degrees too cold, Mr. Fogg has no alternative but to fire him. We arrive at the house in Savile Row the day the new servant, Passepartout, is to begin work. Passepartout is delighted at the prospect of a well-ordered, established life, but it is not to be. That very night, Fogg makes a twenty-thousand-pound bet at his club that he can travel around the world in eighty days. To the astonishment of his colleagues, who are well accustomed to his precise and unvarying life, Fogg sets out that very evening on his madcap voyage.There is an interesting correlation between this story and that of Les Misérables; though completely opposite in tone and plot, both feature a legalistic, misled police inspector trailing the hero on all his journeys. Both inspectors step in to wreak ruin upon their quarry at the worst possible moment, and both, in the end, are foiled. That is probably as far as the comparison goes, but isn't it interesting? Les Misérables was published in 1862, and Around the World in Eighty Days in serial form in 1873. I love Verne's descriptions; they are often so wryly humorous. Anyone who thinks classics are boring and slow really ought to read this book. He says that Fogg is "like an incarnation of the god of punctuality," and continually calls Passepartout a "dear fellow." Inspector Fix is also a very humorous and yet well-rounded character. Of Mrs. Aouda, alas, we do not see much.I can't praise Jim Dale's reading enough; it was wonderful. His voices for the characters were superb. The only weakness was his voice for Mrs. Aouda, but it seems a common failing among male actors; they never can get the women's voices so well as the female actors can get the men's. But apart from that small quibble, I loved Dale's interpretation, especially of the beloved Passepartout! I will always hear his slightly breathless, emphatic, strongly accented voice in my head when I think of the character. (I should mention that another thing I love about audiobooks is that I learn how to pronounce all the words and names... Passepartout is pronounced "Paspertoo;" who knew?).And now for the banal little talk at the end, given by the son of the man who started the Listening Library company (now owned by Random House). First off, the poor man's voice is not a pleasure to listen to after Dale's warm, rolling tones. It's nasally, effeminate, and just plain annoying. Even had his script been wonderful, it would have been hard to appreciate, read by that unfortunate voice. And what he says is bad enough on its own account. Does Listening Library commend Verne for being interested in other countries and cultures, for opening new vistas to his readers, and demonstrating a vivid curiosity about the fascinating world around him? Do they praise his enthusiasm for the exotic and share his excitement for the geographical limitations that technology was removing? Oh no. Instead, the publishers chose to disparage his work as "unacceptable" by today's standards in its portrayal of "certain social structures" and "other cultures." Verne, they self-righteously sniff, displays a staggering "naivete" and "lack of appreciation and experience" for the various cultures that his characters encounter. Sure, Verne had an imperfect understanding of the many cultures in his book. Do we, in chronological snobbery, really think our appreciation of every culture and "social structure" so perfect? Actually I was rather disappointed that the publisher did not actually mention the specific issues with the story, preferring rather to take the safe route of vague, lofty accusation. It's a good thing readers are generally intelligent enough to pick out these things for ourselves — where, oh where would we be without Listening Library to mold our minds? And there are textual refutations to their sweeping claims, if they would but condescend to play fair and be specific about what's giving them indigestion.I find it absurd and unfair to judge a historical figure by modern standards. I think if any sermon must be made of the book's relative level of 21st-century political correctness or lack thereof (again, assuming we readers aren't astute enough to pick it out for ourselves), it ought to focus on the themes of the story rather than passing judgment on the author. The cover art for this audiobook is further proof of the publisher's cluelessness. It features a large hot-air balloon... which Phileas Fogg never takes. Verne mentions a balloon for about two seconds as a method of travel that would most certainly not work for Mr. Fogg — and then the cover sports one prominently. *sigh*But I don't want to leave you with all this negativity. The rating I am giving is strictly for the book. Random House/Listening Library's hamfisted approach is such a pity, because the actual production was excellent. I enjoyed the ethnic music that opened each new chapter, and of course Dale was great. And I suppose it's good the publishers didn't excise the parts they didn't like; this is unabridged, after all. But it's a 50th anniversary tribute to Listening Library's first audiobook production, which was this book. It might look bad if they interfered with the actual text itself.If you think you are intelligent enough to perceive ideas that are in alignment with their historical setting (and actually, perhaps, ahead of their time) — if you're sure you won't suddenly morph into a bigot under Verne's pernicious influence — you really ought to give this book a try. It's funny, well written, and adventurous, and you'll enjoy every minute of Phileas Fogg's eighty days around the world. I certainly did. Highly recommended!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Philease Fogg makes a hasty and rash bet of 20,000 pounds that he can travel around the world in 80 days. He immediately sets off, dragging his newly hired servant Passpartout along for the journey. He meets with many adventures and possible delays that risk preventing him from reaching his destination in time, including Fix, a detective who has mistaken Fogg for a bank robber.The film versions of this books often make this story more exotic and fantastical than it really is, turning Fogg into some sort of an inventor, who sets off in his journey in an air balloon. But Fogg uses regular means of travel in this books, ships, trains, and even on elephant, but there are no balloons. Verne did pen another adventure story, called Five Weeks in a Balloon, in which travels travel across Africa in a hot air balloon (this is on my list to read).That being said, I enjoyed Around the World immensely. Because the book was orginally written as a serial, the chapters are each vignette in which Fogg and his companions meets an obstacle and then over comes it. Verne's characters are something like caricatures, but the have enough depth to be fully entertaining.This is only the second book of Verne's that I have read, but he is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is by far my favorite book by Jules Verne. Phileas Fogg and his sidekick, Passepartout, take a wild adventure around the world in 80 days. I won't give any spoilers, but I loved, loved, loved the ending!! (Hint, hint; nudge, nudge!) Read it!! Trust me, you won't regret it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
if i had read the original french, it probably would have been assigned five stars. Scholastic edition didn't even mention the translator! So the defects I have noticed may have come through the translation; i.e., there are no "wharves" in Sacromento, a land-based city in the midst of luxorious farms, and there are no "hurricanes" in December in the north Atlantic. The latter could be possible, but highly improbable. I wonder if Monsieur Verne wrote Passpoureau to be so idiotically French, always thinking and always screwing up with good intentions, and for Phileas Fogg toi be so rock-hard, without-an-emotion-in-his-life certain of everything. And the woman! Give me a break! For being a citizen of the state of love (France), Jules does a piss-pour job of convincing us that Fogg can love anything. It's a classic, this book. It's a mover, this book. But for that proverbial desert island, give me the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs anytime. He may not be "classic," but he is fun.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Great fun to read, although the cover is incorrect (showing camels). Interesting to note because the Barnes and Noble book jackets talks about the "wrongness" of the balloon in the Fifties film version. Fast paced, full of action, and why did I not read it years ago!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I read this book for the first as a read-aloud to my son when he was about 12. We were rivetted, on the edge of our seats. Excitement and humour, a must read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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