Customer Reviews for

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted February 27, 2013

    5 STARS I have heard the name Nellie Bly before but did not kno

    5 STARS

    I have heard the name Nellie Bly before but did not know anything about her or her famous race around the world. Matthew Goodman did a good job making it feel alive. The back of the book is around 75 pages of acknowledgments,notes and sources of where he got his information from.

    A few days ago I got a surprise in the mail copy of Matthew Goodman's book Eighty days and a copy of Jules Verne book Around the world in eighty days. Which I have heard of but have not read. I am not sure how come I recieved the books. I enter a lot of contests,get books from Librarything,goodreads and Netgalley. I later got a digital copy of Eight Days so I was reading from book to listening on my kindle to reading the book. Either way the story was interesting. I would love to be able to do that even today. Except I would be more like Elizabeth and take more than one dress. Okay I would take pants.

    I think the book showed up both the good and some not so favorable sides of both Nellie and Elizabeth.

    Nellie got the idea to beat Phileas Fogg from Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. A year before her trip. The World Newspaper turned her down than. They decided with two days notice to send her.

    The Cosmopolitan Magazine owner decided to make a race of it and send his own reporter in a race going the oppisite direction. Elizabeth Bisland did not want to go. Just given hours to leave. Nellie was almost done with racing against the clock when she found out that thier was another reporter she was in a race against. Which is not fair to her.
    One thing that Nellie got to do was to meet Jules Verne in his home. The race against his fictional character Fogg made his book sell even more copies and the play about hs book was produced again 11 years after it was closed the last time. I know now that I plan to read Around the World in Eighty Days and other Jules Verne fiction.

    I learned a lot about how different people lived back than and how they traveled. So many things I have picked up that I had no clue about. That England fought a war to make China to let in Opium that they wanted to ship in China to make up trade decifit that they want against Tea

    02/26/2013 PUB. Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine 480 pages ISBN 9780345527264

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Ground-breaking women journalists, a new era in the technology o

    Ground-breaking women journalists, a new era in the technology of transport, biting commentary on class divisions in the Victorian Era, not to mention the unconscious bigotry that lurked beneath the world of Colonialism-- all of these are here, and illuminating, but none of them takes the readers away from a really fascinating story about two women, one exciting race (with all its ups and downs), and how they (in particular, Bly) captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands. Impressively researched, but again, only in the service of making the story even more fun. I enjoyed every bit of it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent history!

    Excellent history, that keeps pace with the race itself, showing the world from the viewpoints of two very different ladies--and the effect that single trip has on them for the remainder of their lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Treasure hunt

    Fishy second result

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    An enjoyable read

    This was a very well written piece of history that is not one of those big important moments but a glimpse into the life of two newspaper writers and the industry that spawned this race around the world. But it also demonstrates the great prejudice that was in the male only jungle of the newspaper business.

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    Very well researched and written. I could not put it down, only

    Very well researched and written. I could not put it down, only partly because I found it in the cruise ship's library two days before the end of the cruise.

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  • Posted August 10, 2013

    I enjoyed every delicious moment of reading Eighty Days: Nellie

    I enjoyed every delicious moment of reading Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman. 

    Scrappy journalist Nellie Bly is a role model for all women who desire to make their way in a “man’s profession,” and who make a way for themselves when none is provided. Writer and autodidact Elisabeth Bisland loved English literature, and that love seemed to enable her to richly enjoy her surroundings as she traveled from British port to British port in her circumnavigation.

    This nonfiction work of history reads like an adventure novel. It is thoroughly researched, and each direct quote is well documented in the copious note. The book is rich in detail and filled with background history. Goodman’s research is astonishing. I hope he gets the Pulitzer Prize in History. 

    The book is saturated history. Some may tire of learning about the expansion of the railroad, or moan at the descriptions of the virginal West, but I find historical details to be delicious treats along the journey with Nellie and Elizabeth.

    For me, it was delightful to consider the widening of America (and the world) with the coming of steam engines, trains, and the telegraph. Goodman presents rich insights about both the Irish and Chinese immigrant populations used to build the railway.  His description of the Chinese death camp was gruesome, but drew back a curtain on an entirely new culture for Nellie Bly. 

    The Opium wars were explained clearly by Goodman. It’s too bad that Nellie Bly did not take the time to inform her readers about this rich and tragic history. I was surprised that Nellie seemed to lose her reporter’s ear and her drive while slogging around the world. Imagine how colorfully she could have written about the ship’s crew, the uniqueness of the Chinese and the Japanese, and the loneliness of travel!

    There are many memorable scenes in the book, but my favorite was Nellie’s encounter with Jules Verne and his wife.

    I’ve traveled internationally solo and loved it. Reading this book made me long for more travel. And isn’t that what an excellent travel book is designed to do?

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  • Posted May 18, 2013

    Excellent book! History that reads like fiction. I enjoyed all t

    Excellent book! History that reads like fiction. I enjoyed all the details that brought the time period to life. 

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    Very, very boring.

    I was very excited to read this book unfortunately I found it very boring. Thought it would be very exciting but it was not in the least.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

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    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 11, 2013

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