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In 1872 Phileas Fogg wins a bet by traveling around the world in seventy-nine days, twenty-three hours, and fifty-seven minutes.
Chapter one In in which Phileas Fogg and Passepartout accept each other, the one as master, the other as man
Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the Most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world. People said that he resembled Byron-at least that his head was Byronic-, but he was a bearded, tranquil Byron, who might live on a thousand years without growing old.
Certainly an Englishman it was more doubtful whether Phileas Fogg was a Londoner. He was never seen on 'Change, nor at the Bank, nor in the counting-rooms of the "City"; no ships ever came into London docks of which he was the owner; he had no public employment; he had never been entered at any of the Inns of Court, either at the Temple, or Lincoln's Inn, or Gray's Inn; nor had his voice ever resounded in the Court of Chancery, or in the Exchequer, or the Queen's Bench, or the Ecclesiastical Courts. He certainly was not a manufacturer; nor was he a merchant or a gentleman farmer. His name was strange to the scientific and learned societies, and he never was known to take part in the sage deliberations of the Royal Institution or the London Institution, the Artisan's Association or the Institution of Arts and Sciences. He belonged, in fact, to none of the numerous societies which swarm in the English capital, from the Harmonic to that of the Entomologists, founded mainly for the purpose of abolishing pernicious insects.
Phileas Fogg was a member of theReform, and that was all.
The way in which he got admission to this exclusive club was simple enough.
He was recommended by the Barings, with whom he had an open credit. His checks were regularly paid at sight from his account current, which was always flush.
Was Phileas Fogg rich? Undoubtedly. But those who knew him best could not imagine how he had made his fortune, and Mr. Fogg was the last person to whom to apply for the information. He was not lavish, nor, on the contrary, avaricious; for whenever he knew that money was needed for a noble, useful, or benevolent purpose, he supplied it quickly, and sometimes anonymously. He was, in short, the least communicative of men. He talked very little, and seemed all the more mysterious for his taciturn manner. His daily habits were quite open, to observation; but whatever he did was so exactly the same thing that he had always done before, that the wits of the curious were fairly puzzled.
Had he travelled? It was likely, for no one seemed to know the world more familiarly; there was no spot so secluded that he did not appear to have an intimate acquaintance with it. He often corrected, with a few clear words, the thousand conjectures advanced by members of the club as to lost and unheard-of travellers, pointing out the true probabilities, and seeming as if gifted with a sort of second sight, so often did events Justify his predictions. He must have travelled everywhere, at least in the spirit.
It was at least certain that Phileas Fogg had not absented himself from London for many years. Those who were honored by a better acquaintance with him than the rest, declared that nobody could pretend to have ever seen him anywhere else. His sole pastimes were reading the papers and playing whist. He often won at this game, which, as a silent one,, harmonized with his nature; but his winnings never went into his purse, being reserved as a fund for his charities. Mr. Fogg played, not to win, but for the sake of playing. The game was in his eyes a contest, a struggle with a difficulty, yet a motionless, unwearying struggle, congenial to his tastes.
Phileas Fogg was not known to have either wife or children, which may happen to the most honest people; either relatives or near friends, which is certainly more unusual. He lived alone in his house in Saville Row, whither none penetrated. A single domestic sufficed to serve him. He breakfasted and dined at the club, at hours mathematically fixed, in the same room, at the same table, never taking his meals with other members, much less bringing a guest with him; and went home at exactly midnight, only to retire at once to bed. He never used the cozy chambers which the Reform provides for its favored members. He passed ten hours out of the twentyfour in Saville Row, either in sleeping or making his toilet. When he chose to take a walk, it was with a regular step in the entrance hall with its mosaic flooring, or in the circular gallery with its dome supported by twenty red porphyry Ionic columns, and illumined by blue painted windows. When he breakfasted or dined, all the resources of the club-its kitchens and pantries, its buttery and dairy—aided to crowd his table with their most succulent stores; he was served by the gravest waiters, in dress coats, and shoes with swan-skin soles, who proffered the viands, in special porcelain, and on the finest linen; club decanters, of a lost mould, contained his sherry, his port, and his cinnamon-spiced claret; while his beverages were refreshingly cooled with ice, brought at great cost from the American lakes.
If to live in this style is to be eccentric, it must be confessed that there is something good in eccentricity!
The mansion in Saville Row, though not sumptuous, was exceedingly comfortable. The habits of its occupant were such as to demand but little from the sole domestic; but Phileas Fogg required him to be almost superhumanly prompt and regular.
|I||In Which Phileas Fogg and Passepartout Accept Each Other, the One as Master, the Other as Servant||9|
|II||In Which Passepartout Is Convinced That He Has at Last Found His Ideal||14|
|III||In Which a Conversation Takes Place Which Seems Likely to Cost Phileas Fogg Dear||18|
|IV||In Which Phileas Fogg Astounds Passepartout, His Servant||26|
|V||In Which a New Species of Bonds Appears on the London Exchange||30|
|VI||In Which Fix, the Detective, Betrays a Very Natural Impatience||34|
|VII||Which Once More Demonstrates the Uselessness of Passports as Aids to Detectives||39|
|VIII||In Which Passepartout Talks Rather More, Perhaps, Than Is Prudent||43|
|IX||In Which the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean Prove Propitious to the Designs of Phileas Fogg||48|
|X||In Which Passepartout Is Only Too Glad to Get Off With the Loss of His Shoes||54|
|XI||In Which Phileas Fogg Secures a Curious Means of Conveyance at a Fabulous Price||60|
|XII||In Which Phileas Fogg and His Companions Venture Across the Indian Forests, and What Ensues||69|
|XIII||In Which Passepartout Receives a New Proof That Fortune Favors the Brave||77|
|XIV||In Which Phileas Fogg Descends the Whole Length of the Beautiful Valley of the Ganges Without Ever Thinking of Seeing It||84|
|XV||In Which the Bag of Bank Notes Becomes Lighter by Thousands of Pounds||91|
|XVI||In Which Fix Does Not Seem to Understand in the Least What Is Said to Him||98|
|XVII||Showing What Happens on the Voyage From Singapore to Hong Kong||104|
|XVIII||In Which Phileas Fogg, Passepartout, and Fix Each Goes About His Business||110|
|XIX||In Which Passepartout Takes Too Great an Interest in His Master, and What Comes of It||115|
|XX||In Which Fix Comes Face to Face With Phileas Fogg||123|
|XXI||In Which the Master of the Tankadere Runs Great Risk of Losing a Reward of Two Hundred Pounds||130|
|XXII||In Which Passepartout Finds Out That, Even at the Antipodes, It Is Convenient to Have Some Money in One's Pocket||139|
|XXIII||In Which Passepartout's Nose Becomes Outrageously Long||147|
|XXIV||During Which Mr. Fogg and Party Cross the Pacific Ocean||154|
|XXV||In Which a Slight Glimpse Is Had of San Francisco||161|
|XXVI||In Which Phileas Fogg and Party Travel by the Pacific Railroad||168|
|XXVII||In Which Passepartout Undergoes, at a Speed of Twenty Miles an Hour, a Course of Mormon History||174|
|XXVIII||In Which Passepartout Does Not Succeed in Making Anyone Listen to Reason||181|
|XXIX||In Which Certain Incidents Are Narrated Which Are Only to Be Met With on American Railroads||190|
|XXX||In Which Phileas Fogg Simply Does His Duty||198|
|XXXI||In Which Fix, the Detective, Considerably Furthers the Interests of Phileas Fogg||206|
|XXXII||In Which Phileas Fogg Engages in a Direct Struggle With Bad Fortune||213|
|XXXIII||In Which Phileas Fogg Shows Himself Equal to the Occasion||218|
|XXXIV||In Which Phileas Fogg at Last Reaches London||227|
|XXXV||In Which Phileas Fogg Does Not Have to Repeat his Orders to Passepartout Twice||231|
|XXXVI||In Which Phileas Fogg's Name Is Once More at a Premium on 'Change||237|
|XXXVII||In Which It Is Shown That Phileas Fogg Has Gained Nothing by His Tour Around the World, Unless It Be Happiness||242|
1. Having been born into a family that had made their living from the sea, Jules Verne spent his early years in a seaport town. When he was still young, Verne himself became a cabin boy on a merchant ship. In what ways do you think these elements of the author's own life may have influenced Around the World in Eighty Days?
2. Verne became very involved with theater while studying law in Paris and is the author of many plays. What elements in this novel do you think came out of Verne's theatrical experiences? After Eighty Days was published, Verne received many requests to dramatize the work. Do you think the book has particularly theatrical elements that would lead to its adaptation as a play?
3. Around the World in Eighty Days is considered one of the most popular adventure novels of all time. What do you think of this characterization and how would you compare it to contemporary adventure novels and films? What elements of the adventure genre have changed overtime, and where do you think today's adventure authors owe a debt to Verne?
4. Although the story begins in London, it eventually spans the entire globe. Despite the international setting, this book is distinctly British in many ways. Why might Verne have chosen a protagonist that is so quintessentially British, while the author himself was French?
5. Verne had an avid interest in science, particularly geology and geography, and was somewhat of an inventor. After having read Around the World in Eighty Days, does it surprise you that Verne is considered by many to be the father of science fiction? Where do you think Verne's scientific expertise adds to the story?
6. For Verne, the world is shrinking; exploration has given way to tourism and imperialism. In his Introduction, Bruce Sterling argues that comments on globalization in Eighty Days are particularly relevant today. Would you agree? What evidence can you find to support this, and what lessons do you think we can learn from this novel today?
7. In many ways, Verne's tale is one about the future, and many of his ideas have come to pass. Now that it is relatively easy to go around the world in eighty days, why is this tale still entertaining and relevant?
8. Many of the characters in the novel have names that in some way illuminate their roles. Why do you think Verne chose to call his hero Fogg, the detective Fix, and the assistant Passepartout, which means skeleton key in French?
9. Why do you think the hero, the mysterious Phileas Fogg, accepts the bet to travel the globe in eighty days?
10. When the book was written, the Parsee Indian Aouda represented the unknown and the exotic, but in many ways she is the character that the modern reader finds most familiar. Do you think this is true? In what ways is she now more modern than many of the other characters?
11. The precise and very British Phileas Fogg and his valet, the comic and very French Passepartout, are strikingly different characters. In what ways do their differences help to elucidate their individual character traits? Why does Verne include this relationship? Most of the time Passepartout is more a hindrance to his employer than helpful. Why do you think Fogg keeps him? In what ways does he serve to advance the plot, particularly with Aouda?
12. In many ways, Fogg's travels are more than just a race around the world but a quest, one in which the hero returns somehow transformed. Do you think Fogg's character is changed when he returns to London at the end of the challenge?
13. At the conclusion of the novel, the narrator asserts that Phileas Fogg in his journey has gained nothing but a charming woman, who, strange as it may appear, made him the happiest of men! Verne seems to be making the point that love and human relationships are more important than winning bets or other material gains. Do you think that the rest of the novel would support this assertion? If not, why might Verne have included it?
Posted May 25, 2013
Posted January 11, 2014
I thought I knew this story but I guess that's what you get when you rely on movies. It's fairly boring, and about 150 pages long. I was really surprised to discover that there is no hot air balloon at all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 10, 2012
No text was provided for this review.