Sparked by a wager with the gentlemen of the Reform Club, the passive, mathematical, ridiculously OCD Phileas Fogg sets out for a tour around the world. He’s accompanied by a recently-hired domestic, Frenchman Passporteau, and followed by the hapless detective Mr. Fix, who is convinced that Phileas Fogg robbed the Bank of England and means to arrest him (well, if that warrant ever arrives!). Along the way they pick up Aouda, a charming (if completely one-dimensional :-)) young Indian woman. Methods of transportation include: steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, and elephants (well, one elephant). No balloons. For some reason I thought there would be a balloon.
This is a great book. I love the language, and there are some priceless one-liners. Really gives you a feel for the time period, in regards to both history and the way people viewed the world and different cultures back then. Nowadays this book would be woefully (often hilariously) politically incorrect, though I think that’s a part of its overall charm. The whole novel comes off as firmly tongue-in-cheek, and at the same time conveys a lot of interesting information (bits of it almost read like a travel narrative), and some really beautiful prose.
Oh and the ending. The ending is nothing short of utterly fabulous.
Makes me want to pack a carpet bag full of banknotes and jaunt off on a world tour of my own. 🙂