Around the World in 80 Days
A book exploration by Alfread

"Around the World in 80 Days" is an adventure novel by French author Jules Verne, first published in 1873. It tells the story of a wealthy and punctual English gentleman, Phileas Fogg, who accepts a wager for half his fortune from his fellow members at the Reform Club to prove that one can travel around the world in 80 days.

The Plot

"Around the World in 80 Days" follows the journey of the meticulous and daring Englishman Phileas Fogg. After engaging in a high-stakes wager with his fellow club members, Fogg sets out to circumnavigate the world in just 80 days. Along with his loyal and resourceful French valet, Passepartout, Fogg uses every available means of transportation, from steamships to railways, to race against the clock.

Throughout their journey, Fogg and Passepartout find themselves in a series of captivating adventures across varied locations, from the ancient pyramids and bustling markets of Egypt to the vibrant, teeming streets of Hong Kong. They cross paths with a flamboyant circus in Paris, sail turbulent seas across the Pacific, and navigate India's dense, untamed forests. In America, they brave the unforgiving landscape of the Wild West and rush through the urban sprawl of New York City.

As they grapple with obstacles at every turn - language barriers, local customs, and unpredictable weather - an added element of suspense breathes more urgency into their mission. And all the while, they must stay ahead of the relentless ticking of the clock.

"Around the World in 80 Days" is a roller-coaster ride of adventures that span the globe, filled with suspense, humor, and rich cultural experiences. It makes it an engaging read for anyone who relishes tales of determination and high stakes.

Why you should read it

In an increasingly small world, the expansive and adventurous spirit of Jules Verne's classic novel "Around the World in 80 Days" is a refreshing dive into a time when the globe was still ripe for exploration.

Verne's adventure masterpiece offers an unparalleled journey that transcends the boundaries of time and geography. In this narrative, the reader gets to experience the world through the eyes of the bold Englishman, Phileas Fogg, and his devoted French valet, Passepartout, as they traverse the globe in a whirlwind of thrilling escapades fueled by a daring wager. You're signing up for a world tour, sitting right in the comfort of your home.

The vividly drawn settings, ranging from bustling markets in Hong Kong to the untamed wilderness of America, are a testament to Verne's imaginative genius. His insightful portrayal of the late 19th-century world gives readers a fascinating look at the history and culture of various societies, along with the advances of that era, particularly in travel and technology.

In addition to being a riveting adventure, the novel also explores human tenacity. The relentless determination exhibited by Fogg as he navigates myriad obstacles to win his bet serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit. It's a reminder that audacious goals can be accomplished with unwavering resolve and strategic planning.

Furthermore, the book's evergreen appeal lies in its engaging storytelling style, filled with suspense, humor, and surprising plot twists that keep you turning the pages.

Reading "Around the World in 80 Days" is not just about consuming a piece of classic literature. It's about embarking on a captivating journey that stretches the imagination, educates, entertains, and inspires, proving that sometimes, the old classics still have much to offer in our modern age."

What you can learn from it

Immersing oneself in the thrilling narrative of Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days" can offer more than just an adventure-packed reading experience. This classic tale is a timeless source of valuable insights and lessons that resonate even today.

The audacious wager that prompts Phileas Fogg's global expedition reinforces the significance of courage and ambition. Fogg's willingness to risk his fortune and his unwavering commitment to his goal emphasizes the power of perseverance and the possibilities that open up when one dares to venture beyond their comfort zone. His adventures can inspire readers to face their challenges head-on and never shy away from seemingly impossible tasks.

As readers traverse the globe with Fogg and Passepartout, they are exposed to diverse cultures and societies. Verne's vivid portrayals of various locales and people can foster an appreciation for cultural diversity, teaching readers about the beauty of our world's manifold traditions and customs.

Moreover, the book offers a lesson in problem-solving and strategic planning. Fogg's ability to navigate geographical, cultural, or unforeseen obstacles demonstrates the importance of adaptability and quick thinking. It's a reminder of how resourcefulness can help overcome even the most challenging situations.

Finally, the book subtly delves into the dynamics of human relationships. The bond between Fogg and Passepartout and their interactions with other characters provide insights into empathy, loyalty, and the unexpected friendships that can form even in the most unusual circumstances.

Reading "Around the World in 80 Days" can leave readers entertained and enlightened, enriched with a deeper understanding of the human spirit, cultural diversity, and the boundless potential of perseverance.

Similar books to "Around the World in 80 Days"

If you're interested in novels that capture the adventurous spirit of "Around the World in 80 Days" by authors other than Jules Verne, here are three great options:

  1. "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift: This classic satire takes readers on a series of incredible journeys with Lemuel Gulliver as he encounters diverse civilizations and strange creatures, including the diminutive Lilliputians and the giant Brobdingnagians. Swift's novel offers an imaginative take on travel and exploration similar to Verne's while also providing a commentary on human nature.
  2. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain: Although the geographical scale is not global, this novel is a grand adventure nonetheless. It follows Huck Finn and the runaway slave Jim as they travel along the Mississippi River, meeting various characters and overcoming numerous obstacles. Like Verne's work, Twain's book also explores themes of friendship, freedom, and societal norms.
  3. "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel: This contemporary novel tells the story of Pi Patel, a young Indian boy who survives a shipwreck only to find himself on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The book's focus on survival, faith, and the human spirit in the face of extraordinary circumstances aligns with the daring and perseverance found in "Around the World in 80 Days."

While each book offers unique characters, settings, and narrative styles, they all share the adventure, resilience, and exploratory spirit found in "Around the World in 80 Days." So buckle up for these remarkable literary journeys that promise to take you places, figuratively and literally.

Contrasting books to "Around the World in 80 Days"

While Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days" captivates readers with its adventurous and fast-paced plot set against an array of global backdrops, other books provide a contrasting reading experience. Whether it's a shift in setting, pace, or genre, here are three books that offer a different literary perspective:

  1. "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen: This beloved classic immerses readers in the rural society of early 19th-century England, a world away from Phileas Fogg's rapid global tour. Austen's novel offers a witty, romantic narrative focused on manners, marriage, and morality, creating a more intimate and domestically-focused adventure.
  2. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Unlike Verne's exploration of multiple geographical settings, Marquez's masterpiece centers on the fictional town of Macondo and the Buendia family. The book, hailed as a seminal work of magical realism, unfolds a saga of love, war, and death that spans generations, providing an epic yet localized adventure.
  3. "1984" by George Orwell: This dystopian novel starkly contrasts the explorative and optimistic nature of "Around the World in 80 Days." Instead of a thrilling journey across various cultures, "1984" offers a grim exploration of society under an omnipresent authoritarian regime, where individuality, freedom, and truth are suppressed.

While these books may starkly contrast "Around the World in 80 Days," they offer their unique narrative experiences that reveal the rich diversity of literary landscapes. Whether you're seeking a shift from thrilling global expeditions to more intimate or thought-provoking narratives, these books promise to deliver.


Choosing to embark on this literary journey offers a vibrant escape into the extraordinary. It invites readers to vicariously navigate through bustling markets, vast oceans, dense forests, and sprawling cities, all from the comfort of their own homes. Verne's classic keeps readers engaged with its suspense-filled plot, humor, and richly drawn characters, making it a must-read for those seeking adventure and excitement.

More than just an exhilarating story, "Around the World in 80 Days" provides lessons about human tenacity, cultural understanding, and the power of determination. It explores the depths of human character, the importance of adaptability, and the richness of global cultures. It also subtly speaks of friendship, loyalty, and the power of the human spirit to overcome obstacles.

So whether you're a seasoned reader of classics or just dipping your toes into the realm of adventure literature, "Around the World in 80 Days" is a novel that delivers on multiple fronts. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of well-crafted narratives and the universal allure of adventure, making it a worthwhile addition to any reader's literary journey.

Every two weeks, Alfread spotlights a different book to take you on a journey that enriched the life of countless readers.

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