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French Book: Le tour du monde en 80 jours

‘Le tour du monde en 80 jours’  by Jules Verne

In our time, going around the world in 80 days is a pretty simple task. We have ships, trains and planes. However, it was not quite so easy in 1873. And the stakes are certainly higher when there’s a £20,000 wager involved.

Le tour du monde en 80 jours by Jules Verne describes the story of how an English gentleman, Phileas Fogg makes a bet with the members of the Reform club that he can travel around the world in 80 days. He brings with him his valet, Passepartout, and the duo encounter a whole series of adventures while on the trip. Verne’s story became incredibly popular and today there are numerous film adaptations (one including Jackie Chan!). The novel was particularly exciting for its time because it mentioned the real-life technological advancements such as the Transcontinental Railway in America or the opening of the Suez canal. For people who could not previously travel, Verne’s novel was a window into the wider world. In fact, the story inspired journalists and others to try carrying out Phileas Fogg’s journey.

Naturally while travelling, there is also a clash in cultures and it’s often interesting to see how different stereotypes are described through Verne’s eyes. But Le tour du monde en 80 jours is above all a tale of adventure and should be enjoyed as such.

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