7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2012
Usborne Young Reading is an outstanding series of condensed versions of classic works of children's and adult literature, along with a few non-fiction titles. We have about a dozen of these now as my daughter is getting through about one a week. They are intended for children who are beginning to read alone but they are equally suited to an earlier stage with a child reading aloud to an adult. As well as being exciting stories with lovely illustrations, there is a high level of consistency in reading standard within each of the three levels - not just text size and word count but most importantly difficulty of individual words (which is where most "reading books" fall down). There are also speech bubbles in some of the illustrations, often amusing ones, which go down very well. Different titles also introduce a good variety of non-English names, acronyms, abbreviations, dates etc. I cannot recommend this series highly enough.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2011
I am currently in the process of reading the second story in the book, 'Five Weeks in a Balloon' - which is apparently Verne's first novel - after reading 'Around the World in Eighty Days', and so far have been blown away by how easy a novel from the 19th century has been to read, and particularly how enthralling. The character of Phileas Fogg never ceases to amaze with his calm etiquette and unshakeable nerve, whilst his manservant Passepartout adds a brilliant aspect of comedy to the race against time. Verne's description of the various locations around the world are also incredibly detailed, making me wonder whether he has actually been there himself or not. If not, then the man had a very accurate imagination as to what these places would look like!
So far 'Five Weeks in a Balloon' has proven to be very good, with the typical Vernian adventurer of Dr. Samuel Fergusson, his Scottish friend Dick Kennedy and servant Joe going on a journey across Africa to discover the sources of the Nile in a magnificent balloon. Be warned however, that Verne's novels do contain a lot of scientific description in the earlier stages of the books particularly, something that means practically nothing to a non-scientific person like me, but is easy enough to just read through if you also don't understand. Other than that, I would say that 'Around the World in Eighty Days' is more colourful than 'Five Weeks in a Balloon', with more interesting characters, but overall they are both brilliant novels that I would highly recommend to someone who wants to start reading classic literature.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2012
I've been looking forward to reading this book for a while and at last got around to it. all i can say is my god what a story! from the very start of the novel the authors wonderful writing style has you immediately intrigued by the story and the curious Mr Phileas Fogg who is introduced as the most laconic and orderly man imaginable. his routine is meticulous with a strict timetable for each day which he keeps to on the dot, he never leaves London and lives the most quite and uneventful life imaginable spending each day at the Reform club where he reads the daily paper or plays a game of cards. Passepartout, his new servant, is looking for just such a calm life but he is to be disappointed for on the day he is employed he Master returns from the club telling him to pack at once for a trip around the world.
at the club that day Fogg had bet half his fortune that he could travel around the world in an easterly direction in 80 days. in a race to save face and fortune what follows next is an amazing adventure that will have you gripped all the way through. a classic that should be read by all ages, by the end of it all that may be said is 'those Frenches sure know how to tell a story!'
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2011
Great short book of a fab story. Will definitely be buying a longer version, my 6 year old enjoyed the story very much and was excited that he could try and read it too.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2011
Around the World in Eighty Days is a fascinating book set in the time of 1872. It is about a very wealthy, yet modest, man called Phileas Fogg. He lives at no. 7, Saville Row in London. Phileas Fogg is a man who never likes to attract attention, but is extremely clever and takes great interest in science and maths. With such a great mind, you would think that he is a member of a group, maybe a university; but he isn't. The only thing he is a member of is the Reform Club. Phileas is a man who is very precise and in-fact has not one but two clocks by his bedside and both tick at exactly the same second.
Being as rich as he is, Phileas Fogg, at the start of the book, searches for a servant. He is recommended one called Jean Passpartout. Phileas likes Passpartout and employs him on Wednesday 2nd October. Passpartout is a man about forty years of age. He is a tall Frenchman with fair hair.
When Phileas and Passpartout make a visit to the Reform Club, Phileas makes a bet of twenty thousand pounds to the rest of the club that he could travel around the World in eighty days using steamers and rails.
The first places that Mr Fogg and Passpartout go to are Dover and Calais, both in France. On the way there, they meet a detective called Fix. Fix has been sent out to look for suspicious passengers at the train station. This because of a Bank of England robbery that took place; fifty-five thousand pounds was stolen. He thinks that the robbers were Phileas and Passpartout as they are carrying a large amount of money. Mr Fogg agrees to let Detective Fix follow him throughout his journey, just to prove that they aren't guilty.
Next, Phileas Fogg and Passpartout go to Bombay. In Bombay, they meet (or rescue) a widow called Aouda. Aouda travels with them for the rest of the journey and she comes as a great help to them. Phileas, Passpartout and Aouda also buy an elephant in Bombay and travel around the different Indian rainforests. They enjoy themselves a lot!
Phileas Fogg, Passpartout and Aouda enjoy the rest of their journey around the world. But do they make it back in time? A heart-warming classic that you want to read over and over!
AGE RANGE: 9-13
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Got this for my 6 year old who adores these books. He really enjoyed the story of Phileas Fogg's travels and Fogg not knowing Inspector Fix was trying to arrest him! He also reckoned he could get around the world in one day because he'd be in an super jet plane and not on an elephant, camel or boat!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2004
I really think this classic tale of travel and adventure is indispensable for any decent book collection. In comparison with the dated and crusty translations used in most modern reprints, this new edition contains clarity of expression and lively prose that kept me engrossed in Phileas Fogg's incredible odyssey around the globe. By reading Around the World in Eighty Days it is possible to recapture that lost sense of travel, characterised by crossing frontiers, improvisation and self-control whatever the circumstances. Armchair travelling it may be, but it is still much more pleasurable than the bland consumption of foreign cultures that most tourists are fed! Simply a great read.
on 27 April 2012
For some reason I had never before got round to reading this classic, nor seen any of the adaptations on screen, despite my enjoyment of other Verne works, especially 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' which has resonated with me since childhood. I am glad now that I saved this pleasure to savour it all the more today.
Like our hero, I was transported from start to finish of Phileas Fogg's incredible journey; before that, in fact, for his introduction by the author and his calm placing of a £20,000 wager against his friends in the Reform Club had me immediately engaged.
Verne's adroit use of point of view is one example of his masterful skills as story-teller. He never permits the reader Fogg's internal perspective on a situation - instead telling the story partly authorially and partly though Passepartout or Fix, fellow-passengers with opposing views of the protagonist. As a result we never lose the sense of Fogg as an enigma (note his name), never have any advance notice of his planning, while his ability to extemporise solutions to overcome seemingly impossible barriers is our constant surprise and delight.
Paradoxically, the less we know about him the more interesting and intriguing he becomes, and the stronger the bond we feel both for Fogg and those he protects. We can easily comprehend the hero-worship of Passepartout and the love interest of Aouda, for we share it.
Fogg has few compeers in English literature that I can think of, though it strikes me that Ian Fleming may have had something of Fogg in mind when he created the generally imperturbable and resourceful James Bond. Verne's creation, though, for me is the greater hero, and the more memorable.
Reviewer David Williams blogs regularly as Writer in the North.
on 16 December 2011
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Reviewed by Heena Pala
Around the World in Eighty Days is a fascinating book about a wealthy yet modest man called Phileas Fogg. It is set in 1872 in London. He is a member of the Reform Club; in the club, Phileas makes a bet of 20,000 pounds that he could travel around the World in eighty days using steamers and rails.
One adventure that Phileas Fogg and his French servant, Passpartout have is when they go to Bombay. In Bombay, they meet (or rescue) a widow called Aouda. Aouda travels with them for the rest of the journey and she comes as a great help to them. They enjoy themselves a lot!
Phileas Fogg, Passpartout and Aouda enjoy the rest of their journey around the world.
I really enjoyed Around the World in eighty Days. I especially liked the happy ending and the anticipation of waiting to see if the three make it back in the eighty day time limit! It is a heart-warming classic I would read over and over.
AGE RANGE: 9-13
PUBLISHER: Penguin Classics
on 8 July 2012
Was short of reading material so decided to give "Around the world in 80 days" a whirl as it was a freebie on my e-reader..Expected it to be a fusty,boring tale however I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
The story revolves around Mr Fogg and his companions attempting to complete their journey in the allotted time.There are lots of twists and turns that almost thwart their success.Fogg is cool throughout all the disasters that befall the group.There is gentle humour and some moments of suspense to keep the reader interested however the parts I disliked the most were the explanations of where the companions were travelling to. These should have been a really important part of the plot however I found the descriptions dry and dull.I felt that the odd little map dotted through the book would have helped the reader to follow the journey.
Overall,a really enjoyable read and one that everyone should try. I was sceptical but very pleased that I gave it a go!