For the last week or so of May, I have been trying to read books from the stops on the Believathon 2 journey that I didn’t visit during Believathon itself. This was my choice for Black Ice Bridge: Read a book featuring an expedition or adventure.
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, audiobook read by BJ Harrison
This was one of the suggestions given for this prompt and I could think of nothing more fitting! It also fitted into my plan of listening to lots if children’s classics this year, so it seemed like a perfect choice.
And I loved it!
While I’d not read it before, I was familiar with the story thanks to…
Around the World with Willy Fog may be familiar to those of you of a similar age, but for the youngsters among you it was a cartoon adaptation of the story and I loved it. I can’t deny as I was listening to the book I couldn’t help but picture this often!
For anyone unfamiliar with the story at all – Phileas Fog, a solitary creature of habit, makes a bet that sees him trying to circumnavigate the world in eighty days.
Using almost every mode of transport you can think of (and probably a few you can’t!), encountering some truly unusual obstacles and with an unknown thorn in his side in the shape of Inspector Fix this is a gripping journey!
It’s a simply thrilling adventure with much in the way of historical and geographical detail and atmosphere*.
You can’t help but root for Phileas Fog; the excitement of his journey had me breathing sighs of relief as he makes his connection or found his way out of tight spots only to inwardly groan moments later as it became clear misfortune was looming!
There were several audio versions of this, I listened to samples of them before reluctantly plumping for this one (I wasn’t really keen on any) but as it turned out once if got into the first couple of chapters, I found the narration easy to listen to and very enjoyable. Between this and the tensions in the tale, I was snatching a few minutes whenever I could.
Put simply, this is pacy, exciting, varied and tense with an excellent ending and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
*It’s worth pointing out there are a few parts that would be questionable today with some racial/class/gender stereotyping that is very much of its time. I don’t think these should put anyone off reading this or sharing it with younger readers, just to be mindful of when it was written and the norms and views of that time.