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Around the World

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The work tells the story of the unflappable Phileas Fogg’s trip around the world, accompanied by his emotional valet, Passepartout, to win a bet. She notes that dictators know well that whoever weaves the story is in charge, and her fragmented tales work against any monolithic, authoritarian narrative. Matt Phelan's beautiful, simplistic artwork takes us on the journey with these adventurous souls and puts us right there beside them.

In the wake of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, the desire to circumnavigate the globe ran rampant, as Phelan (The Storm in the Barn) illustrates in this oddly unexciting tale of three such adventure seekers. On the evening of 2 October 1872, while at the Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. Passing through exotic lands and dangerous locations, they seize whatever transportation is at hand - whether train or elephant - overcoming set-backs and always racing against the clock. Decent graphic novel, but nothing really astounded me about this one, nor particularly stuck with me.

Shortly before Fogg’s departure, someone resembling him had robbed a bank, and Fogg’s sudden exit leads Scotland Yard to believe that he was the bank robber. He’d shifted from medical studies to literature; as he wrote in the preface to his first collection of stories, Outcry (1923), he’d decided that “however rude a nation was in physical health, if its people were intellectually feeble, they would never become anything other than cannon fodder. Travel to countries you’ve never even considered, expand your horizon with fun challenges, keep track of your travels, and cherish the moments you’ve collected. As Britain has no jurisdiction in the United States, Fix is now as eager as the rest of them to get Fogg back to England quickly. Needing to win a wager, Fogg bribes drivers and pilots to increase their speed and desperately strips wood from a steamship in mid-Atlantic to feed its furnace.

Looking for a present of someone who loves trees and wants to find out a little more about them, their place in the world, the ecosystems in which they thrive and their.Since Fogg fits the vague description Scotland Yard was given of Strand, Detective Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. I'd normally add 'fears' to a list like that, but none of these intrepid folks seemed to actually have fears. Phelan tells three stories of people who did that, one on a bike, Thomas Stevens, and two via boats (and some other vehicles), Nellie Bly and Joshua Slocum. She feels a special affinity for Jules Verne, whose novels she describes as “daydreams for everyday use, atlases for those who stay at home. Worlds of Fun, an amusement park in Kansas City, Missouri, was conceived using the novel as its theme.

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