This wasn't quite the story I expected, though I might have. I think I saw the film adaptation with Jackie Chan and that guided my thoughts more than my recollection of Verne's style, having read Journey to the Center of the Earth a few years ago.
It was an adventure, and quite the travel log, but I was off-put at first by the protagonist's attitude. He was precision personified, but inaffable and emotionless. It lead to better relating to Passpartout, perhaps intentionally by Verne, while still rooting for Fogg from a more detached perspective. Each up and down, each new challenge and obstacle was better felt through the Frenchman, who was often "on tender hooks", rather than the passive and unconcerned expressions of his master. Nonetheless it was a fun ride and kept me rapt to learn how they would make each new stretch of the journey on time. The antics and sidebar excitements were entertaining. I noticed how Verne repeatedly described the new locations, listing the people and flora and fauna, cultural practices (these through his own biased cultural lens of the time, of course) and places, and everything imaginable, and at the same time discounts all of these wonders which he just took the time to list extensively, almost scientifically, commenting that none of this mattered to Fogg who hardly noticed any of his surroundings and that that was fine because he wasn't there to sight-see. I found it almost laughable at times. And at the last, I laughed and shook my head at them, because even before all that talk of Passpartout's watch and meridians, I had thought of the international date line, and they had not.
The narration was done beautifully by Dale. The many accents around the world were well affected, and dialogue never suffered voice confusions. The inclusion in this edition of music from around the world (corresponding to each present location) at the beginning of each chapter was startling and a little annoying at first, but I acclimated to it by the time they'd reached Calcutta and rather enjoyed it from Japan on homewards.
A fun diversion, well worth the listen.
Rather different tale than I expected. To say the least, the 1930s movie took some liberties. Like about what happened with the witch of the west, and the story of the winged monkeys...
An odd little story. Plenty of unique colorful characters. I was particularly struck by the extended journey taken after the wizard disappeared, like traveling through the land of china/porcelain people.
Hathaway was a decent narrator, though I wasn't wild about some of the voices she affected. I literally jumped out of my seat at the shrill voice of the mice outside the poppy field. A good performance though.
I had always meant to read this, ever since I saw the abridged version on Wishbone when I was a kid. Of course, in the back of my mind, the more prominent version was by the Muppets with Tim Curry as Silver. He is always the quintessential pirate in my mind. Reading the book finally, or rather listening to Alfred Molina reading it (superbly!) was well worth it. Classic. I think the original pirate adventure story. I thought the narrative was a bit detached and too objective sounding at times, especially for the voice of the main character recalling the escapade, but on the whole,the scenes and characters were painted well. At times I felt as if I were right there with them watching the treacheries unfold on the island, and was holding my breath during every fight scene, especially when Jim was aboard ship on his own. I could never imagine taking such risks as he did throughout this story, but they made for a darn good adventure tale.
Molina was the perfect voice for this audiobook too, equally able with scoundrel pirate voices, dignified noble doctor and captain, and softer voiced young men. I thought at the beginning that my remembrances of the villains he had played in films would color what I heard, but his narrating was seamless and I almost didn't remember who it was, it could have been a whole cast of men.
I would imagine this would be the perfect story any lover of a good sea adventure.