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Susan

Member Since 2003

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  • Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Matthew Goodman
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (46)

    On November 14, 1889, Nellie Bly, the crusading young female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, left New York City by steamship on a quest to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. Also departing from New York that day - and heading in the opposite direction by train - was a young journalist from The Cosmopolitan magazine, Elizabeth Bisland. Each woman was determined to outdo Jules Verne’s fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days.

    Susan Gardner Bowers says: "Who knew?"
    "Who knew?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World, by Matthew Goodman is a darn good story, full of little known facts, offering a more than a snapshot of late nineteenth century America and the journalism and prejudices of the time, and providing a bit of a cautionary tale.

    While the story of Nelly Bly’s “race” around the world is the center of the book, there's good context provided of the run-up to the event. Indeed, much of the meat of the book is life after the race. I hadn't known about Elizabeth Bisland (who’s actually a much more likable character – especially in the sense that I’d have liked to have been like her).

    PS: Nelly did the trip with but one dress. Elizabeth a good bit more!

    There are beautiful descriptions of the places that Nelly and Elizabeth visit and an interesting perspective on how steam power (ships and trains) changed the world so quickly.

    Much of the book takes place after the race, and does drag a bit; there’s some repetition and the book could probably have been edited a little more firmly, but the way it addresses celebrity, and its impact on Nelly Bly’s life, is thought-provocative. B+

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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