Fogg manages to draw you into his challenge even though he is such a retiring character. The charm of this book lies in the way Fogg is gradually drawn out of his shell. When he rises, bathes, spends the day at the Reform Club and retires, he is a nobody. But as soon as he starts his journey the layers of his character are revealed until, finally, the ultimate revelation comes, when he admits that he loves Mrs Aouda. Even the loss of his fortune seems insignificant in comparison with this. Of course we do not know at this point that he has, unbeknown to everyone, including himself, won the bet.
I have to admit that I am a huge fan of the cartoon version (oh childhood days relived) of Around the World with Willy Fog. I have seen the big screen versions with Niven and Coogan. I was expecting this, however much it proclaims its original credentials, to fall short. Yet, in its simplicity it somehow manages to hold its own…… It is a worthy Patriarch of a loved family.