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The Other Log of Phileas Fogg (Wold Newton) (Wold Newton Novels) Paperback – May 8, 2012
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Farmer, one of the greatest student of "Pop Pulp" culture manages to combine the heroes of the popular literary world in to a coherent world system. In Farmer's world, Tarzan is related to Sherlock Holmes, and Doc Savage is the grandson of Jack London's Wolf Larsen. In a certain sense, we all do this on our own. For example, what would have happened in "A Tale of Two Cities" if the Scarlet Pimpernel had saved Sydney Carton from the guillotine? Farmer's "World Newton Family" functions along these lines. He has even made two rough genealogical charts showing who is related to whom.
As Ir ead this book, two things struck me. First, the approach of this book reminds me of Crispin H. Glover's attempts to read new stories into old classics. Secondly, Farmer clarifies many of the odd things about "80 days." How does Fogg know everything about all of the odd lands. How does he know all the schedules of every boat and train everywhere in the world. Why would a man who lived such a controlled and regimented life on a sudden take a trip around the world just to win a bet?
I recommend that you read Verne's book first, and Farmer's second. I didn't do this, and am still regretting it. I kept on reading Farmer's book into Verne's story, and couldn't enjoy Verne's spell.
Over the last three decades I must have read this novel three or four times and each time I have reverted to my Tor version from 1982.Being a big fan of the source novel I was delighted and fascinated with how my favourite author wound his own version of events in with the Verne classic. Rereading the book only added to the enjoyment as new depths of understanding and revelation became apparent to me. Philip José Farmer did a wonderful job with this novel and his love and appreciation of Around the World in 80 Days shines through the whole book.
I love collecting books, especially Farmer books, so of course this Titan reprint would be on my wish list. But what really sold it for me were the enticing new `extras' promised and, boy, do they live up to the promise! Win Scott Eckert's afterword `Only a Coincidence' has the sub title "Phileas Fogg, Philip José Farmer, and the Wold Newton Family." What follows is a gripping, fascinating, and erudite essay into the whole Wold Newton legend. These 23 pages are packed with facts, revelations, and interpretations that are as gripping as any piece of prose. Anyone wanting a full and detailed exposure to the Wold Newton Family need not look any further. I particularly love the Fogg-Farmer family tree and if your eyes don't widen suddenly as you take it in then you have better reserve than me!
Then follows a 10 page chronology, again by Eckert. Another fascinating read that distils, with absolute clarity, the major events linked with The Other Log of Phileas Fogg.
So, if you already own this book and have no intention of rereading it (though you'll miss revisiting an old friend!Read more ›
Farmer tells us directly, "This is not a novel but a reconstruction of a true story" (Page 57). Farmer doesn't pretend to have all the answers. That would not be possible. He does make mistakes, for example he didn't himself know that the American intercontinental railroad didn't go all the way to San Francisco, that it came only as far as Sacramento. This would not be important except for something Farmer tries to do, as I relate below, with knowledge that depends on this. Since Verne leaves out how Fogg got to Sacramento, there is what turns out to be a crucial lacuna in the story as Farmer would have us believe it, though it is not difficult to believe that the actual Phileas Fogg just took a coach for that particular 85 miles, or took an everyday ship up the Delta. Farmer seems not seem to have known of even the existence of the Port of Sacramento.
Here is one evidence that the story is not "made up." The back story of the war between the aliens casually mentions on page 222 that the two methods by which the aliens might bring down the Earth were by introducing nuclear weapons, or by global pollution. In 1973 the first possibility was generally believed, but the second was far outside the realm of the plausible. Now we know otherwise.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a very different example of speculative fiction. you have to try this if you like to think about different worldsPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
A fun SF take on the Jules Verne novel, adding twists to the familiar characters and events.Published 14 months ago by Eric B. Lipps
A strange read; I came to this having just re-read Jules Verne's classic Around the World in 80 Days, intrigued by the notion of a "secret history" behind the events Verne... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jeremy Jacobs
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg is the secret account of what really happened to the titular hero during Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jason Aiken
An improbably long introduction bored me. The first few chapters did not draw me in. I decide there were better things to read.Published on April 12, 2014 by Cornelius
I read this decades ago, I really loved his take on the Jules Verne classic. He was one of the best ever.Published on March 11, 2014 by Mikerscope
A lot of science fiction is very serious but it isn't always fun; The Other Log of Phileas Fogg manages to be both. Read morePublished on March 5, 2014 by Danny Adams