Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Other Log of Phileas Fogg

Philip Jose Farmer
(Titan Books)

In a delicious slice of sci-fi whimsy that sits cleverly alongside Verne's original tale, Phileas Fogg's epic global journey is not the product of a daft wager but, in fact, a covert mission to chase down the elusive Captain Nemo - who is none other than Professor Moriarty.
A secret alien war has raged on Earth for years and is about to culminate in this epic race.
A novel in the Wold Newton universe, in which characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Flash Gordon, Doc Savage, James Bond and Jack the Ripper are all mysteriously connected.

I'd been really looking forward to reading this. I've been curious about these Wold Newton books for a good long while but this was my first opportunity and I have to say I was disappointed.

What we have is a retelling of 'Around the World in 80 Days' with extra bits added in to turn Fogg from a repressed Victorian gentleman into an immortalish, alien descended adventurer battling against another group of eeeeevil immortalish types; in particular against one nefarious individual who for some ridiculous reason is both Professor Moriarty and Captain Nemo. Fogg's escapades are crowbarred into the established narrative and are as pointless as they are inane and serve only really as a way for Farmer to highlight discrepancies and omissions in the original text. At the end I came away feeling well inclined towards the original as this was a smug and tedious read that was a real chore to drag myself through.