Lately I’ve been poking around my collection of childhood novels with a strange feeling that I am missing the presence of someone I am really never around, but somehow know that they should be around. During my novella nostalgia, I came across Around the World in 100 Days by Gary Blackwood. The book was an attempted sequel to the Around the World in 80 Days, which most of us read at some point. Here we find Harry, (not as little as he was in the previous adventure) a grown man in body, ambitious and wealthy—but directionless. He seeks his own adventures. He gets into trouble, lots of trouble, and although his ambitions were as high as his father’s he tumbles and fumbles. But somehow he makes it.
As with all fables with happy endings, his success wasn’t without hiccups. And oh, did Harry have hiccups! Especially sabotage from within! Essence of the story (for all who neglected collecting a library card), Harry travels the world in 100 days in a steam engine car, with a gang of friends to ultimately win a bet with his father. The end. Or is it?
Fables normally tend to depict some form of reality, whether metaphorically or with an explicit analogy—and it doesn’t have to align in the same time continuum. As of now, I believe Gary Blackwood lives in our little Helen of the West, secretly re-writing his tale of trippy trips. What a tale this one will be. Of trips after trips guised as selfless sacrifices of extra leg room, Mediterranean dishes and Chiney Tupperware. What a pain that must be!
Racing against the time, to cover the world in 100 days (but who’s counting). Our Harry will have to accomplish the greatest feat yet: spotting the inside Judas before he faces the fate of his predecessors. Then again, from what I’ve heard the brother is already in camp. And he’s not the one brewing the coffee.
It’s a good thing Harry doesn’t catch feelings; he catches flights. Besides, he already won daddy’s bet. He can tumble fumble all he wants, ‘cause who is really paying attention? Particularly when members of his gang are holding down the fort. Or appear to be! Adios, until next time…