I disliked the racist aspect of the book which consists mostly of systematically using the African American character for comic effect. I know Verne systematically makes fun of people on the basis of their national backgrounds but we still swallow that down. I also know the Verne books were meant to be didactic. Nearly half of this one is given over to describing the earth seen from above. I'm sure it was intended as the 19th century's version of The Earth from the Air by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. In the 21st century we're likely to prefer the pictures.