Journey without maps

Paperback, 249 pages

English language

Published Jan. 26, 1978 by Penguin (Non-Classics).


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3 stars (3 reviews)

Leaving Europe for the first time in his life, Graham Greene set out in 1935 to discover Liberia, then a virtually unmapped republic on the shores of West Africa. This captivating account of his arduous 350-mile journey on foot - a great adventure which took him from the border with Sierra Leone to the Atlantic coast at Grand Bassa - is as much a record of one young man's self-discovery as it is a striking insight into one of the few areas of Africa untouched by Western colonisation. Journey Without Maps is regarded as a masterclass in travel writing.

21 editions

Review of 'Journey Without Maps (Penguin Classics)' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This was an interesting read but it does feel a bit dated now. It has a real British empire, God save the King side to it, there is a definite line between the "White man" and the "Natives", you can see Graham Greene is trying to cross that line and be more sensitive, but it doesn't stop him from treating his team very slightly better than slaves and then he just abandons them at the end to find their own way home.

Whilst reading this I was wondering if Graham lost a bet and was forced to go on this journey because right from the start he is focused on the ending..... and tits. There is no enjoying the walk, looking for wildlife, anybody he meets he doesn't trust (unless they are white) and he barely puts any effort in to enjoying the experience. The writing changes near the end …

Review of 'Journey without Maps' on Goodreads

3 stars

1) ''We, like Wordsworth, are living after a war and a revolution, and these half-castes fighting with bombs between the cliffs of skyscrapers seem more likely than we to be aware of Proteus rising from the sea. It is not, of course, that one wishes to stay forever at that level, but when one sees to what unhappiness, to what peril of extinction centuries of cerebration have brought us, one sometimes has a curiosity to discover if one can from what we have come, to recall at which point we went astray.''

2) ''The method of psychoanalysis is to bring the patient back to the idea which he is repressing: a long journey backwards without maps, catching a clue here and a clue there, as I caught the names of villages from this man and that, until one has to face the general idea, the pain or the memory. This …

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3 stars


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