Journey Without Maps

Journey Without Maps WITH A FOREWORD BY TIM BUTCHER AND AN INTRODUCTION BY PAUL THEROUXIn Graham Greene set off to discover Liberia a remote and unfamiliar West African republic founded for released slaves Crossing

  • Title: Journey Without Maps
  • Author: Graham Greene
  • ISBN: 9780099282235
  • Page: 200
  • Format: Paperback
  • WITH A FOREWORD BY TIM BUTCHER AND AN INTRODUCTION BY PAUL THEROUXIn 1935 Graham Greene set off to discover Liberia, a remote and unfamiliar West African republic founded for released slaves Crossing the red clay terrain from Sierra Leone to the coast at Grand Bassa with a chain of porters, he came to know one of the few areas of Africa untouched by Western colonisation.

    One thought on “Journey Without Maps”

    1. ”The fever would not let me sleep at all, but by the early morning it was sweated out of me. My temperature was a long way below normal, but the worst boredom of the trek for the time being was over. I had made a discovery during the night which interested me. I had discovered in myself a passionate interest in living. I had always assumed before, as a matter of course, that death was desirable. It seemed that night an important discovery. It was like a conversion, and I had never experienced [...]

    2. 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 t [...]

    3. This is slight Greene, but even slight Greene has its rewards. There is crisp lovely evocative wrting, there are some interesting memory passages, and the descriptions of what he sees are fascinating. On the other hand, his take on race is very much from the 1930s: Greene's admiration for the noble savage may seem trite and/or offensive, as is his willingness to exploit native labor, but he also recognizes the degrading nature of colonialism and the brutalities of economic exploitation. So while [...]

    4. In 1935 Graham Green traveled by foot from the West African Coast of Sierra Leone, through French Guinea, and into the depths of the Liberian Forest, a region unmapped at the time and labeled with the foreboding word, Cannibals, as the only descriptor as to what he would discover in his travels through the region. Greene’s travels were hardly pure back-country roughing since he was able to hire men to carry his mosquito net, cooking supplies, and a case of whiskey that he drank religiously thr [...]

    5. it's a different kind of Graham Greene book, I discovered it when i was going to Liberia 1990 and realized there were very few books on LiberiaLiberia was a soul-wrenching experience, a country forgotten and not so different from when GG was there. I carried the book with me and referred to it often and although the material was anachronistic and colonial, it still had some relevance and when I was over-whelmed by the inherent contradictions of what I was seeing, found it comforting.

    6. Journey Without MapsI’ve been reading some of the comments on and on Graham Greene’s book before writing this. I’ve read most of Greene’s work, some many times, but not this until just now, and I was interested in what others thought of it. I don’t seem to see it the same way. You can investigate those other opinions for yourself, but here’s a little of my take.It goes back to Norman Sherry’s fabled three volume biography. In the introduction to Volume Two he writes: ‘In life h [...]

    7. A Brit traveling around Africa with a dozen native porters carrying everything from his knickers to his whiskey and barely ever naming his traveling-companion cousin could have made for quite a comic travel account. But Greene never plays it for comic effect, and is even defensive that it might be construed as funny. The abilities that made Greene a notable author are on display but to little effect. The narrative is framed as retreat into the author's subconscious. "Primitive" Africa is like re [...]

    8. This travel book, published in 1936, is the account of a journey the author and his female cousin took on foot (more or less) across Liberia. At the time, the only British map of Liberia had a large, empty, white space on it, and the only U.S. map had the same white space with the word "Cannibals" written on it. Hence, the title.It is less impressive when you learn that Greene hired 25 native "carriers" to accompany them. They not only carried the stuff, they carried his cousin, and, on a few oc [...]

    9. I read this book simple because I had just read the Tim Butcher book, Chasing the Devil in which Butcher decides to retread the steps of Graham Greene, as told in this book. I should have learned. When I read Butcher's first book, I similarly attempted the book of the journey that he tried to follow in that volume as well, and gave up because of the way that Stanley came across. Indeed, in this book it is quite difficult to think that this only happened seventy five or so years ago. Both the lan [...]

    10. Journey Without Maps is, quite frankly, a piece of travel writing that’s taken on historical significance, the true story of Graham Greene’s first ever journey outside of Europe, across the border of Sierra Leone and in to Africa. It was also first published in 1936, before even the outbreak of the Second World War – as you can imagine, white men were neither common nor welcome in Liberia and the neighbouring areas, and so Greene’s work makes for incredibly interesting reading.Sure, it c [...]

    11. A young Englishman and his female cousin decide to take a safari through Liberia in in days before world war 2. What is it they say about mad dogs and Englishmen? I appreciate Greene's subtle spirituality, which doesn't in the way of his enjoyment of a stiff drink. Greene treats/depicts the Africans he meets and employs with respect without sentimentality. His observations about the teenage girls he encounters is a bit off-putting, though. And it is a bit jarring to consider that his entourage w [...]

    12. Graham Greene’s Journey Without Maps is a book about colonialism before it was fashionable to write books “about” colonialism. He is simply writing about the world as he sees it. He is not denouncing or advocating racism. His writing lacks the self-consciousness of modern writers setting their stories in the past so as to try and make a point. However, he doesn’t shy away from the distinction between white and black or the fact that he is an outsider. For him these are simply facts: whit [...]

    13. A deeply disturbing book to read, mainly because of how blithely racist it (and Graham Greene) are, but I read it to gain insight into one of Greene's more flawed novels that I love: A Burnt-Out Case. Journey Without Maps was published in 1936, a year after Greene trekked across Liberia, drinking whiskey the whole way, being carried part-way in a hammock by his black porters, and writing about the sexual desirability of Liberian girls, the crazy (to him) village shamans, the yellow fever/malaria [...]

    14. Another of the "100 greatest adventure books" that I found it impossible to get through -- I abandoned Greene's book when I was three-quarters of the way through after realizing it wouldn't get much better.I found Greene's general attitude toward those he met on his walk across Liberia and his treatment of his porters to be really irritating. Nothing much of interest happens on his walk across the country either. A grating narrator and a tepid account of what should have been a grand adventure h [...]

    15. I really, really like the fictional world of Graham Greene's novels but just as I'd never make a true life explorer, on this evidence GG made a lousy chronicler of his real overland travels. I lost the will to live somewhere during his report about a church service in Sierra Leone and didn't make it much further never mind as far as Liberia. Seriously random and seriously dull.

    16. Greene's description of a journey into the interior of Liberia. While there are a lot of assumptions about African culture and people, Greene is a more acute and honest observer of himself than many travelers. In my opinion, that makes this book worth reading as Greene interrogates the "travel adventure" impulse.

    17. At age 31, Greene traveled to Liberia for four weeks. He went with his cousin, who also wrote a book about this expedition. The journey across Liberia was vivid and interesting. It happened in 1930s, when Nazi was still growing. Liberia got its name because 'liberated' slaves from America emigrated here, and built the first sovereign state in Africa in 1847. However due to its remote location, there was less modern influence. White people were not common then. There were only two maps for this c [...]

    18. This book is considered a classic of adventure travel. However I found it rather boring. Greene travels on foot (sort of) through Liberian interior in the 30's and this book is his travelogue. The country is divided somewhat between the "civilized" coastal areas and the "uncivilized" (and unmapped - hence the title) interior. Greene's travel consists of struggling from one primitive village to the next every day and then hoping to barter/buy food from the local chief for him and his porters. The [...]

    19. Graham Greene, English literary great, traveled through Liberia in the 1930s. There are the usual scenes of witches, danger, creepiness, rats, cockroaches, and bumbling bureaucrats. However, there are also paragraphs like the following: "Today our world seems peculiarly susceptible to brutality. There is a touch of nostalgia in the pleasure we take in gangster novels, in characters who have so agreeably simplified their emotions that they have begun living again at a level below the cerebral. We [...]

    20. Not Greene's finest work by a long walkI am normally a huge fan of Graham Greene. Few authors can offer such insight into the human condition as he can; however, this book was a struggle to get through and the few insights were buried in the countless pages of nothingness (or at least nothing overtly memorable). If Greene wanted to relay the monotony of a long walk, he succeeded.Paul Theroux pedestrian introduction was also a horrific way to start the book. The only thing worth remembering from [...]

    21. read as part of 2018 Irish Meridians Challengefollows the author's inter-war period expedition, a four week trek to Liberiareally is an Empire's eye viewnatives are to be pitied, condescended to and exploited in the mainnot much effort to see the reality of life for the local populationslarge entourage to support his journey, portrayed as simplistic, superstitiousinterminible complaining at jungle treks, fortunately his whisky supply just about lasts the journeynot what I was hoping for, not alo [...]

    22. The saga of Englishman Graham Greene's journey through Liberia. An interesting look at early settlements along the coast and villages in the hinterland.

    23. Old-fashioned and imperialistic - but what a great writer Greene is! Nothing much happens in the entire book, characters are intermittently mentioned (why is his cousin there? why did they quarrel?) and some episodes are only fragmentarily sketched. Mostly it's about a long slog (with what purpose?) through Sierra Leone and Liberia. Written before WWII, the author's views belie some old-school British imperialism, especially notable when he writes about magnanimously opting out of being carried [...]

    24. In 1935 Graham Greene decided to take what spare money he had and walk through the interior of Liberia and Sierra Leone, country as yet unmapped and which the United States had provacatively labeled "cannibals". Along for the trip was his younger cousin Barbara*, who unfortunately has little presence in the narrative. Her own account, Land Benighted (from the Liberian national anthem), was last republished in 1991 as Too Late to Turn Back and is impossible to find at a decent price. After a brie [...]

    25. In two African countries the colonists were mainly freed slaves, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Graham Greene visited both countries, travelling from Freetown to Grand Bassa.The book starts with his journey to Africa on a cargo ship, calling at a few places on the way, but not for long enough to get much insight into them. There is more about his thoughts, musings and expectations than the places he sees, which was well written, but not what I really wanted from a travel book. Once he is in Sierra Le [...]

    26. Greene traveled to Sierra Leone and Liberia in 1936, starting in Freetown, making his way, by train, to the far eastern part of the country, from which, overland, he made his way to the Liberian coast, by passing through Guinea. Greene is overly dramatic a, self confessed, amateur traveler and, really, a pussy, but the book is still interesting, because it paints a picture of the countries traveled from a perspective and a time now lost. Now, the train back east doesn't run anymore, having been [...]

    27. The big question that controls this whole non-fiction account of Greene's trek into Liberia in the 1930's is "Is Greene really a badass?" At first you think, "no way" because of all his luggage and "carriers" or Africans whom he's hired to schlep his stuff. And he seems to be so proud of the fact that no one is carrying him. If you're really a badass, doesn't this go without saying? Should you really be so proud as to keep reminding your readers that you've spent ten days in the bush and no one [...]

    28. "The responsibility of the journey had been mine… and now my mind had almost ceased to function. I simply couldn’t believe that we should ever reach Grand Bassa, that I had ever led a life different from this life"(page 215)That’s how Graham Greene felt about the interior of Liberia and that’s how I felt about his book. Green doesn’t so much describe the weariness of his adventure as impose it upon the reader. Reading this book feels much like being enveloped by post-lunch lethargy in [...]

    29. 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 [...]

    30. I just finished reading Graham Greene's "Journey without Maps".Books can sometimes be a lens to see ourselves better, that was the case with this book.When I was younger I loved many of Greene's fiction books, "The Comedians", "Travels with my Aunt", "Our Man in Havana" and others. After finishing his non fiction account of his travels in Liberia, I understand the author and myself better.This book is a manual on how NOT to travel. Greene whines and moans his way through west Africa with an air [...]

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