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Journey Without Maps (1936)

por Graham Greene

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7411330,406 (3.46)36
His mind crowded with vivid images of Africa, Graham Greene set off in 1935 to discover Liberia, a remote and unfamiliar republic founded for released slaves. Now with a new introduction by Paul Theroux, "Journey Without Maps" is the spellbinding record of Greenes journey. Crossing the red-clay terrain from Sierra Leone to the coast of Grand Bassa with a chain of porters, he came to know one of the few areas of Africa untouched by colonization. Western civilization had not yet impinged on either the human psyche or the social structure, and neither poverty, disease, nor hunger seemed able to quell the native spirit. BACKCOVER: One of the best travel books [of the twentieth] century. Norman Sherry "Journey Without Maps" and "The Lawless Roads" reveal Greenes ravening spiritual hunger, a desperate need to touch rock bottom within the self and in the humanly created world. "The Times Higher Education Supplement"… (mais)
  1. 20
    Too Late to Turn Back por Barbara Greene (g026r, John_Vaughan)
    g026r: Barbara & Graham Greene's complimentary/conflicting (depending on whom you talk to) accounts of their mid-30s travels in Africa.
    John_Vaughan: Too late is well written, with the family talent, and is a complimentary reading to Graham's work. The dirrening accounts owe more to artistic effects than to the deliriums suffered by her bother!
  2. 20
    Chasing the Devil: On Foot Through Africa's Killing Fields por Tim Butcher (ominogue)
  3. 00
    Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown por Paul Theroux (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Both authors felt deeply about Africa and Greene wrote several works on this theme of inner and actual African travel. Paul returns to his Peace Corp teaching post but the books reveals his disillusionment.
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Graham Greene is, of course, more celebrated for his fiction than for anything else, but this, a book of travel writing as he made his way through Sierra Leone and Liberia, is a masterpiece of the genre and as worth reading today as when it was published. I haven't visited either of these countries myself, but I am familiar with the discomforts of exploring Africa - I wove my way from Ghana to South Africa overland more than a decade ago - and so much of what Greene writes rings true: the illness, the dirt, the lack of food, but also the warmth of the people he met, and the beauty of the places he saw. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Mar 15, 2024 |
H1.1.4
  David.llib.cat | Jan 21, 2022 |
Het boek is een verslag van de jonge dertiger Graham Greene, die met zijn nicht te voet ruim 3 weken door de wildernis van Liberia trekt. Met 12-20 dragers trekken ze door de tropische hitte van dorp naar dorp. Ze slapen tussen de ratten, kakkerlakken, muskieten en ander ongedierte. De dagtochten zijn zwaar. Voor het eten zijn ze afhankelijk wat ze in de dorpen aangeboden krijgen. Dat is geen luxe. Veel van de lokale bewoners hebben nog nooit een blanke gezien. Ze krijgen de maken met de lokale duivels, maar de meesten zijn hen goedgezind. Daarbij helpt de grote hoeveelheid whiskey die ze bij zich hebben. De dragers moeten dat meesjouwen; Graham loopt zelf mee, zijn nicht Barbara wordt gedragen in een soort hangmat. Het verhaal gaat vooral over de relatie die ze opbouwen met de dragers. Eerst vertrouwd hij de meesten niet. Ze liegen, en zijn te lui om te lopen. Gedurende de reis gaat hij ze steeds beter begrijpen, en wordt zijn leiderschap door de dragers ook steeds meer gewaardeerd. De meeste dragers zijn nog nooit verder dan een dagtocht van hun eigen dorp geweest. Voor beide partijen is het geven en nemen. Ze zijn tot elkaar veroordeeld. Op het eind, als Graham Greene zelf ziek en zwak is blijkt het team als vanzelf door te gaan. Tijdens zijn terugreis mijmert Graham Greene over het ‘onbedorven’ leven in de rimboe, met zijn geesten en angsten, maar ook zonder de list en het bedrog van de ‘geciviliseerde’ wereld.

Van zijn nicht Barbara, die nauwelijks in het verhaal voorkomt, is ook een boek over de tocht verschenen: eerst onder de titel "Land benighted", later als "Toto late to turn back". ( )
  gerrit-anne | Mar 15, 2021 |
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. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
Of course it's very dated, but I wanted to see why it's considered a classic of travel writing. Can be summed up as trying to explore his subconscious and childhood fears by going off road in Liberia with the assistance of numerous porters for his huge amount of baggage. His cousin was with him, only occasionally mentioned. Now I want to read her book, but it's out of print. ( )
  GranitePeakPubs | Jun 2, 2016 |
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And this is where the book inspires. Back in 2003, reading of Greene's own troubles in Liberia, gave me a degree of comfort as I struggled to make sense of a chaotic region. They made me consider the prejudices that I, as a white outsider, might seek to project not just on to Liberia but wider Africa as well. Each time I read 'Journey Without Maps', I take something new from the experience: truly the hallmark of the best writing.

adicionada por John_Vaughan | editarIndependent, UK, Tim Butcher (Jul 9, 2011)
 
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His mind crowded with vivid images of Africa, Graham Greene set off in 1935 to discover Liberia, a remote and unfamiliar republic founded for released slaves. Now with a new introduction by Paul Theroux, "Journey Without Maps" is the spellbinding record of Greenes journey. Crossing the red-clay terrain from Sierra Leone to the coast of Grand Bassa with a chain of porters, he came to know one of the few areas of Africa untouched by colonization. Western civilization had not yet impinged on either the human psyche or the social structure, and neither poverty, disease, nor hunger seemed able to quell the native spirit. BACKCOVER: One of the best travel books [of the twentieth] century. Norman Sherry "Journey Without Maps" and "The Lawless Roads" reveal Greenes ravening spiritual hunger, a desperate need to touch rock bottom within the self and in the humanly created world. "The Times Higher Education Supplement"

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