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Jornada Sem Mapas

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  1,023 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
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 Greene's journey. Crossing the red-clay terrain from Sierra Leone to the coast of Grand Bassa with a chain of porters, h ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published 1964 by Editorial Minerva (first published 1936)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 08, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”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 a
...more
Jason
Aug 04, 2014 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
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
...more
Anthony
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 throu ...more
Elaine
Jul 10, 2010 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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 ...more
Tia Gonzales
Aug 30, 2015 Tia Gonzales rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Liberia..Liberia 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.
James Anderson
Oct 30, 2014 James Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Journey Without Maps
I’ve been reading some of the comments on Amazon and Goodreads 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 he
...more
Kevin
Mar 26, 2011 Kevin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, travel
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 ...more
John
Mar 19, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Andrew
Sep 03, 2011 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, travel, 2011
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
...more
Dane Cobain
May 28, 2015 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 can be te
...more
Bill
Mar 04, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
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 ...more
Erica Mukherjee
Jul 06, 2009 Erica Mukherjee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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: white and bl ...more
Josephine Ensign
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 ...more
Amerynth
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
...more
Ian
Feb 01, 2016 Ian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Andrea
Dec 20, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Anthony Meaney
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
...more
Filip
Feb 26, 2017 Filip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Myles
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
...more
Val
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
...more
Babak Fakhamzadeh
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
...more
Susanna
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 ...more
Neil
Mar 22, 2012 Neil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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 a governme
...more
N
Nov 01, 2011 N rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Warren Keppler
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
...more
LDB
Jul 16, 2015 LDB rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in honor of my move back to Liberia, for my own journey, albeit with some maps. It is about a four week trek that Greene took from Freetown, Sierra Leone, through Guinea and through Liberia in 1935. Given my experiences in Sierra Leone and Liberia, I was able to see the story through his eyes and the places he visited in ways that many readers probably cannot. I found it interesting how little has changed since 1935. Customs and border control remain pretty much the same, the vi ...more
Charlotte
Jan 05, 2015 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know that Greene has made me want to follow in his footsteps, but wow - what an interesting, unique journey!
Though short, this is quite a dense novel and it took me a couple of days to finish. I think it prudent to really sink in and take your time with travel writing - it always seems very detailed but there is so much to garner and take away from 'Journey Without Maps' it would have been a shame to rush through.
The physical journey through the interior of Liberia to its capital, Monrov
...more
Sarah
Aug 26, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extraordinary, rather pointless journey on foot through the unmapped back end of Liberia, with a crowd of porters, lots of rats, a case of whisky and a subconscious that pokes its head out now and then. As described elsewhere it's really two journeys, the physical and the psychological, and both are a little unsatisfying - not because they're poorly done, but because there's a dreaminess about them both. Anyway this is not really a practical travel book - there are inaccuracies, vaguenesses a ...more
Bill
I've read a few of Graham Greene's works and have enjoyed them. I like his style of writing. This is the first book of non-fiction I've read. Journey withouth Maps was a memoir of Greene's first trip away from England and was written in 1936. His journey is through the wilderness of Liberia on the coast of Africa. He is accompanied by his cousin, Barbara Greene, although he never mentions her by name or gender, rather refers to her only as 'my cousin'. I would have found it interesting if we'd l ...more
Graham
You can tell term has started. A couple of hundred pages has taken me over a month to get through!
Not an easy book this: the narrative is extremely disjointed, and you are left with a dab of description, an impressionistic sweep of a brush to pick out odd incidents. Greene minces no words to describe the veniality of a country trying to find its way between the Scylla of primitive superstition in the centre of the country and the Charybdis of European and American avarice plundering riches from
...more
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Imprinted Lives: Journey Without Maps Part Three 2 4 Oct 05, 2012 10:50PM  
Imprinted Lives: Pre-Reading of Journey w/o Maps 15 12 Oct 05, 2012 01:51PM  
Imprinted Lives: Journey Without Maps Part Two 5 4 Oct 05, 2012 09:56AM  
Imprinted Lives: Journey Without Maps Part One 15 7 Sep 29, 2012 11:12AM  
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Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.

Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a “Catholic novelist” rather than as a “novelist who happened to be Ca
...more
More about Graham Greene...

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“It is the earliest dream that I can remember, earlier than the witch at the corner of the nursery passage, this dream of something outside that has got to come in. The witch, like the masked dancers, has form, but this is simply power, a force exerted on a door, an influence that drifted after me upstairs and pressed against windows.” 7 likes
“I had been afraid of the primitive, had wanted it broken gently, but here it came on us in a breath, as we stumbled up through the dung and the cramped and stinking huts to our lampless sleeping place among the rats. It was the worst one need fear, and it was bearable because it was inescapable.” 6 likes
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