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Off the Map

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  886 ratings  ·  103 reviews
A punk rock vision quest told in the tradition of the anarchist travel story, Off The Map is narrated by two young women as they discard their maps, fears, and anything resembling a plan, and set off to Europe. Wandering across that continent, the dozens of vignettes are the details of the whole - a squatted castle surrounded by tourists on the Spanish coast, a philosophiz ...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by CrimethInc
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Ocean
Jan 31, 2008 Ocean rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fifteen year olds.
i will NEVER be able to figure out why anyone over the age of 20 takes anything by crimethinc seriously. this is the least believable shit ever!
let me clarify: i totally believe that 2 ladies can have an amazing time hitchiking/squatting their way around europe. however, i do not believe for a SECOND that this shitty book used to be a zine--a zine that magically had what, like 10,000 copies made for free? also highly unlikely. as any zinester can attest, scamming even 300 copies is usually a her
...more
Kristeeeee
A female, more magical version of "On the Road", and quite possibly going to be one of my top three favorite books. the Goodreads' description of this being a "punk rock" tale kind of knots my girdle. these chicks make fun of the inclusive punk scenesters all throughout these chapters, and take comfort in their own individuality and acceptance of the way their "witchery" reveals characters and scenarios of all sorts. i don't care about the politics, or even the truth, of the preamble--whether it ...more
Naomi
11/4/09:
This is my airplane travel book. It always makes me believe in wonderful things again.

To me this book is not about anarchy. My love for this book is not because I want to be an anarchist. It speaks to me because it's about believing in things and possibilities that we are told by everyone around us are NOT possible.

It's about silly frivolities. It's about seeing, experiencing, and loving life with the raw joy of a child.

It's about creating your own cultures. About being brave, fearless,
...more
Andrew
This book is so bad I can't even finish it. It's short travel story after short travel story of idealistic punk rock politics. There's no way in shit that this book was truly copied over 10,000 times by zine lovers. B.S. I should have known picking up a CrimeThink publication that this book would be nonstop nonsense from page 1. There's a few interesting points but for the most part the formula is this:

"We're punk girls ready to see the world. We hate the idea of money. People are so nice! Europ
...more
Laurie
Sep 03, 2007 Laurie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers and fighters
I first read this book on a greyhound bus from Portland to Seattle. I was 21-years-old, still stinging from the crash and burn of a long-term relationship, and trying to find myself in the Pacific Northwest. This book, along with The Miracle of Mindfulness, is my most-often-gifted book. I've read it so many times and I love to share it with people. Some people find it a little too hippy-dippy but I think the idealism of this book is infectious and liberating. It truly changed my life.
Wendle
Sep 06, 2014 Wendle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone.
This is a book about travelling, about adventure and about an alternative way of seeing and doing things. I loved this book. I love that this book exists, and would encourage any and everyone to read it.

I loved reading views and opinions about the world, and ways to live in it that i could appreciate and share. To read about people who see the world in a similar way to me was a joy. I might not agree with everything Hib and Kika expressed, but the fact that they don’t take the world as it is giv
...more
Mandy Jo
This week’s headline? female huck finns

Why this book? bookslut shout-out

Which book format? new through amazon

Primary reading environment? hippie juice bar

Any preconceived notions? …were blown away

Identify most with? can’t identify narrator

Three-word quote? “you’re already there”

Goes well with? avocados, coffee, dreams

This book is my bible. I hope it inspires you in some way as well. Mandi 12/06

Bear with me here.

The above quote kicks off an article in praise of used books from the webzine Bookslu
...more
oriana
This book is put out by an anarchist collective, www.CrimethInc.com, that eschews the use of such trivialities as bar codes and ISBNs. It's a little cliche, I know, but this is the first-ever book recommendation I've received from my sis, a notorious non-reader, so I had to see what it was all about.

The book was originally a zine, put together by two girls who were hitchhiking & squatting their way across Europe. They position themselves sometimes as witches, sometimes mermaids, sometimes d
...more
Jill
Jun 22, 2009 Jill rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
I first read this book in Peru when I was visiting my sister living abroad. She had her favorite parts underlined, and I thought that was the best part, so I bought my own copy and underlined my own favorites. Then I loved it so much, and (this sounds so hokey, but it's true) it felt so life changing that I bought a bunch in bulk and gave them all to my friends on special occasions. I'm about as far from an anarchist as it gets, but there are many ways of looking at the world, and I'm not about ...more
Kristan
at first this book really bothered me. I couldn't get into it at all. It just all seemed to ridiculous; two girls traveling across europe with almost no money, relying on the kindness of strangers and luck to keep them fed and sheltered. but by the end of the book i was really into it. the literal things that they did, i don't think i could ever do. but i understand why they did them. they wanted to prove that you can get by in this world without relying on a job and a home and a capitalist stru ...more
Alli
This book has been read, re-read, underlined, and thoroughly worn over the last couple of years. I always come back to it because I love the flow of the words and I love that associations I have with this book because of the individual who gave it to me. I can always pick it up at any random point during the story and enjoy what is being said. It's hard to take in everything that is said and the concepts that seem to come from such a naive state of mind, but it is hopeful at the same time. Readi ...more
mary k
It reminds me of that time in my life before 11th grade when I wasn't a bitter asshole. Prepare yourself for the overuse of analogies, especially ones containing references to: 1) clotheslines in mid-july 2) letters in bottles 3) dandelions. BARF.
At any other point in my life, this book would only exacerbate my hatred for crimethinc published literature. However, because i'm psyching myself up for a big trip, this was the perfect thing to read. Time and place for everything I guess.
Wybie Lovat
This is one of those few books I will never forget. Ever. I picked it up in the library by chance, and the first page sent my imagination spinning with wild fantasies and dreams of running away and making my own life. And those thoughts are still with me, lingering in every action I make.
This book changes you. For better or for worse, it is highly worth it. I really reccommend you read it, or worship it, like I do.
Oh... right. One more thing.
SQUATTERS FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!
DJ Shiva
Absolutely fantastic, poetically written book about two women backpacking Europe, staying in squats, hitchhiking, and just generally doing what men have been writing about for ages, but women are always told it's not safe to do. It's "On the Road", but better written and from a woman's perspective.
Bev
I always go into Crimethinc publications expecting, well, something more. This is the account of a young vegan's vacation in Europe. As such, it is every bit as annoying as you might imagine. Adding insult to injury, she believes in fairies AND angels. There's is hitchhiking and hanging out in squats and stuff, but, like, we have that stuff here.
Sam
ughhhhh. "Hib Chickena" about sums it up.
I have to admit, though, at one point in my life I did want to go to New York and live in Leftover Crack's squat. But I don't think this book had anything to do with that. It might have been a residual effect of growing up in Mequon, like most of my problems.
Crabby McGrouchpants
For those who read CrimeThinc.'s Invasion, and thought there was no-one else like that, here's another: Off the Map is all sorts of places, hardly just geographical, that you'd like to hear about people going, without being touristy or a slave to watered-down notions of "party." (As in: "Party on, Wayne!" and/or "Communist Party," etc.)

The writing is pleasing and competent; it sneaks up on you, how "agreeable" the tone is, how "empathetic" their perspectives, until you become (face it!) a politi
...more
Catyche
Oct 04, 2008 Catyche rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenaged girls, adventurers, anarchists, punks, squatters
I wanted to give this book 2 1/2 stars but since that isn't possible, I rounded up to 3 stars. This book supposedly started as a zine that became so popular with 10,000 copies distributed was turned into a book. I say supposedly bevause many readers have expressed doubt about the feasibility of such an outrageous amount of copies being distributed given how difficult (and expensive) it is to create copies of zines. I myself take the authors at their word. "Off the Map" describes the adventures o ...more
Jaredkant
I've read reviews of every conceivable position on this book. I went into it after binging on Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London. I wanted a streak of anarchism and a travel diary. This seemed to fit the bill. My initial impression was that, yes, there were a lot of adjectives. The descriptions at times become so thick that they're difficult to get through. Other times the authors seem to gloss over the things that ostensibly they were writing about in the first pl ...more
Nativeabuse
I have a soft spot for these shitty crimethinc books about kids who go off and travel living the hobo lifestyle, but this was terrible even for them. Not in the same way the other books are.

Evasion was great as a romantic story of hobo living if you ignored the moronic authors child-like ideas about politics and society. It was actually quite readable and enjoyable.

This on the other hand was just stupid. Two girls go to Europe and go from squat house to squat house, they talk more about themsel
...more
Michael
I found this book to be uplifting but sometimes depressing at the same time.
Uplifting in that these two set out to travel through Europe with basically no money or provisions and actually manage to get all over relying upon hitchhiking, walking, squatters, co-ops, and the basic decency of people.
Depressing because of the squalor and decay and the sad and sorry state of some of the places and people they encounter.
I usually enjoyed the writing and the encounters are related in a visually evocativ
...more
Jennifer Kalen
Jul 02, 2013 Jennifer Kalen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Claire Lovegrove
Recommended to Jennifer by: Women & Children First
This was the first book club book> Obviously I snagged the title of the book for the club b/c it was so fitting; Jess and I had been trying to decide on a theme for the club and this was it: extraordinary lives and adventures of women; women who go "off the map."

This book is a series of journal entry-types put together post European adventure by two punk rock gurrl socialist/squatters.

I enjoyed the idea of this book and some passages made me wish I was in their shoes; they meet a lot of craz
...more
Jessie Lynn McMains
I first read this at age 20, when it was still only in zine-form. I'm rating it five stars and putting it on my favorites shelf based on how much I loved it and was inspired by it back then. Age 20 was really the start of my traveling-years (I'd done some before that, but I went full-on when I was 20), and the stories in Off the Map made me feel like the world was an expansive place and I could do what I wanted with my life. (Granted, I traveled around North America and haven't yet made it to Eu ...more
Maria
glad i read it, but,

they seem to have the idea and give the impression that any males that aren't young attractive and punk are going to attack them?! just perpetuating the idea that all feminists are man haters and being generally closed minded about anyone who has chosen a lifestyle different to their own.

they give the idea that all travelers/squatters/people that live off the grid, are unclean hippies that live in squalor and general discomfort on a daily basis.

i have traveled all over europ
...more
Christina
This is a dreamy, sweetly idealistic zine-ish memoir written by two young women traveling across Europe sans map, money, or connections in the early oughties. Some of the writing is laughably bad, and the know-it-all anarchist tone gets old, but I still kind of liked it. I know I would have loveloveloved it in high school and college, so it was a fun way to revisit my former self.
Smoothw
Like a sculpture in time, in that the further and further you get away from the ideal place and time to read it (which I would imagine to be around the age of 21 and found in a bus stop or a cool used bookstore) the sillier more insufferable the whole thing looks. Being over thirty I should probably give this 0 stars, but I felt kind of forgiving towards it because I used to know Olympia Hippie types and they were usually good folks, and I do believe in the romance of travel if not in sleeping i ...more
Margaret Killjoy
I just reread this book for the first time in eight years. I read it within a week of dropping out of school in search of my crusty-travel dreams. It's fascinating to have reread now, after having, well, found myself, and after having had so many experiences like the ones described.

The authors write with an unabashed naivety and honesty, a really refreshing--and occasionally annoying--earnestness, the same earnestness that earned CrimethInc. it's sullied reputation. As a travelogue, it almost ca
...more
Autumn
I read this in a four hour time span while on a ferry from mainland Greece to an island called Paros last summer. I really, truly enjoyed it because, at that time in my travels, I had experienced ups and downs of traveling with a friend of mine and I could truly relate. There's a certain mindset you get into while traveling, where things and places, people and colors all take on different forms, you become more introspective but there's also a feel of connection to everything and everyone around ...more
Nora
Sometimes unnecessarily descriptive, Off the Map chronicles the travels of two women backpacking through Europe. Their alternative style of travel (staying in squats and co-ops) reminds us that you don't have to do Europe like everyone else. Has some good insights on that wonderful subject of "Finding Yourself."

***

The way Isabelle said Home, it became a weighted word - not cumbersome, but tangible, something to be taken seriously and seriously loved. Home. It was still new for her, this way of s
...more
Laura
Amazingly beautiful. For the dreamer's.
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