Ocean's Reviews > Off the Map

Off the Map by Hib Chickena
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Jan 31, 08

Recommended for: fifteen year olds.
Read in January, 2005

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 herculean undertaking.
the writing is not believable as a zine, either. it reads more like a fourth-rate supermarket romance novel (although it's slightly more interesting because it's about traveling punk rock ladies). it's not written well enough to allow this cynical reader to suspend her disbelief. the overall effect is one of someone who is drunkenly rambling about their life & you know they're full of shit but they won't shut the fuck up or even stop talking long enough for you to call bullshit.
my ex & i used to read this book in bed & laugh & laugh. she didn't believe that anyone could take it seriously, but she brought it up once at food not bombs & was dumbfounded when everyone else there--smart & cynical people themselves--defended it!
it's too bad that the cover is so beautiful. but i guess that cliche became a cliche for a reason.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by The Magpie (new)

The Magpie I agree with this reviewer that 10,000 copies of this book in zine form might be an exaggeration, but I know for a fact it was originally a zine, that is to say, a hand typed, photocopied version, because I read it in that form. I wonder what the reviewer means by "the writing is not believable as a zine"? I've always thought the beauty of the form is that zines are free of stylistic boundaries. You write whatever the hell you want (factual or otherwise) and give it to whomever the hell you please. Whatever you want to call it, zine or novel, journal, diary, fantasy, whatever, I can see how it would not appeal to a self admitted cynic like this reviewer, because one of the underlying themes is of trust in oneself and an unknown, unmarked path. And the writing does at times have a certain romance novel quality, as this reveiwer points out. Some less cynical readers might enjoy the "romance" of these two travelers having strange encounters, as I did. I found it to be totally credible, having stayed in some European squats myself. Not the reveiwer's cup of tea, but at least the reviewer and partner got a laugh out of it, sharing it in bed together. If the book was presented to me in that light, I might have made fun of it, too.


Keiko I don't know... Ithink this book came to me at the right time... when I was backpacking around Spain and sleeping on beaches. To me, it rang true. I've passed it on to at least 5 people who are all travelers and who have all enjoyed it as well. So maybe you have to be at the right place to get it but... I got it.

I think for 20somethings walking alone into the world this echos many of their own feelings in a more beautiful way.


ػᶈᶏϾӗ I think part of the point of it is that it's presented as personal mythology. And that's meant to inspire people.


message 4: by Don (new)

Don I totally got a free photocopy of it in zine-form when I was a teenager and probably scammed hundreds of them myself to give to other people. Not a myth!


message 5: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer The cover IS really beautiful, thanks to Nikki McClure.


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