Catyche's Reviews > Off the Map

Off the Map by Hib Chickena
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Oct 04, 08

bookshelves: memoir, non-fiction, zine-books
Recommended for: teenaged girls, adventurers, anarchists, punks, squatters
Read in October, 2008

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 of two anarcho-punk girls who decide to travel around Europe with no money or maps, and with only their packs on their backs and relying on the kindness of strangers and the hope of visisting different squats around Europe to figure out the best way to create their own squat. Before you read this book you must realize that at many points you will want to wince in embarressment at their naivete and gullibility in regards to their thoughts and actions. They admit up-front in their preface that they are embarressed by some of their overly simplistic ideas. But the reason that I decided in the end to give this book 3 stars is because overall, despite their bewildering preoccupation with being "witches" (not in a real religious way but just because it sounds cool) the bad parts are overshadowed by the magical parts where you see the souls of two young girls who are desperate for an adventure and are willing to "walk the walk" and actually travel and see the world.
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