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Travels with Myself and Another: Five Journeys from Hell

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,419 ratings  ·  195 reviews
Out of a lifetime of travelling, Martha Gellhorn has selected her "best horror journeys." She bumps through rain-sodden, war-torn China to meet Chiang Kai-Shek, floats listlessly in search of u-boats in the wartime Caribbean and visits a dissident writer in the Soviet Union against her better judgment. Written with the eye of a novelist and an ironic black humour, what ...more
Kindle Edition, 324 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Eland Publishing (first published January 1st 1979)
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Sep 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) was an American writer and journalist who is now considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. At the time she wrote this book in 1978, she had traveled to 53 countries and every state in the US except Alaska, and she had lived in 7 of those countries with 11 permanent residences in them. She certainly loved traveling, and it all began with her enjoyment of riding on streetcars as a child. But this book isn't about her love of traveling ...more
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I had some difficulty with this book in which Martha Gelhorn describes some horror journeys she took between the 1940s and the 1970s. On the one hand, 'feisty female setting off on adventures around the globe, unintimidated by lovers or strangers' is bound to appeal to me. Gelhorn's frank, no-nonsense tone is amusing, too, and I like the sense that there's no sentimentality about her. I do not travel for pleasure, myself. I have lived and worked in different countries, but that is a matter of ...more
I was brought to Gellhorn's writing after finishing The Postmistress, where Gellhorn gets a cameo and a few shout-outs for her war-reporting. They didn't have The Face of War at the local library, so I picked up this instead. This is probably the best travel memoir that I have ever read. Gellhorn is one pugnacious, brutally intelligent female with ovaries of steel. In Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir, Gellhorn recounts her 'horror journeys': to the front of the Sino-Japanese war on the ...more
Nov 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Gellhorn lived 90 years, all but the first eight and last two of the 20th Century. It was a fine and eventful life, spent as a writer of fiction, journalism, and a world traveler. Her anthologized war correspondence, The Face of War, is a masterpiece of reportage. As a travel writer, Gellhorn is entertaining, curmudgeonly, and persistent in visiting places likely to offer pleasure and hardships in at least equal measure. The book carries three mottoes, one of which is “Leap before you look,” ...more
This is truly a travel narrative. Gellhorn calls them horror journeys, selecting the worst of her traveling experiences for this book. Martha Gellhorn was an accomplished war reporter and was familiar with uncomfortable travel accommodations, but that was during war time. I got the sense she didn't like camping (refuses to while in Africa doing her own safari) and going to remote places could resemble camping.

The book starts out, after some introductions, with her desired trip to China. There
Jun 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world, did-not-finish
Witty, ascerbic and with a great ability to laugh at herself too - but also prejudiced, dismissive and seemingly impervious to the burdens that other people are carrying. This is a book about Gellhorn's worst travel experiences. Usually in places of dire poverty. Situations that ought to be approached sympathetically, via an historical or sociological perspective, just looked at with blunt cynicism and humour. She also has prejudices that simply aren't true. Half way through, and I've had ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Travelogue with a Difference - Journeys that Suck!

Martha Gellhorn, third wife of Ernest Hemingway, was reputed to be the most courageous and celebrated female journalist of the 20th century, covering all the major conflicts and trouble spots in the world during her long career. And in typical Hemingway-esque style, when her journalistic powers waned due to age and illness, she popped herself off with a cyanide capsule. This book covers six trips that didn’t go as smoothly, but then one wonders,
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unusually outspoken WW2 travel memoir. The author does not mince words to say that she dislikes some area and its people, and why. In fact, of all the areas she travels through in this book, only the landscape (not the people) of East Africa and some islands (the Dutch ones, if I remember correctly) in the Caribbean. The others, China, West-Africa, Moscow, Eilat are found to be terrible places to visit, especially if you are interested in a minimum level of comfort and some cooperation of ...more
Jul 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenver I start to complain about the long flight to California with the kids, I remember this book and shut my mouth. And ask the flight attendant for more wine. Some women are just more adventurous than others (me). And some women survive being married to Papa Hemingway!
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Gellhorn through a silly little HBO movie of the same title. The movie took one chapter of this book,the one where she travels with husband Ernest Hemingway, and finally brought this outstanding singular woman to the attention of the world that should have known her name as easily as her best friend Elinor Roosevelt or Edward R. Morrow. But we don't. Written by her it is the closest to an autobiography we have this amazing woman who was the first female war correspondent starting ...more
Joan Colby
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a marvel this book is. Gellhorn is funny, acerbic and a brilliant writer who can describe a scene unforgettably. Hemingway is mentioned only in the China expedition of 1941—but their relationship, at that point, is rather a caustic delight, both parties equally adept at adventure and repartee. Gellhorn who titles each journey as one of horror visits Africa from coast to coast, fascinated by the animals especially her favorites, the giraffes, and perpetually in danger from following her ...more
Elf Asura
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Fascinating - exciting - exhilarating travel memoirs of one of the wives of Ernest Hemingway. She loves cleanliness and comfort but ends up going through hellish conditions again and again as a war correspondent. The language is a delight. The observations unique. The narrative surprises one over and over and the book is unputdownable.
Pakuranga Smith
Travel is always a mixed bag - messy days of irritation and frustration, juxtaposed with all the wonderfully enriching experiences that you're supposed to have. I've certainly never read a book that so honestly expresses the disappointments, annoyances and sheer tedium of the bad days. Which is often wonderful, as you feel the misery and pain of her "horror" journeys, and really understand the power of the magical moments, such as when the African skies reveal their full majesty.

It is easy
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is in many ways both tedious and haphazardly written. And it is wonderful and marvelous and educational and simply fabulous. Martha Gellhorn was one of the most interesting women of the 20th century. While she was undoubtedly the most experienced female war correspondent of the century, this book is less about her war travels than her personal travels. Best known, of course, as the wife of Ernest Hemingway during the WWII years, Gellhorn was every bit a woman in her own right as she ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, memoir
"I was in that state of grace which can rightly be called happiness, when body and mind rejoice totally together. This occurs, as a divine surprise, in travel; this is why I will never finish travelling."

If you think Hemingway is a fearless adventurer, you must not be acquainted with Martha Gellhorn, a renowned war correspondent and his third wife. While a prolific journalist and lifelong traveler, Travels with Myself and Another is her first and only memoir which reflects on her experiences at
I discovered Martha Gellhorn completely by accident, by watching the HBO film "Hemingway and Gellhorn", which should have been called "Gellhorn and Hemingway as she was by far the more interesting of the two writers. I looked her up and found that she was one of the most remarkable journalists of the 21st century and decided to check out a few of her books. This book seemed the most interesting to me-a recollection of her extensive world travels from her perspective as an older person, having ...more
Karen Hart
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martha Gellhorn doesn't use Ernest Hemingway's name when she is writing about travels she made with him, but by the time I finished my last adventure with her, I realized he'd been in the entire book, on every one of her journeys, and not because of her writing style. It is very different than his. It was the way she wrote of him, when she did, which was rare, but it was so powerful, I could actually feel the touch of one soul mate to another. Gellhorn is captivating, bold, reckless, romantic, ...more
Acerbic and clever, I was alternately charmed and disgusted by Gellhorn. Sometimes, while reading her, I wondered why she traveled at all. She seemed to so thoroughly dislike each experience. Then I'd stumble upon a moment after she'd been hating life for a few days of dismal sunburn and rough seas and intolerable people, when suddenly:
"...I forgot the war, it was somebody else's nightmare. I was in that state of grace which can rightly be called happiness, when body and mind rejoice totally
Pam Man
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gellhorn is a lady from another time, but her travels are more extensive and adventurous than most contemporaries. She resisted the temptations luxury and the practicality of comfortable, safe travel for the adventures that would take her to the places on the planet that few people would experience, allying herself with characters that would give most people pause. Her memoir is inspiring in its humanity and spirit.
There is no 'travel' catagory on my bookshelves, this could change that omission.

Gelhorn wrote a very literate book about travel upto and at the end of the era of such activity. Compared to the cattle car and amusement park experience of today, there is little or no adult reference for readers born after the early to mid 1970's.

Entertaining if eclectic read that includes some famous people she met and married and spent quality time around.

Halley Sutton
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What bores whom? Couldn't always hold my attention; some parts were, I am sad to report, racist in sentiment. Still, a fascinating woman full of fascinating observations of the world--and she made it a point to see the world and form her own opinions, which I can respect, even if I can't always get on board with said opinions.
Nancy Sullivan
Oct 12, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Martha Gellhorn is as narcissistic as Ernest Hemingway, who is her companion in some of these travel pieces. But she also comes across as a woman who chooses an unconventional life as an explorer. Hemingway comes across as much more interesting and humorous than his own writing reveals. I liked him better than her in these essays.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Author is the third wife of Hemingway, who enters the book briefly.
A journalist attempts to construct a memoir from her incomplete or indecipherable travel diaries. Yes, she was brave and searched off-the-beaten-track, which often amounted to very little. China, Caribbean, Africa, Russia, Israel. She seemed bored. Why should the reader be anything less than bored?
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favourite book of travel writing of all time.
Sharply observant, hilariously funny. I love how ruthlessly truthful she is - this is a breath of fresh air in a world smothered in PR and the cheery optimism of social media.
A book I re-read again and again.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly brilliant. What a dame - they don't make them like that any more. My personal fave was China during the Sino-Japanese war but there's gems to be had here in all locations.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. She was a brave and keen-eyed traveller (and often grouchy, which I can relate to!). Fantastic read.
Adam Green
Really well written, but hard to get over her flagrant bigotry. She doesn't want to know people from other races and from meeting a handful of people writes everyone off as 'lazy' or 'smelly'.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is now amongst my greatest sadnesses in life that I will never have the chance to meet this amazing woman, who speaks to me in ways that few other humans, living or dead, ever have.
Dana DesJardins
I do not know how to think about this book. I revere Gellhorn, who saw the worst the twentieth century had to offer, from concentration camps through civil wars and starvation, and stood up everywhere she went for women, children, and the poor. Understandably, the same fierceness and humor that sustained her in the face of brutal injustice imbued her with a form of selective empathy. Her compassion for animals in Africa or children in post-revolutionary China, for example, flips to bigoted ...more
Liv Steinke
As a lover of travling I found this book mirroring my travels. We went on a family trip to spain in 2012 and being in another country that speaks a different language than you is kind of tricky. But my mother speaks some spanish so we were able to get by pretty well. This book made me think of in the odd way of the Narnia books because in both books the characters travel in some way shape or form. Also when reading this book Dr. Who poped into my head because also thoses characters travel true ...more
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American novelist, travel writer and journalist, considered to be one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism is named after her.
“Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival.” 91 likes
“I took only one suitcase, and a cosmetics case for medicines but I was worried about books. Solitude is all right with books, awful without.” 7 likes
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