Title: Journey Without Maps
Author: Graham Greene
Page Count/Review Word Count: 250
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 tedious at times, purely because it’s hard work to imagine what it was actually like to go on that journey of his, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting – it’s just heavy going, and not the type of book you can read without really thinking. That’s probably why it’s just as good for the casual reader as it is for the academic, who wants to learn more about Africa in the 30s. If you fit in either category then it’s definitely worth buying.
In fact, if anything, it’s just as exciting as any of his novels, as if it’s made somehow more real by the fact that Greene himself is the central character, as well as the narrator. Besides, the journey itself would be no longer possible, I’m sure of it – the world has moved on in the last eighty years, for better or worse.