The Tattooed Map

The Tattooed Map At one time Lydia and Christopher were lovers as well as travel companions now they are merely fellow travelers While on a trip to Morocco Lydia notices a small mark on her hand which begins to grow

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  • Title: The Tattooed Map
  • Author: Barbara Hodgson
  • ISBN: 9780811808170
  • Page: 415
  • Format: Hardcover
  • At one time, Lydia and Christopher were lovers as well as travel companions now they are merely fellow travelers While on a trip to Morocco, Lydia notices a small mark on her hand which begins to grow and spread in thin, tattooed lines that only she can see Eventually, the marks reveal themselves to be a detailed map of an unknown land, and Lydia begins to understand thAt one time, Lydia and Christopher were lovers as well as travel companions now they are merely fellow travelers While on a trip to Morocco, Lydia notices a small mark on her hand which begins to grow and spread in thin, tattooed lines that only she can see Eventually, the marks reveal themselves to be a detailed map of an unknown land, and Lydia begins to understand that these marks, invisible to all but herself and a mysterious Moroccan man named Layesh, will lead her on a strange and perilous journey The Tattooed Map is Lydia s journal of the days and weeks leading up to her disappearance Each page contains her daily experiences her growing shock and fear as the map unfolds itself, her deteriorating relationship with Christopher, her conversations with strangers as well as the memorabilia she collects along the way maps and postcards, train tickets and postage stamps, lists of books she s reading and souvenirs she s bought all pasted in the margins of the journal When Lydia disappears midway through the journey, her friend Christopher takes up the journal, using it first as a means of recording his search for her and then, increasingly, as a clue to her fate A combination travelogue, mystery, and ghost story, The Tattooed Map is a mesmerizing, physically beautiful book Each page is gloriously decorated with the kinds of fascinating flotsam and jetsam that travelers find cluttering their pockets and notebooks at the end of a trip, making The Tattooed Map a book you ll want to return to again and again.

    One thought on “The Tattooed Map”

    1. Depending on the summation you give of this book, it could be classified as a sci-fi novel (appearance of a map tattooed on an arm), romance (travelers were once romantic before fading), or some weird variation thereof. But focusing on either of these plot narratives misses what is really the draw for this book---the graphics. The book is written as a journal narrative of the two travelers, and as they travel around, they add photos, notes, maps, etc. that you would expect to see in the journal [...]

    2. The strong point of this little book is the descriptions of the places visited, but the author does the same thing better in her non-fiction work Trading in Memories: Travels Through a Scavenger's Favorite Places. Otherwise it is rather weak plot-wise and the multimedia novel is done better in Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine - An Extraordinary Correspondence.

    3. I believe I understood what the writer intended with this odd, offbeat story. That is, if it IS a metaphysical story of the beauty and experience of travel and how that is wrapped up with our emotional connections to each other. However, it didn't work for me because I couldn't connect with the characters. It seems sadly ordinary to compare this book with the Griffin and Sabine books, but how could you not? I love to experience books like this, however, Griffin and Sabine was a much better exper [...]

    4. Excerpted from the full review:"Lovers of ephemera, of detailed dealings in flotsam and jetsam: The Tattooed Map will be a gold-starred destination on your literary sojourns. The novel is an archivist’s dream, bordered and fringed with annotations of addresses, grammatical conjugations in foreign tongues, pencilled-in calendars, rows of photograph details, sketches and schedules, of tattered post-its and sepia postcards. Nor does what would ‘normally’ be themed marginalia live merely in th [...]

    5. What!? I just finished this snoozer of a book and what a disappointment. I kept waiting for the end to justify my trudging through such a boring book and NOTHING! I don’t understand what the purpose of this story was. We need to pay more attention to our partner? Is that what it was? Why so much snooze fest travelogue just to get this message across, IF that’s what the reader was supposed to take from this story? I feel like I missed something along the way.Visually, the book is beautiful. I [...]

    6. Barbara Hodgson's first novel, The Tattooed Map, is a wonderful story in the style of Nick Bantock. It is published, not surprisingly, by Raincoast Books, the publishers of Bantock's Griffin and Sabine trilogy.Hodgson's The Tattooed Map is about a couple of Canadians who spend much of their time traveling the world. Lydia is a pack rat who talks to almost everyone she meets, takes photographs of people and places, and keeps track of everything in a notebook/scrapbook. She learns languages, studi [...]

    7. The artwork and cartography are beautiful. It is written as if we are vouers of a travel diary. I have to say I am a succour for these types of books. The characters develop and richen throughout the book,( which is a mystery/fantasy plot-line) but then the ending just leaves us as if there is a whole half a book still to be written. There journey has just begunPerhaps that is the point!?

    8. This is a strange little book written as a travel journal, first by Lydia then by Chris, as they tour around part of Europe and Northern Africa where events take a turn for the mysterious as Lydia disappears after writing of a map that gradually appears on her arm, a map that Chris does not see either in the flesh or in her pictures. Following her disappearance, the journal is taken up by Chris and talks of his search for her and his attempts at solving the mystery of her disappearance. While th [...]

    9. I have no idea how this book got on my to-read shelf in the first place, and I thought it was totally weird while I was reading it, but I keep thinking of people I need to tell to read it, so that must mean that I liked it. This is an example of the genre of book that pretends to be a diary that you have found, and you must puzzle over it to get the meeting. The surface-level story is of a couple traveling through North Africa together. I enjoyed the story very much on that level. It made me wan [...]

    10. This book reminds me a lot of the "Griffin and Sabine" books, what with its beautiful drawings, maps, photographs, and icons all over the thick, glossy white pages. The story even has a twist that sucks you in and captivates your imagination.The book relates the story of Christopher and Lydia, once lovers but now comfortable and compatible traveling companions. Both are well-versed at obscure travel, travel that doesn't include a Hyatt or Hilton at the end of the trail, and this book takes us th [...]

    11. Not sure what I expected from this novel. I don't usually read the more literary fiction because it doesn't appeal to me, but this one is probably closest to speculative fiction anyway.The story is somewhat spoiled from the back cover. If you hoped to learn more about what happens to the protagonists beyond the back cover, you will be sorely disappointed. There are plenty of hints of possibility, but that's it.I liked it, but I didn't love it. I think it could have used one or two more passes th [...]

    12. Perhaps I read The Tattooed Map too fast, but the travel journal format, the insistent vagueness, the endlessly unanswered questions, and an ending that is too similar to Griffin and Sabine felt more gimmicky to me than clever or enchanting. The book didn't make much sense (and let me emphasize that as an avid fantasy reader, I delight in suspending my disbelief), and I finished it disappointed, but not totally bereft. I did come away with a stirred sense of adventure and the feeling that I had [...]

    13. One of the oddest books I've ever read. Strange, visually beautiful, intriguing, and utterly unsatisfying. But somehow also appropriately itself. More travel journal than novel, it is filled with luscious descriptions of Moroccan towns, and so much lovely Arabic in the margins. I wonder if I could get away with writing a book like this -- a book that is an unfinished love letter to travel, and mystery, and the potential of unfinished stories (and the unfinished journeys of which they tell). What [...]

    14. I went through my Sabine and Griffin phase in the mid-90s. The tattooed map is a similar srotytelling genre that combines ephemera with a mysterious storyline and a leap of faith. This book, in particular, appealed to my senses because I was already involved in some fieldwork in Moorish Spain and Morocco. In fact, it's what helped solidify that I would complete some of my studies in Morocco. No spoilers, other than what I've already written, but I can say the twist gave me goosebumps. Even the s [...]

    15. I picked this book up at "A Novel Idea" bookstore in Lincoln, Nebraska. I had no idea what it was about and I really enjoyed not knowing anything going into it. The book is written as a journal. Lydia, the journal writer, has an incredible talent for journaling. As her and her friend Chris travel from London towards Morocco, she keeps mementoes, maps, notes, and glues them to the journal pages. The book is not only beautiful to look at but the story is also compelling.

    16. Absolutely brilliant!!! Love this kind of book, narration and interesting photos, sketches etcGreat story of a woman and her male travelling partner touring with a tattooed map slowly forming on her hand and creeping up her arm - she eventually disappears leaving her journal behind and her companion trying to find her and decipher all her journal entries, photos etcLoved it!!!

    17. Shortly after David's sister died, I found her copy of this book in my house. I think I would have found it eerily beautiful under any circumstances, but the author's coincidental dedication to David and the way it showed up like a message gave it particularly profound impact. I reread it periodically and find it entrancing every time.

    18. Odd and whimsical. A little bit travel journal, a little bit mystery, a little bit fantasy. The ending was a touch unsatisfying, but also opened up all kinds of possibilities for new stories. Very quick read.

    19. A man and woman travel to Morocco. The woman keeps a diary. She begins to see that a map is appearing on her hand. She disappears. The man tries to find her.Much cooler than I’m describing here, with lots of maps and bus ticket stubs and drawings and side notes.

    20. A lovely enigmatic illustrated tale Hodgson's use of marginalia and found illustrations is wonderful. A novel that's in some ways in the same tradition as "The Sheltering Sky", though far more dream-like and haunting.

    21. I started this book in late 2012, but lost interest due to some family issues-I had recently found it again, and as I had some time on my hands I sat down to really dig into it. My rating?In one word-Meh. Note-This is an entertainingly weird book. The story is beautifully written, with richly detailed descriptions of the various cities and people of Morocco and Tunisia. Plus, the book is wonderfully fleshed out with maps of the various cities the characters visit, as well as old photos and vinta [...]

    22. I initially intended to give 3 stars but can't quite swing it. This book gets a BIG meh from me. The setting of Morocco (especially when combined with the pretty but otherwise irrelevant artwork) is really atmospheric and the premise and format are interesting, but none of it really works at all. The meat of the story takes far too long to develop into anything worthwhile, and unfortunately this one follows the trend of ending right when there's promise of some actual development. It's as if the [...]

    23. An unusual and intriguing book. I feel it falls short of its true potential and should this have brought to market in 2017, it would have been a spectacular object d'art. Arguably this novel is 20 years ahead of its reprographic era. A fascinating multimedia adventure that weaves a gentle story of life, love, and loss.

    24. This book was recommended by artist teacher Diane Ericson in advance of a creative retreat on mapping. It is a visual delight with small pieces, inserts, images in a travel journal format. Curious tale loaded with layers of meaning. I read it twice and will probably read it a third time.

    25. Really beautiful and mysterious story written in the form of a diary. Similar to Nick Bantock books but with less interactive elements. Leaves you with many questions at the end and hoping for a sequel. I didn’t mind not being told all the answers- it left room for me to imagine the possibilities.

    26. It was a nice idea for a book. It must have taken quite some effort to compile all the ephemera for the marginsif only the author put a similar amount of effort into the plot

    27. This is a very strange little book about two travelers, Lydia and Christopher, who were once lovers but now simply travel together as they enjoy each others' company. This novella starts out from the viewpoint of Lydia as she records, journal-style, their experiences as they travel through North Africa. One day, she begins to notice a strange pattern appearing on her hand that is invisible to everyone but her. As the image darkens and spreads, she realizes that it is a map, though what it depict [...]

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