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The Tattooed Map by Barbara Hodgson
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The Tattooed Map (1995)

by Barbara Hodgson

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3491231,317 (3.4)1 / 12
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English (11)  German (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
May 2014
E. I chose this book while I was trying to read The Luminaries.
I was looking for an illustrated novel and wanted something completely different. illustrated novels are in short supply. the reviews said the illustrations were good, and the reviews were mixed - some loved it and others didn't, and there was disagreement about the ending so I thought it might be good for discussion.
The author captures the ups and downs of travel well. All the little notes on the side help capture the ambience.
They are a weird couple and don’t come across as very realistic or likeable.
Not a great story, but I enjoyed the presentation and the bits of trivia in the illustrations. I quite liked the ending.
L.S.I have enjoyed reading through the book especially all the bits and pieces supporting the story.
I like how the story changes pace when Lydia starts with the map on her arm.
It becomes more interesting and Mysterious.
When "C" has to trace her footsteps to find where she is , he discovers how wonderful her view of the
World is. This is one of the few books I would have liked to be expanded with more of the story.
"C" discovers he actually misses Lydia and the life he should have been experiencing with her.
I found the collage and notation good, although a little distracting and will go through the book again later.
This would make a great Movie!
J.A. Easy to read and I enjoyed most of it. Didn’t like C or the ending, she shouldn’t have gone, she thought she had control and was selfish. I liked the memorabilia. I didn’t really get the premise of the novel.
J.M. I enjoyed reading this book and I read it twice, I got more out of it the second time. Loved the bits and pieces. Thought the descriptions of places were good.
W. I was detached from it and didn’t “get” it. I couldn’t relate to it on any level. Did take it to a Sleep Apnea Clinic!
N. Loved it, easy to read, kept me engaged. Thought they were an odd couple. Good descriptions. End annoying but I came to understand him a little.
R. Read it in bits, loved the layout of the journal. I kept trying to find a proper ending, felt dissatisfied. It was a vehicle for the collages.
L. I really enjoyed this book but found the illustrations distracting but in a good way. Thought that the estranged couple were brought together in the end by the journal and tattoo. End was disappointing.
N. I didn’t find the couple odd, it seems quite normal now that separated people stay friendly. Seemed like time travel and reminded me of “ Back to the Future” Characters were bland to start with but as her diary became his, he came to life. I enjoyed the book.
  Iffamack | May 20, 2014 |
Without a doubt, this was the most beautiful novel I've ever read. I'm not talking about the prose, though. I'm talking about the cover art, the glossy pages, and the marginalia and maps that are included on and between every page. Having lived in the middle east and being somewhat familiar with the Arabic language, I really loved the vocabulary words, the book names, the menus, the costs of traveling, the pieces of paper with Arabic writing, the tickets, etc. that lined the edges of this book. This feature added immensely to my pleasure at working my way through this story.

The novel was good, but not as exciting as I'd hoped. It's the story of Lydia and Chrsitopher, close friends, who travel together to Morocco. At one point in their travels, Lydia thinks she has been bitten on the arm by fleas, but discovers that, in lieu of flea bites, a map is beginning to spread up her arm. Strange!

I liked the quiet demeanor of this book and its characters. I was less pleased with the ending because I'm not sure I fully understand it.

This book is not long or involved, therefore I'd highly recommend it to those who love Arabic culture just for others to see how beautifully this book is designed. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Jul 14, 2013 |
Plot was good, but felt unfinished by the end. Maybe that was the point. Characters were also good, and I knew why I was supposed to like them, but I still didn't. Reads like a preface to a series, which I would certainly read a couple books from. I did love all the vintage ephemera, maps, and other images reproduced throughout. I also liked the little other notes and lists and puzzling over them as well. I enjoyed it, but I wanted to enjoy it more, but couldn't. ( )
  benjclark | Nov 30, 2011 |
An exotic and mysterious tale of a woman who journeys to Morocco, only to find one day that a peculiar map has begun to appear on her hand, in the form of a tattoo. As is the case with all of Barbara Hodgson's books, the illustrations here are just as important (if not moreso) than the text. I liked the story very much, and wasn't at all put off by the open ending. And the visuals in Hodgson's books always inspire me to try to do something creative with my own collection of ephemera, collected during past travels.
  Panopticon2 | Feb 12, 2011 |
Read this on the way to Morocco. ( )
  bryanalexander | Nov 3, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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To David
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April 4: The Plane
I am a traveler embarking on what I hope will be another successful journey.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0811808173, 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 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:39 -0400)

Somewhere in Northern Africa, a woman traveler awakens with a mysterious mark on her hand, a mark that soon grows into a tattoo. So begins the enigma of The Tattooed Map, in which intrepid traveler Lydia journeys with her friend and former lover, Christopher, to Morocco in search of antiques and adventure. Lydia records her daily experiences in a journal, keeping track of hotel addresses and conversations, and pasting such flotsam and jetsam as maps, photographs, and drawings into her diary. She records her shock and dismay as the marks on her hand reveal themselves to be a detailed map of an unknown territory. Later, a cryptic Moroccan man explains the map's connection to a spiritual and physical journey she must make. When Lydia disappears unexpectedly, Chris takes up her diary to record his search for her - and for a way to unravel the riddle of the Tattooed Map.… (more)

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