Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Tattooed Map

The Tattooed Map by Barbara Hodgson

Reading The Tattooed Map is a sensory experience (much like reading Nick Bantock's novels). It's a novel presented as a travel diary, in which its authors (our protagonists) paste tidbits much like a scrapbook. Surrounding the main text of the story are hand-written annotations as well as pasted-in maps, photographs, and other ephemeral material. Because of that, the reader lingers on each page, making sure to soak up all the details and all of the various meanings that are hidden in it.

I'm not going to try to include a synopsis. Even the ones given by the publisher seem to include too much in the way of spoilers. Suffice it to say that The Tattooed Map is a mystery that both inspires and repels wanderlust. It is remarkably evocative and a joy to read.

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