Cover image for Off the map : a journey through the Amazonian wild
Off the map : a journey through the Amazonian wild
Harrison, John, 1950-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press, Inc., 2004.

Physical Description:
349 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations, map ; 20 cm
General Note:
Foreword by Dervla Murphy.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F2554.F8 H37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
F2554.F8 H37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This true-life adventure-travel story follows John Harrison and his wife Heather deep into an unexplored region of the Amazon rainforests in the Guiana Highlands that border Brazil. With just a canoe and a shotgun, the newlyweds followed the most remote tributary of the Amazon River without any means of contacting civilization. Harrison tells their story as, unaided and off the map, they encounter jaguars and poisonous frogs, are threatened by malaria, and almost lose their way entirely. While experiencing travel at its most raw, they struggle to keep their deteriorating sanity and relationship intact in one of the most hostile and unforgiving places in the world. Far more harrowing than reality shows like Survivor and Amazing Race , this is armchair adventure at its most honest and compelling.

Author Notes

John Harrison has been a tour leader in South America and has extensively explored the Amazon, the Niger, and rivers in North America and Europe. He has been profiled by National Geographic TV, is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, and has chaired their tropical forest workshops. He has also lectured on ships traveling up the Amazon for a number of cruise lines.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

After their wedding, Harrison and his wife, Heather, set out on a journey into the Amazonian rain forest, following the route that claimed the life of explorer Raymond Maufrais in 1950. They eschewed motorized travel in favor of human power, traveling from Brazil to French Guiana via a folding canoe that provided a clean, quiet, and muscle-building experience. Relying on Maufrais's journal and some less-than-accurate maps, they tackled problems typical of exploration narratives-physical hardship, extreme environments, and the lack of food-while sometimes finding themselves lost. Add to this mix the issues involved with having your spouse as your sole travel companion. Harrison (Up the Creek: An Amazon Adventure), a veteran of multiple Amazon trips, recounts having to kill the food they eat, laments the destruction of the jungle for commercial interests, and provides an overview of the land, its creatures, and the Natives who remain. This book is both an exciting, true-life adventure and a commentary on the state of the rainforest. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Sheila Kasperek, North Hall Lib., Mansfield Univ., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.