Lonely Planet

While in conversation with a Canadian travel writer of my acquaintance, Troy Parfitt (author of 'Notes From The Other China'), a recently published book by a one-time contributing editor to the Lonely Planet series of travel guides was mentioned. The book is called 'Do Travel Writers Go To Hell', and is by one Thomas Kohnstamm. Turns out he's been featured in a few newspaper articles, and the book sounds interesting enough to go straight into my Amazon wishlist. From an article in the Telegraph:
"The image of the conscientious travel writer has been dealt a blow by a tell-all memoir by a Lonely Planet author, who discloses that he spent more time chasing women and selling drugs than checking train timetables.

Modern guide books like to portray themselves as the definitive source of information on how holidaymakers can enjoy themselves in far-flung corners of the globe without damaging the environment or upsetting local people.

But in a warts-and-all account of how he came to write Lonely Planet's guide to Brazil, the American writer Thomas Kohnstamm has revealed a world where good reviews may be exchanged for sex or a free room for the night, and decisions on which restaurants to include are dependent on the whims of a hard-up author without time to check the details.

In Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?, Mr Kohnstamm, 32, discloses that there was nothing lonely about his three years travelling through Latin America, working on a dozen different titles."

He tries to explain himself here.


Unknown said...

Hey! That was my find not Troy's!

Ah nevermind. He probably would have found it on his own as well.

Ha Ha!

Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

Really? Credit where credit's due, David. Must have got confused.