Smile When You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer

Chuck Thompson

Travel writer (Esquire, Maxim) and editor (Travelocity Magazine) Chuck Thompson comes out swinging in this painfully hilarious new collection of essays, and everyone associated with the travel industry takes his or her share of punches: Americans teaching English in Japan, Peace Corps volunteers, ex-pats, eco-travelers, junket organizers, cruise-shippers and travel writers, most of whom, Thompson says, can’t write a sentence that doesn’t end in a phone number. While Thompson has published hundreds of mainstream travel pieces himself, most of these are unfit for print—too honest, and often X-rated. Highlights: “What Lazy Writers, Lonely Planet, and Your Favorite Travel Magazine Don’t Want You to Know” and “Am I the Only One Who Can’t Stand the Caribbean?” which includes his list of “places I’m supposed to like but don’t,” including Austin (“which … if it wasn’t surrounded by Texas would be called Sacramento”) and distillery and brewery tours (“Hey, they make booze in giant vats! Who knew?”). A must for anyone who’s ever traveled or plans to.