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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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1 Beaverton Travel Writing- General

Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, & Professional Hedonism

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Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, & Professional Hedonism Cover

ISBN13: 9780307394651
ISBN10: 0307394654
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For those who think that travel guidebooks are the gospel truth.

The waitress suggests that I come back after she closes down the restaurant, around midnight. We end up having sex in a chair and then on one of the tables in the back corner. I pen a note in my Moleskine that I will later recount in the guidebook review, saying that the restaurant "is a pleasant surprise...and the table service is friendly."
—Thomas Kohnstamm, professional travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks

WANTED: Travel Writer for Brazil

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED

Decisiveness: the ability to desert your entire previous life–including well-salaried office job, attractive girlfriend, and basic sanity for less than minimum wage

Attention to detail: the skill to research northeastern Brazil, including transportation, restaurants, hotels, culture, customs, and language, while juggling sleep deprivation, nonstop nightlife, and excessive alcohol consumption

Creativity: the imagination to write about places you never actually visit

Resourcefulness: utilizing persuasion, seduction, and threats, when necessary, to secure a place to stay for the evening once your pitiable advance has been (mis)spent

Resilience: determination to overcome setbacks such as bankruptcy, disillusionment, and an ill-fated one-night stand with an Austrian flight attendant

As Kohnstamm comes to personal terms with each of these job requirements, he unveils the underside of the travel industry and its often-harrowing effect on writers, travelers, and the destinations themselves. Moreover, he invites us into his world of compromising and scandalous situations in one of the most exciting countries as he races against an impossible deadline.

Review:

"Kohnstamm brings more than just anecdotes....Notable for its spirited prose and insightful exploration of the less-romantic side of travel writing. Kohnstamm is one to watch." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[T]he best-written, funniest book of travel literature since Phaic Tan." Philadelphia Inquirer

Synopsis:

With a gonzo writing style and adventurer persona, Kohnstamm takes readers beyond his often questionable guidebook entries to reveal a disillusioned young man struggling — and often failing — to make good on an impossible assignment.

About the Author

Thomas Kohnstamm was born in 1975 and graduated from Stanford University with an M.A. in Latin American studies. He lives in Seattle.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Shoshana, December 4, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
Kohnstamm's memoir is not so much about writing his first guidebook for Lonely Planet as it is a self-congratulatory screed lauding substance abuse, poor choices, dubious sexual encounters, and generally unpleasant behavior. Kohnstamm seems to think he's charming and attractive, yet there's little in his self-description to inclines the reader in that direction. I was willing to hold my distaste in abeyance until he sold drugs to supplement his income, at which point I read more from determination to finish than from interest. Kohnstamm seems to need life to be dramatic to be meaningful, and appears to view only drugs and bad behavior as authentic. In his list of categories of travel writers, he omits "unhappy drunk," though he illustrates it nicely throughout. Two stars for the parts that are interesting, though it's like wiping away someone else's vomit to get to them.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307394651
Author:
Kohnstamm, Thomas
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Travel writers
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Travel writers - United States
Subject:
Kohnstamm, Thomas B - Travel
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.00x5.30x.63 in. .47 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Latin America

Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, & Professional Hedonism Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Random House - English 9780307394651 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Kohnstamm brings more than just anecdotes....Notable for its spirited prose and insightful exploration of the less-romantic side of travel writing. Kohnstamm is one to watch."
"Review" by , "[T]he best-written, funniest book of travel literature since Phaic Tan."
"Synopsis" by , With a gonzo writing style and adventurer persona, Kohnstamm takes readers beyond his often questionable guidebook entries to reveal a disillusioned young man struggling — and often failing — to make good on an impossible assignment.
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