Meg's Reviews > Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?: A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics, and Professional Hedonism

Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm
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's review
Aug 31, 15

bookshelves: memoir, travel, brazil, non-fiction
Read in November, 2009 — I own a copy

I picked up this book because I thought it would be interesting to read a firsthand account of the life of a travel writer. The title does strongly imply that this is the general topic of the book. And I did find it interesting to read about Kohnstamm's experiences as a writer for Lonely Planet.

However, nearly 50% of this book is not at all about travel writing. Instead, it's about the irresponsible and juvenile behavior of the author as he parties his way through New York City and Brazil.

If I'm feeling generous, I could perhaps understand what casual sex and excessive drinking in Rio have to do with the life of a travel writer, even though his assignment didn't actually cover Rio. But the long blow-by-blow account of his drunken all-night farewell party in downtown Manhattan seems purely self-indulgent.

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