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Smile When You're Lying

Posted on

Smile When You're Lying

Current Status:
In Season
Chuck Thompson
Henry Holt and Company
Travel, Nonfiction

We gave it a C+

”This book is a small effort to correct the travel industry’s bias against candor and honesty,” writes veteran travel writer Chuck Thompson in the introduction to Smile When You’re Lying, his collection of cynical, disconnected essays. ”Call it my revenge.” Ah, vengeance: It’s never flattering. While Thompson’s got a solid wit, it’s often hard to see under his massive superiority complex, and in the midst of insulting the Caribbean, Lonely Planet, and all of us suckers who actually believe what the travel mags tell us, he’s too busy ranting to stop and demonstrate the sort of journalism or reportage he considers good. Unless, of course, he means his tales of being robbed by a whore in Thailand, threatened by a machete in the Philippines, and running out of gas in the Canadian wilderness. Jeez. If those are the sorts of vacations Thompson would prefer us sheep-like travelers to be taking — well, with all respect to his expertise, Club Med sounds pretty good right about now. C+