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

Front Cover
Macmillan, Nov 27, 2007 - Travel - 336 pages
9 Reviews

From Bangkok to Bogotá, a hilarious behind-the-brochures tour of picture-perfect locales, dangerous destinations, and overrated hellholes from a guy who knows the truth about travel

Travel writer, editor, and photographer Chuck Thompson has spent more than a decade traipsing through thirty-five (and counting) countries across the globe, and he's had enough. Enough of the half-truths demanded by magazine editors, enough of the endlessly recycled clichés regarded as good travel writing, and enough of the ugly secrets fiercely guarded by the travel industry. But mostly, he's had enough of returning home from assignments and leaving the most interesting stories and the most provocative insights on the editing-room floor. From getting swindled in Thailand to running afoul of customs inspectors in Belarus, from defusing hostile Swedish rockers backstage in Germany to a closed-door meeting with travel execs telling him why he's about to be fired once again, Thompson's no-holds-barred style is refreshing, invigorating, and all those other adjectives travel writers use to describe spa vacations where the main attraction is a daily colonic.

Smile When You're Lying takes readers on an irresistible series of adventures in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and beyond; details the effects of globalization on the casual traveler and ponders the future of travel as we know it; and offers up a treasure trove of travel-industry secrets collected throughout a decidedly speckled career.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Fun but tiring at times.

User Review  - marybethe24 -

I loved this book at first and blew through the first chapters but soon lost interest. The cynicism grew tiring after awhile. Overall I would still say its a good book and a reminder that travel isnt always what its cracked up to be in the glossy travel mags. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Samchan - LibraryThing

The parts in which he provides behind-the-scenes type info on the travel industry are interesting. His own travel stories on Alaska, Japan, etc. were so boring that I had to force myself to not skip ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2007)

The very first editor in chief of Travelocity magazine, Chuck Thompson's work has appeared in Maxim, The Atlantic, Esquire, National Geographic Adventure, and Escape, among many others. He has played in a variety of bands, and worked as an ESL instructor, DJ, and assistant sergeant of arms in the Alaska House of Representatives.

Bibliographic information