Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Book Worth Reading!

It’s Thursday, April 9th, and I’m LMAO at 37,000 feet on a Westjet flight from Vancouver to Toronto. I was thoroughly enjoying the book, “Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of A Rogue Travel Writer” by Chuck Thompson.

The author is an experienced travel writer and former editor in chief for the now defunct Travelocity magazine. His tomb provides the reader with some real world insider accounts about the plight of modern day travel writing. This is a novel that challenges the mindless conformity that travel writers often succumb to. Thompson’s writing is edgy and anything but dull as he pushes the literary envelope and provides the reader with some hearty laughs along the way.

Here's but one example of Thompson's writing that had me in stitches:

"We’re in a small, dark bar, an Aussie expat hangout. Across the table is my good friend Shanghai Bob, American expat and Old Asia Hand of distinguished order. To the right, a pair of astonishingly wasted guys in ridiculous bush hats (are there any other kind?) are sparking up what is certainly not the first joint of the evening. To the left, a young Thai girl is giving a rapid-fire, beneath-the-table hand job to a poker-faced German who throughout the event swigs his beer with a nonchalance that suggests he’s back in Bielefeld with his loving Schnuckelputz and adorable rugrats Klaus and Liesl frolicking at his feet.

The German looks like he’s in for the long haul and sometime during the girl’s indefatigable ministrations a door opens near the rear of the bar. Out spills a porcine gent, half-a-century old if he’s a day, accompanied by a slightly disheveled teenager modestly hitching up her bright orange halter top. Behind the door one can see into a narrow room, the primary features of which are a naked light bulb swinging from the ceiling and a stained mattress on the floor.

It’s at this point that Shanghai Bob looks at me and says, with utter sincerity, with complete lack of irony, “You want to get another beer here or go some place kind of sleazy?”

Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of A Rogue Travel Writer” is a book I would highly recommend. It's a great read and one that contains numerous funny episodes from the author's travel writing real life experiences.