Not-So-Lonely Planet Writers
We've all heard the Lonely Planet horror stories, about how the people writing your trusted guidebook, the one you sacrificed 5 extra pounds in your backpack to bring along, actually never lifted a finger to update the book. Clever insights and suggestions plagiarized from another source ( I saw this first hand while traveling through Guatemala with an LP and a Footprints guide -- did both authors really think of Jackson Pollack when they saw that restaurant??), or simply made from scratch but never actually verified (if you were a 22 year old who was given a bit of cash to update a guide, wouldn't YOU pocket the money and sit on the beach, making sure to call each hotel on the list to make sure they were still in business?). In fact it's the reason we started OTR, in an effort to provide real editorialized content from local editors who know their cities and take pride in their recommendations.
For the first time an LP guidebook writer is coming forward and providing the true story behind the trusted reviews we have all relied and frowned upon. Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? provides the Inside Scoop on the famous backpacker's bible, detailing scandalous encounters and horrifying truths about the travel guide gods. Thomas Kohnstamm was responsible for updating the Lonely Planet's Brazil guide, among others throughout Latin America. I haven't read the book, but I have most definitely been led astray by his earlier works with LP. All I have to say is -- that one time in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, when my husband and I spent 45 minutes walking in circles trying to find a 'highly recommended' restaurant... it wasn't my fault!!