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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fraud or flawed?

Thomas Kohnstamm's book Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? was released yesterday, and despite Lonely Planet's author fraud scandal and the ensuing furor, very few book reviews or follow-up stories have yet to appear. Is everyone just over it all? Here are a couple worth reading: travel writer Robert Reid's The worst guidebook writer ever?' and The Independent's Travel Editor Simon Calder's Travel guide fraud? No, just flawed for the Belfast Telegraph. Also worth a cursory glance are the Sydney Morning Herald/The Age's Do travel writers go to hell?, the Los Angeles Times' Thomas Kohnstamm and the 'Hell' of travel writing, and the Boston Herald's Riddle me this: why do lazy cheaters get rewarded? While I'm a little tired of the controversy, and even more bored with most of the writing about it, I somehow get the feeling this won't be the last we'll hear of it. After all, Thomas is about to hit the festival circuit next month, attending the Sydney Writers Festival and the Auckland Writers Festival, where he'll be running writers workshops. About 'approaches to place' of all things. Hmmm.

Pictured? Mhmed, one of the last towns at the edge of the Sahara in Morocco, where a couple of guys are loading their camels for what will obviously be a very long and bumpy ride. Hmmm.


Nomadic Matt said...

I wouldn't go to a class taught by him.

Lara Dunston said...

Matt, I'm with you. The reviews of his book have been mixed, so I'd want to read it first. But when he's teaching and talking about place, is it based on experience or the places of his imagination? Look, maybe it doesn't matter as long as he knows how to set a scene, to write evocative content, craft a narrative, and can share some of this with the aspiring writers signing up for the workshop.

Anonymous said...

Yes I totally agreed with Matt