Now he's out to discover if some of the world's most ill-reputed destinations live up to their bad raps, while confronting a few of his own travel anxieties in the process. In firepower, troops, and tonnage it eclipsed even the more famous D day in Normandy. Giraffes, turtles, and baby impalas became regular recipients of his affable alpine salutations, while baboons, crocodiles, and wild boar were passed without acknowledgment. Thompson is a veteran travel writer and his experience both with travel and with the writing of it benefits the reader in ways that make this armchair travel log infinitely amusing while thoroughly disguising the extensive education it provides. To Hellholes and Back is only elevated to 3 stars because the Congo section was interesting, and the tone of the book was generally lighthearted and at times funny. I really liked the concept of this book.
A witty, provocative tale that may not encourage extreme tourism but packs in plenty of local flavor and amusing anecdotes. I really enjoy his sarcasm, wit and rather leftist views. Every paragraph has a joke in it and the metaphor per inch ratio is the highest I can ever recall seeing anywhere outside the lad magazine world. Still, the rest of the book is more enjoyable. One was annihilated, the other nearly so. The Pacific book also includes a bit on Shuri Castle, a critical Japanese defensive position on Okinawa. Like me, Thompson gained a belt notch size eating his way around the city.
He put himself in incredible danger while on safari in the Congo by foolishly venturing off alone, but dodging deadly pathogens took a backseat to his quest to discover the funniest joke in Africa. His Epilogue is profoundly satisfying and he is right to leave it to the end since his thesis has all the more impact being arrived at retrospectively. The good thing imho is that Thompson's politics are much better than O'Rourke's. For those who would complain that some of the places covered in this book might not meet a strict definition of extreme, I maintain that anything that gets the traveler out of his or her comfort zone, or forces them to challenge their belief system, fits a fluid criterion. He believes himself to be of such superior intellect and travel experience that it becomes boring and predictable. The premise of the book is that he will visit places that are largely deemed dangerous and Chuck Thompson is a very entertaining travel writer, and his latest, To Hellholes And Back, reaffirms this greatly. If, as it certainly feels, the world is closing in around us, it seems worth the trouble to have a look at who and what is on the way.
These similes are so good, in fact, I started writing them down whenever I encountered a new one. If you can get past that, this was a witty, fun read. Sometimes he unwittingly displays his ignorance. And these are just the obvious concerns. He concocts some of the best similes I have ever encountered.
Finished it over Thanksgiving, the author has a very sarcastic and funny sense of writing style that I would laugh out loud at during parts. Chuck Thompson is a very entertaining travel writer, and his latest, To Hellholes And Back, reaffirms this greatly. This is always more hilarious when it is not happening to you. It's dirty, scandalous, and it'll give you a completely fresh perspective on travel, travel writing, and the travel industry. First Marines raised a Confederate flag above the ruined castle in honor of campaign commander Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr.
I did so because no guide covering Pacific War sites existed at the time. I'm at work on all of the above. I feel like I should have known when I saw that one of the places was Disney World. The situations he ended up in were the funniest in Mexico and Africa as well. Not counting the eighteen hours. A full-on war is going on. Read , and learn more about the book and author at.
For travel writers, maintaining an intrepid reputation is vital in the never-ending quest for more work, and my biggest professional secret is an ugly one: much of the world scares me. At no point did I want to quit reading it. Aside from being a digestively explosive travel destination though Condé Nast Traveler runs stories about India all the time, so how bad can it be? Blood, horror, atrocity, sickness, exhaustion—and plenty of it. Madilu System — a heavyset Congolese dude — was among his recommendations. Try to stay off the menu, mate.
Not good when I bring it to read after taking a test and get looks from classmates as I try to stifle a giggle to myself!! I did not finish this book. Blowers absolutely more constipated than usual : Strike one on Wilson. It just kind of petered out. But I enjoyed most of it and would pick up Thompson's travel writing again if I come across it. Not the sort of thing you normally expect to find on far-flung rocks in the Pacific. Kinshasa turns out to be a real dud of a destination, but Thompson nevertheless manages to seed nearly every page with vivid and hilarious metaphors that would take 20 20 pages to match. Americans, at least my Americans, appear to be quite impressively informed.