To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies, and the Art of Extreme Tourism

To Hellholes and Back
In the widely acclaimed Smile When You’re Lying, Chuck Thompson laid bare the travel writing industry’s dirtiest secrets. In this put-up-or-shut-up follow-up (can Thompson write a better travel book than all the travel writers he bitched about in Smile?), 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.

Whether traveling across the Congo with a former bodyguard from notorious dictator Joseph Mobutu’s retinue or diving into the heart of India’s monsoon season, To Hellholes and Back delivers Thompson’s trademark combination of hilarious stories and widely provocative opinions, as well as some surprising observations about America’s evolving place in the world.


“Riveting, hilarious, and wildly entertaining.”—Booklist

“His observations are sharp and honest. A witty, provocative tale that … packs in plenty of local flavor and amusing anecdotes.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Thompson is without doubt, a funny guy … a tour de force á la Eat, Pray, Love, only with snarky commentary.”—BraveNewTraveler

“Funnier than Smile While You’re Lying … (Thompson’s) incisive observations and biting sense of humor make for some riveting reading.”—Denver Post

To Hellholes and Back is no sophomore slump. It’s the Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, or Nirvana second album, not the #2 from De La Soul or the Strokes. Really though this book is the literary equivalent of Motorhead. It comes out firing fast and furious and never slows down.”—Booklocker.com


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