|Born||November 24, 1975
Seattle, Washington, United States
|Genre||Gonzo, Travel, Non-fiction|
|Notable works||Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?|
Thomas Kohnstamm is an American author, and travel writer who worked previously for Lonely Planet. His book Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?, a gonzo style memoir was published by Random House/Three Rivers Press in April 2008. The author drew criticism, and according to the author, death threats, after he said in publicizing the book that he had performed a "desk update" of a guidebook - before later clarifying that he had only been commissioned to write the book's History chapter. He also called into question both the accuracy and the practices of his fellow travelguide writers.
Lonely Planet's publisher Piers Pickard defended their rate of pay, and the accuracy of their work. Other guidebook writers defended some of Kohnstamm's claims, contrasting with those of Pickard who had first claimed "no freebies — period", before then admitting freebies could be taken under some circumstances.
The book received positive reviews. One reviewer observed "were I his editor, I’d want his blood", but also admitted "As a reader...I could not get enough of the most depraved travel book of the year". Another review praised Kohnstamm's "spirited prose".
- Carlin Romano (April 27, 2008). "You'll never look at a travel book the same again". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Richard Woodward (May 4, 2008). "Armchair Traveler". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Joshua Bernstein (September 16, 2008). "Are these the dumbest travel trends?". Forbes Traveler.
- KC Summers and Thomas Kohstamm (April 29, 2008). "Can You Trust your Travel Guidebook?". The Washington Post.
- Frank Bures (April 14, 2008). "Thomas Kohnstamm's Lonely Planet: The Firestorm Around 'Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?'". World Hum.
- Peter Munro (May 4, 2008). "A guide delusion makes it Lonely at the top". The Age.
- Tim Shipman (April 14, 2008). "A travel writer on a not so lonely planet". The Daily Telegraph.
- Lonely Planet. "Thomas Kohnstamm and our guidebooks". Lonely Planet.
- Kirkus Reviews (February 1, 2008). "Starred Review - Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?". Kirkus Reviews.