Chuck Thompson is a no-bullshit kinda guy, a travel writer, and my personal favorite author of the last few years.
Former Editor at Maxim and Travelocity, Thompson pulls back the curtain on the travel industry in his books Smile When You're Lying and To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies, and the Art of Extreme Tourism, the tell-all travel stories that no other travel writer would dare write. They're dead accurate; I've never read such brutal truth about the industry. "A savagely funny act of revenge" says The New York Times. He's a good old fashioned bad ass, and a nice guy.
Smile When You're Lying and To Hellholes and Back are books I think everyone needs to read, whether you're a non stop traveler such as myself, or if you're someone who considers going to a Thai restaurant to be 'adventurous'. If I were to recommend two books to anyone, this would be them.
Check out his official website, which includes some incredible photos, his take on the most overrated US Attractions, places that don't deserve their bad reputations, or read an excerpt on CNN. He is currently writing a book about the American south, which hits shelves in 2012.
Chuck Thompson's 5 Rules I Live By
1. The fastest way to make yourself feel better is to brush your teeth.
2. Never ask anyone for anything without offering something in return.
3. Have good taste in women and treat them right and everything in life will be easier.
4. Never give away your work for free.
5. Don’t take rules too seriously. Except the one about brushing your teeth. That one actually works.