'Lonely Planet' Writer Admits He Made It Up

Writer dealt drugs, took freebies, and oh yeah, never visited Colombia
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2008 4:00 AM CDT
'Lonely Planet' Writer Admits He Made It Up
The travel publisher Lonely Planet sells more than six million guides a year.   (Flickr)

(Newser) Lonely Planet guidebook executives are reeling in the wake of memoir confessions by one of their authors that he fabricated or plagiarized parts of the books—and dealt drugs to fund his trips. Thomas Kohnstamm also writes in Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? that he flouted guidebook policy by accepting free travel. “They don’t pay enough for what they expect the authors to do,” he told Australia's Herald Sun.

story continues below

Kohnstamm, a contributor to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guides, said he didn’t even visit Colombia to write about it. “I wrote the book in San Francisco,” he confessed. “I got the information from a chick I was dating—an intern in the Colombian consulate.” The CEO of the Melbourne-based company wrote in an email that Kohnstamm’s books are being urgently reviewed. (Read more Lonely Planet stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.