Fictional travel guide as good as a holiday

March 23, 2007

San Sombrero, by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch (Hardie Grant Books, $34.99):

This cracking little guide to the fictional Central American country of San Sombrero is the latest offering in the Jetlag Travel Guide series.

Described as the birthplace of tinted sunglasses and sequins by its Aussie creators, San Sombrero boasts such highlights as the beach resort town of Aguazura, home to the first-ever Madame Tussaud’s Brazilian Wax Museum (ouch), the world’s first crop of decaffeinated cocaine and the magnificent Cathedral of St Pedro — noted for its huge organ, as was he.

Set out like any real travel guide, the book could fool anyone taking it at face value. However, some of the comments about this land of carnivals, cocktails and coups will surely raise suspicions, including a correction stating that the town of Miguela is a good place to buy drugs, not rugs as printed in the earlier edition.

This is followed by an apology for any offence caused to residents of the town.

Its a truly funny little book that is almost as good as a real holiday.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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