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The Travel Auction

The Travel Auction - Mark Green First things first: I need to mention I received this book from Goodreads giveaways.

Jonathan Cork (JC) has a problem. He booked a 3-month trip to South America with his girlfriend Kate Thornly. Shortly before the departure he caught Kate having a sexy time with a plumber (sounds like something straight from porn movie). Now he has no girlfriend as well as non-refundable tickets and reservations for the trip. He also cannot go alone, as he suffers from severe peanut allergy and needs somebody to check the food and give him an injection in case worst comes to worst.

So what would you do? The solution is easy: give an ad in eBay asking for a volunteer with a name Kate Thornly for all-expense-paid South America trip. The bad parts: obviously, name like Jane Smith gives much more people to choose from than Kate Thornly (we are talking about Great Britain here), but this was the name on the tickets. Secondly, how many people can have 3 month vacation nowadays? No wonder only one suitable candidate appeared, and she did not even reply to the ad herself: he girlfriend did all the negotiations without her knowledge. She - Kate Thornly the Second - also has a personal problem which might make trip much more complicated than expected, but I will not spoil it.

The premise of the book is great. First part of the book is hilarious with some of the responses to the ad being really funny if somewhat creepy. When the actual trip started, things started to fall apart somewhat as this book has trouble making up its mind whether it is a travel or a humor book: it has neither enough travel to be a travel book, nor humor to be funny.

Sometime later the tone becomes more serious, as JC and Kate travel across Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and other countries. The description of the places is good with the one of Machu Picchu being excellent.

It is fairly obvious from the start how the book will end; still it has enough redeeming features to warrant 3 solid stars.