He also has had a long career as a director and producer of documentaries.
For the Guardian, he named his top ten books of South American journeys.
One title on his list:
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García MárquezRead about all ten books on Thomson's list.
No novelist since Proust has had a more acute sense of smell than Márquez. Penguin should reissue his books with sprayed strips of paper interspersed between the leaves. The hot still air of his un-named Caribbean port , the "city of the Viceroys", is enveloped by "the tender breath of human shit, warm and sad", against which his protagonists wear imported cologne from Farina Gegenuber and the houses are filled with pots of heliotrope to perfume the dusk. The steamboat journey that the finally reunited lovers make into the interior of Colombia is one of literature's most compelling.
Love in the Time of Cholera also made Marie Arana's list of the best books about love.