Read Borneo Tom: Stories and Sketches of Love, Travel and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia by Tom McLaughlin Online


Borneo, also known as the island in the clouds, is the third largest island in the world. Located south and east of the Malay Peninsula and southwest of the Philippine Islands, Borneo offers both mountains and dense rain forests and is divided into four main political areas – Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak and the sultanate of Brunei....

Title : Borneo Tom: Stories and Sketches of Love, Travel and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 10652160
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 565 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Borneo Tom: Stories and Sketches of Love, Travel and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia Reviews

  • Audrey
    2019-01-12 15:29

    Tom McLaughlin's new book, Borneo Tom, could be a travel guide through Southeast Asia - but it's also much more than that. You'll get the entire scoop on what it's like to travel through Borneo, Malaysia and Southeast Asia, live among the orangutans and develop a serious relationship through it all.The sketches in Borneo Tom help to tell the tale of how a middle-aged, retired science teacher decided to take off and blaze new and never-before tried experiences. After caring for his parents during the years before their end of life, Tom impulsively decided to move to Borneo and travel through Southeast Asia. What happens next will captivate you.His daring may seem a bit radical to some, but to Tom it's part of his personality and adventurous spirit. After getting to know people of the Islamic faith in Southeast Asia, McLaughlin decided to write Borneo Tom to try and educate people and reduce the bigotry and prejudice against them. Tom writes about his experiences with people of the Islamic faith and portrays them in a different light than the mainstream media.The plight of the orangutan is also featured in Borneo Tom. Efforts to help these magnificent creatures are mentioned in the book, and McLaughlin has even designated a portion of the proceeds from the book to benefit this worthy cause. The illustrations of orangutans in Borneo Tom portray them and how they interact with humans in a hilarious way that will endear them to readers and make them want to learn more.Illustrations sometimes make a book and the ones in Borneo Tom will make readers smile and create a true picture in their own minds about the life McLaughlin lived during his time traveling through Southeast Asia. A man called Waterfront Niki created the sketches. Niki lives near the Sarawak River in Borneo and on the walkway there, he sketches portraits for tourist of all nations and has gained fame throughout the region for his work.Borneo Tom is for anyone who always wanted to escape the norm and try something new - a new culture, new relationship, scenery and way of life. It took courage and determination to make such a lifestyle change work, and Borneo Tom proves that Tom McLaughlin succeeded in his quest.McLaughlin found love with a local girl in Southeast Asia and a miracle occurred when she became pregnant in spite of the vasectomy Tom had gotten a few years before. The story of their newly found love permeates the book and turns Borneo Tom into a travel guide/love story/life changing tale.Review by Lauren SmithThis review coversBorneo Tom, by Tom McLaughlin.Article Source:A Humorous Look at Traveling and Living In Southeast Asia

  • Gmr
    2018-12-24 20:41

    This could easily be called the life and times of a man with jungle fever....or a serious case of cabin (condo?) fever. We journey with Tom from the shores of Erie (okay...Maryland) to the wilds of Borneo. Native cultures and thriving wildlife are just two of the many interesting aspects explored within the book. When we're not looking back at his life with the Peace Corps, we're looking around at the myriad of adventures just waiting outside his door. Readers are exposed to his varied experiences in the workforce, his journeys into nature on both an ecological mission as well as self serving (at one time he gathered and collected insects for pay), and his greatest adventure of, complete with family and a second marriage.For me, it was when he met his "soon-to-be" wife that my interest in the book kicked in....up til that point, not so much. I mean, it's not that his life wasn't interesting until then because with the amount of traveling he did, gleaning information from both places visited and cultures encountered was both enjoyable and convenient for all parties. I think what really struck me about the first half of the book was the lack of connection from thought to thought. It's almost like it was written using journal entries with each thought encapsulating a new paragraph but never quite picking up the torch. Then we have the awkward size of the book. It's true, the size allows for the illustrations to be an integral part of the series, while still letting everyone investigate who's who and what's what....but it's definitely not one you can take anywhere with you. In short, a look back on all the craziness that is life with a love story at its heart. Though a younger audience may be hard to come by due to the subject matter and level of interest, this is certainly one for those that enjoy biographies as well as other works of non- fiction, but also the armchair traveler. It's a great way to see a bit of the world for better or worse without ever having left your house. Was it for me? Not so much....but that doesn't mean it won't work for you. One thing I do know, but I'm packing my bags and getting ready for the next adventure...

  • Laura
    2018-12-31 13:22

    Borneo Tom is the travel memoir of Tom McLaughlin, a retired science teacher who decided to go live on Borneo Island, even though he was diagnosed with a rare and incurable neurological disease. He wanted to explore Asia and live his dream of learning more about the tropical wildlife and the people who he lived with 35 years ago when he was in the Peace Corps.The book is written in essay format, with a titled essay on one page and a cartoon sketch on the opposite page. The text and the sketches are funny and honest. McLaughlin briefly describes his treks in chronological order of the places he visited throughout Asia, the people he's encountered, the wildlife he's explored and finally how he met and married his current wife, Suriani.I was amazed at McLaughlin's courage to climb the jungle's treacherous hills, swim in a crocodile and snake infested river to pan for diamonds, track orangutans, snorkel with jellyfish, visit dangerous Burma, hunt for frogs and critters in the jungle at night, and put up with leeches and swarms of mosquitoes. I admired his will to do all these things because he wanted to experience them (maybe not the leeches and mosquitoes!) and learn more about a culture he loved.This book was easy and fun to read. McLaughlin writes with self-deprecating humour. The cartoon sketches drawn by Waterfront Niki, a Malaysian artist, are great and truly depict what McLaughlin conveys in his writing. If you are thinking about travelling to Asia, or like to read more about the Asian culture, I think you will enjoy reading about McLaughlin's adventures. The book also states that a portion of the income earned from the sales of Borneo Tom will be used to purchase items for the Matang Wildlife Centre outside of Kuching, Malaysian Borneo to support nature conservation. The Matang Wildlife Centre's primary mission is to return rare and endangered species, particularly orangutan, to the wild.

  • Crystal
    2019-01-12 14:40

    I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. I think I figured I would read a few of the essays/chapters/stories, whatever you would like to call each one page section, skip around and then write my review. I did not expect to be so captivated to take my entire afternoon and read it cover-to-cover. Though I will confess to reading the last couple of pages in the middle, but that didn't ruin anything, it just made me want to read the rest all the more.Borneo Tom is a collection of what I like to think of as essays or short stories of different adventures in Tom's life as he lives and travels through the Far East. I really enjoyed the stories. He has a very down-to-earth tone that makes you feel like you are right there with him on each of the journeys. I like the lessons he learns and the humor he uses. I feel like I have gotten to know Tom a little and an area of the world that I knew very little about a lot more.I found Borneo Tom to be a fascinating read and well worth my afternoon. And the illustrations that go along with the stories are great. I personally didn't need them, but they do add to the book. I want more of his stories and hope he continues to write and will be sure to check out his websites below.If you enjoy travel-type memoirs then this is a book for you. If you like a book you can pick up here and there, then this can be a book for you but I dare you, I think you will find it hard to do it. I would finish a story and would immediately be immersed in the next even though I really needed to go do something else. It was just that enjoyable to me. So come join Borneo Tom and the others who join him on his journeys and learn more about this area of the world that he has chosen as his home at least most of the time.

  • Heavensent1
    2019-01-11 13:42

    Borneo Tom - In Story and Sketch: Love, Travel and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia takes you on a quirky journey filled with many interesting adventures told in an essay style prose and offset with fitting and oftentimes, comical black and white caricature-like illustrations.Tom is diagnosed with a rare, incurable, neurological disease and decides to step out of his comfort zone, whip out his bucket list and do the things he has always dreamed of doing. He sets out for Malaysia, much to the consternation of his friends and family. With daughter, Christine, in tow, he assures everyone he would make frequent return visits to the United States for medical treatment. The two set out for the time of their lives and Borneo Tom is born. Along his travels he shares with us not only local customs, local history and landmarks, but personal thoughts and insights. We learn of Tom's strength and determination, like the Little Engine That Could, he continues to push ahead and keep moving forward in all that he does, even when the odds seemed against him. I enjoyed the read and found myself giggling over some of the silly things that Tom does or says, like standing over the equator, dancing a jig in hopes of becoming more virile, or when he bought a bowl Laksa Sarawak and after being assured by the shopkeeper that it wasn't hot, he soon finds out that is not the case as he swears his teeth melted. If I had any complaints, it would be that I wished some of his anecdotes were a little more descriptive, I wanted to stay longer in some areas of his book and less in others. I loved the historical aspect he shares from his viewpoint and would have loved to seen more included and I loved the surprise at the end of the book, who would have thought??!!

  • Carol Evans
    2018-12-27 14:18

    In Borneo Tom- In Story and Sketch: Love, Travela and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia, Tom McLaughlin does what most of us can only dream of. He drops it all and moves to paradise, taking us along on his adventures. Boreno Tom is not exactly a memoir and it's not exactly a travel book. It's a collection of essays, covering everything from the Festival of the Hungry Ghost in Kuching to experiencing an earthquake in Indonesia. He snorkels with jellyfish, meets orangutans and treks to see a corpse flower. Each story is told with humor and a genuine love of the land and people. Some made me laugh out loud and some were eye-opening.I like the way the book was formatted. Each essay is relatively short, and is accompanied on the opposite page with a drawing done by Waterfront Niki, a well-known fixture along the Sarawak River walkway. I have to admit they made me smile as much as the essays did.This unique book actually surprised. I truly enjoyed reading it, and it made me want to go on my own adventures, although mine may not lead me as far away as Southeast Asia.

  • melydia
    2019-01-10 20:28

    A former Maryland schoolteacher with an incurable neurological disease decides to live his dream and explore Southeast Asia. The story is told in a series of one-page vignettes, with cartoony sketches on the facing pages, so it goes by quickly. While I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to visit the lands Tom describes, I had a great time experiencing his adventures vicariously. His no-holds-barred description and somewhat zany sense of humor made for a fun read, and also offset the more somber passages well. I was particularly amused by his visit to the Equator, and quite moved by his optimism in the face of such poverty and ecological damage. Borneo is one of those places I haven't read much about, so this was a real treat. I still don't want to visit in person, but I could listen to Tom's stories all day.

  • Wendy Hines
    2018-12-22 19:37

    What a delightful book! It is basically a journal of Tom's travels through Southeast Asia, more of Malaysia and Borneo, a small area he eventually settled down. It's broken up into different sections that detail that particular area, the people, customs, foliage, animals and language. Tom is afraid of nothing! I would be quaking in my boots many times over of what Tom approaches with no reservations. The chapters are short but take you to places most people have never been or will go. Tom writes cleverly and with humor. The illustrations are remarkable and I'm very glad I had this opportunity to read this book and learn a few things I might never have known. It's very educational, informative and entertaining.