Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: Borneo Tom by Tom McLaughlin

Borneo Tom: Stories and Sketches of Love, Travel and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia is a fun, engaging travel journal that many will enjoy.

The introductory page includes the closing verses to the 1970 song "Signs" by Five Man Electrical Band, which was covered in 1990 by Tesla with some alterations to the original lyrics. I was glad to see the author used the original lyrics, as it is a powerful song that spoke to the issues of the time; issues which still exist in some ways.

What follows is a travel journal that begins with Tom on a flight with Malaysia Airlines , who strikes up conversations with a beautiful Swedish woman and some students that were returning home from a trip to the United States; and ends with the next chapter of his life just beginning. Along the way the reader learns about his decision to move to Borneo; the many adventures he's been on-- sometimes with his daughters and other times alone; stories from his teaching years; the interesting people he meets along the way; and his dedication to conservation.

Perhaps now you're thinking this is a printed version of those dreaded home movies your neighbors used to dig out to show you their "interesting" and "funny" adventures on the latest family vacation. Borneo Tom isn't like that at all. It is interesting and funny. McLaughlin's style is witty and his insights thought-provoking. Couple that with the zany illustrations provided by Waterfront Niki, who lives in the area, and you've got a winning book.

Great as a gift for a friend who likes to travel, Borneo Tom would also make a fabulous coffee table book. It's also a wonderful way to learn about this part of the world. A portion of the proceeds from this book will be used to purchase items for The Matang Wildlife Centre outside of Kuching, Malaysian Borneo to support nature conservation. This group's primary mission is to return rare and endangered species, particularly orangutan, to the wild.

Title: Borneo Tom
Author: Tom McLaughlin
Publisher:  Tom McLaughlin
ISBN-10: 9838082112
ISBN-13: 978-9838082112
SRP:  $42.00

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the author in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation of any kind for sharing my opinion.

1 comment:

Susanne Drazic said...

I've heard of this book before, but can't remember where. Sounds like an interesting book. Fun cover.