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Bad Karma: Confessions of a Reckless Traveller in Southeast Asia Paperback – November 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Sheward’s writing is fast and furious. A roller coaster off the rails, with beers.”—Adventure Travel Magazine
“The girls make a delightful comic duo. Sheward’s prose is superb.”
“Wild-child writer Tamara Sheward, whose adventures are recounted in a humorous collection of politically-incorrect tales of Asian drug dealers and stoned backpackers . . . is irrepressible.”—Sydney Morning Herald
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Top Customer Reviews
Without any planning and certainly without any preparation but for the purchase (and theft) of some rather useless travel guides, the two set off an a haphazard adventure. This adventure would take them through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam; countries ill-prepared for these two Australian guests. It would be an adventure they, nor the reader, will soon forget.
Almost from the very beginning of their "vacation" trouble seems to follow the pair. Unwelcome as farang (or foreigners) at seedy hotels, their first night was a foreshadow of what was to come.
Characters such as a Train Nazi, the Kip Kid, and Mama Hahn and her floating party dot the landscape of their journey. Prescription-free Valium, a flight only the stoned could appreciate and a slew of religious cults and varieties also played prominent. Accidentally cursing a host family with a death curse, hitchhiking in a bootlegger's truck and getting stuck in a Viet Cong secret sniper hole are all characteristic events found within the pages of this account.
Surprising no national incidents were sparked along the way. While the two were not invited to leave (the majority of the time), it is not likely that they would be a welcome sight by many who encountered them.Read more ›
It took me a while to get into the book. A lot of the initial experiences are just odd and foul. But as I neared the last 1/3 of the book, I found it hard to put down. Perhaps, just like the author took time to indoctrinate herself to a new part of the world, I needed some time to get indoctrinated too. The book really hits it's stride with the experiences in Vietnam. Some were laugh-out-loud funny. Cambodia was good too, but a little too short and the ending wrapped itself up a little too neatly.
Overall, I'd say this is a good book if you're into travelogues and summer reading. Just don't expect to find yourself on the next plane to Bangkok when you're finished.
Bad Karma is a gloriously unremitting narrative of two hilarious individuals who deliberately set themselves opposite whatever culture they encounter. If they were not so flippantly hilarious, their self-absorption might be nauseating. As they progress from Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, they finally get a dose of much-needed humility while visiting the Killing Fields of Cambodia. Simultaneously hilarious and humbling, Bad Karma is enough of an experience to encourage your own freewheeling adventure through foreign territory. You try reading this and not booking plane tickets afterwards.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As someone who is a fairly avid traveller and one who likes to try to identify with other cultures in the places they travel to, Bad Karma showed me a different way to travel. Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by Dr Penner
Tamara Sheward's rambling journey through Southeast Asia is humiliating at worst, hilarious at best. Read morePublished on December 3, 2012 by Veva525
This was a great summer read, full of wacky, at times crude, humor and amusingly crazy shenanigans. The two girls are entertaining as hapless travelers, and I love the premise of... Read morePublished on November 27, 2012 by Sarah