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Freedom Sex and A Meat Cleaver: Wild Adventures in Southeast Asia

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FREEDOM SEX AND A MEAT CLEAVER is a young man's quest for personal freedom and self-discovery. It's the riveting stories of Pierce Colter, a naïve American, seeking adventures in Southeast Asia during the tumultuous period from 1973 to 1978. Inspired by actual events, his adventures extend beyond Thailand to the neighboring country of Laos during the CIA's secret war with FREEDOM SEX AND A MEAT CLEAVER is a young man's quest for personal freedom and self-discovery. It's the riveting stories of Pierce Colter, a naïve American, seeking adventures in Southeast Asia during the tumultuous period from 1973 to 1978. Inspired by actual events, his adventures extend beyond Thailand to the neighboring country of Laos during the CIA's secret war with the communist Pathet Lao. From border towns of Cambodia during Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom Penh to hidden Chinese waterfront opium dens on the island of Penang off the coast of Malaysia. And on and on, and on to one too many slings in Singapore. In his quest Pierce discovers, as with all freedom, there's a price to pay with each step.


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FREEDOM SEX AND A MEAT CLEAVER is a young man's quest for personal freedom and self-discovery. It's the riveting stories of Pierce Colter, a naïve American, seeking adventures in Southeast Asia during the tumultuous period from 1973 to 1978. Inspired by actual events, his adventures extend beyond Thailand to the neighboring country of Laos during the CIA's secret war with FREEDOM SEX AND A MEAT CLEAVER is a young man's quest for personal freedom and self-discovery. It's the riveting stories of Pierce Colter, a naïve American, seeking adventures in Southeast Asia during the tumultuous period from 1973 to 1978. Inspired by actual events, his adventures extend beyond Thailand to the neighboring country of Laos during the CIA's secret war with the communist Pathet Lao. From border towns of Cambodia during Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom Penh to hidden Chinese waterfront opium dens on the island of Penang off the coast of Malaysia. And on and on, and on to one too many slings in Singapore. In his quest Pierce discovers, as with all freedom, there's a price to pay with each step.

11 review for Freedom Sex and A Meat Cleaver: Wild Adventures in Southeast Asia

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dieter Moitzi

    Note: This book was provided at not cost by NetGalley, where this review has been posted. To be honest, although geography, politics/geopolitics, and history interest me a lot, I don’t know much about the early 70s nor about Southeast Asia, which was the reason why I requested this book. I can only congratulate myself because “Freedom, Sex, And A Meat Cleaver” turned out to be not only a source of interesting first-hand information (first-hand as in “been there, seen it”) but above all a highly e Note: This book was provided at not cost by NetGalley, where this review has been posted. To be honest, although geography, politics/geopolitics, and history interest me a lot, I don’t know much about the early 70s nor about Southeast Asia, which was the reason why I requested this book. I can only congratulate myself because “Freedom, Sex, And A Meat Cleaver” turned out to be not only a source of interesting first-hand information (first-hand as in “been there, seen it”) but above all a highly entertaining read. I feared to get a dry narrative listing events and places with much too much telling and not enough showing, but to my utter delight, the author is an apt, skilful writer who knows how to grab his readers’ attention and not let go till the last full stop. I even have to say, the book was way too short—I would have enjoyed more chapters. This is supposed to be a memoir/autobiography, but in fact it’s more a loose collection of short and delectable stories. I guess the author tries to “hide” behind the narrator’s name Pierce Colter, but his short biography shows that he might have had all these adventures himself. Pierce, after having been discharged from the army, returns to Thailand, where he served during the Vietnam War. He’s in the early twenties, free as a bird, a bit clueless, a bit naïve, altogether much too trusting, but extremely endearing and easy-going. I enjoyed his unbiased curiosity, his open mind, and his healthy sense of humour. He wants to find out things for the sheer beauty of finding out things. My favourite episodes were the meat-cleaver story, hilarious; the bong-stunt; and of course the story about the Singapore slings (I wasn’t sure I had got the blurb’s double-entendre right at first and was proud when I realized I had… plus I was giggling like an idiot). Well-written, well-paced, this is a book that shows history as what it really is: not a dry subject invented to torture high-school students, but bits and slices of live experiences that real, three-dimensional, breathing people have been through. In turns delightful, insightful, painful, or outright embarrassing, it also shows how a prolonged sojourn abroad can form people and make them evolve. I can only recommend this read to any reader eager to spend a good moment—don't worry, no violence, no graphic sex scenes despite the title.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Randall

    Khob khun krup (Thank you)! Thank you, may not seem a review for a book, please allow me a moment to expound. I have been fortunate to visit Thailand for a few months almost 30 years ago, an amazing beautiful county and people, THANK YOU for reminding me and in some ways allowing me to relive through your beautiful story telling. Action, adventure, suspense, romance, as the title suggests our hero finds freedom (looses and then gains more appreciation), sex (just the right amount of graphic, not e Khob khun krup (Thank you)! Thank you, may not seem a review for a book, please allow me a moment to expound. I have been fortunate to visit Thailand for a few months almost 30 years ago, an amazing beautiful county and people, THANK YOU for reminding me and in some ways allowing me to relive through your beautiful story telling. Action, adventure, suspense, romance, as the title suggests our hero finds freedom (looses and then gains more appreciation), sex (just the right amount of graphic, not explicit very tastefully handled) and a meat cleaver (not once but twice) all in a few short and medium length stories, THANK YOU for your storytelling ability, I didn't want to put it down, I felt as though I were there with you going through those things. Just enough of Thai to hear it, beautiful scenery/setting without being overly descriptive, you realy found, for me, the Goldilocks spot in a lot of ways. I did have one disappointment, though, toward the end I notice in my periphery the % left in the book and knew it was coming to an end, I had run out of stories to read, I was selfishly hoping for one more (and would have hoped for JUST one more after each addition one provided) but then I read the about the author section and was given a little hope, THANK YOU for the "tease" letting us know you are working on a second book! Truly a delightful read from start to finish, easy, flowing, captivating and entertaining. My hands raised near my face I wai and say khob khun krup

  3. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The author tells of his crazy adventures traveling around Southeast Asia in the 70's, after his discharge from the Air Force. Crazy is too mild of a descriptor, some of his stories are incredibly hair-raising! From seedy opium dens to very classy restaurants, he visits some amazing places. Including spending days in a Thai jail. Encounters with mysterious (CIA?) agents, being in country during Pol Pot I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The author tells of his crazy adventures traveling around Southeast Asia in the 70's, after his discharge from the Air Force. Crazy is too mild of a descriptor, some of his stories are incredibly hair-raising! From seedy opium dens to very classy restaurants, he visits some amazing places. Including spending days in a Thai jail. Encounters with mysterious (CIA?) agents, being in country during Pol Pot's murderous reign, making friends with prostitutes, to being chased with a meat cleaver, it's all in here! Told in a very easy to read style, the pages just flew by. I wish it was longer! Man, would I like to sit down with a few beers and listen to the author's stories. I'll bet there's plenty more he could tell! I'm putting this one down as one of the most surprisingly enjoyable books that I have read this year! Bravo!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt McAvoy

    Engrossing, entertaining and utterly easy to read, I had no problem at all getting lost in these exciting, fun tales. Chronicling the adventures of a young American soldier, discharged following the end of the Vietnam war, who decides to return to South East Asia, to live and travel, these short stories are based loosely on the real life exploits of the author, as well as stories he has heard and people he met. This collection of anecdotes forms the whole, overall story of his months in, predomi Engrossing, entertaining and utterly easy to read, I had no problem at all getting lost in these exciting, fun tales. Chronicling the adventures of a young American soldier, discharged following the end of the Vietnam war, who decides to return to South East Asia, to live and travel, these short stories are based loosely on the real life exploits of the author, as well as stories he has heard and people he met. This collection of anecdotes forms the whole, overall story of his months in, predominantly, Thailand. And, they are triumphant. Simultaneously fun and laid-back, yet intense and exciting, this cultural exposé is a general attack on the senses. South East Asia is a huge culture shock for us Westerners, which can only be experienced, yet Sherman does a tremendous job of placing the reader right there, in the heart of it – you can almost see the lights, hear the bustle and chatter, smell the food cooking, and feel the glow of pride, as its friendly people make you feel on top of the world; Sherman gifts us with all of this, and more. He revels in a culture he clearly loves, and shares with us all that is synonymous with the region: street-food; gambling; drugs; prostitutes; lady-boys and Singha beer. Yet, in amongst all of that, there is still the beauty of Asia - the landscape; the flora; the golden Buddhas; the warm, big-hearted people - as Sherman takes us cross country and across borders. He has done an outstanding job of acquainting himself with all of his subject matter (one hopes, not just from personal experience), as his character Pierce becomes involved in all sorts of ludicrous and terrifying schemes, covering such provocative subjects as drug smuggling; corrupt immigration officials; the C.I.A.’s clandestine involvement in the region and Air America. Of course, all of this takes place against the backdrop of the war’s effect on Cambodia and Laos, whilst Pol Pot runs amok in the vacuum. Pierce is an idiot, I think it’s fair to say – an inane thrill-seeker, who bundles from one reckless and foolhardy situation to the next, with no apparent concept of the word “no”. Sherman, on the other hand, is no clown – he is a serious, hard-working, professional author, who respects his readers, with a fully researched, in-depth knowledge of all about which he writes. His account of the wars, politics and black ops of the time is insightful and educational, and Pierce absorbs it all with a shocked yet unsurprised scratch of the head – I’ve no doubt there is truth to Sherman’s revelations. Sometimes baffling, sometimes terrifying, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, this book is a real delight for more grown-up, discerning readers of travel memoirs (if embellished with fiction), who want to learn something, rather than simply lining the pockets of travel posers. The construction of this book is spot on, the pace and flow of the tales just right to get the overall adventure across. It does end somewhat abruptly, leaving me wanting more – but in a good way. Freedom, Sex and a Meat Cleaver is as fun and entertaining a travel journal as you are likely to read – but just how much of it is actually true is anyone’s guess.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sherman Miles

    I have to admit... since I'm the author I'd be remiss if I didn't give it 5-stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    lewis t miles

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sherman Miles

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shawna Gates

  9. 4 out of 5

    Destiny Brown

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marga Baldwin

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Maroney

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