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Headhunters on My Doorstep: A True Treasure Island Ghost Story Hardcover – August 20, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
But along comes "Headhunters on my Doorstep" and I am dumbfounded by the banality and preachiness of it. It's like taking his two former South Pacific adventures, removing all of the fascination and enjoyment, and replacing it with a personal guilt trip that is probably none of the reader's business. While reading the book I couldn't help but grimace at the possibility that I had forked over $12 for a really unhelpful self-help book.
I think it is great that the author was able to recover from his addiction to alcohol. I admire his replacement of drinking with jogging. But is there anything unusual or fascinating about it? Not really. Robert Louis Stevenson traveled to the South Pacific to deal with his health problems, and so does J. Marteen Troost. Is that a good premise for a book? Not really.
What is so frustrating about this book is that at points it seems to be getting better. But then, for an unreasonable amount of time, Troost goes into another diatribe about how awful alcohol is or how wonderful running is. He throws in a sprinkle of humor here and there to justify finishing the narrative. But in the end, I was left wanting and a bit upset at the spectacle of it all. There should be a caveat on the cover of this book that it might be good for recovering alcoholics, but not so good for people looking to learn something new or read a description of what undoubtedly must be a fascinating place.
When asked what kind of books I prefer, I always saw the same thing. Travelogues and books about sharks and natural disasters. Headhunters on My Doorstep has a little of all of that. Troost's writing has matured over the years and his books have become a little less rollicky (It's a word. I looked it up.) and a bit more informative. That's fine by me, as I've grown up a bit, too. It didn't surprise me in the least to see that he had become-- or perhaps it would be more accurate to say he recognized-- that he was an alcoholic, because the earlier books paint a picture of someone very willing to get loaded, so much so that I used to think, "Why can't I do that?" But, of course, as you can read in Headhunters, very few people can do that forever. And so, at the start of the book, the situation is explained. We know where Troost has been and are brought along with him as we find out where he's going.
I knew nothing about Robert Louis Stevenson and found his story fascinating, as did Troost. Seeing as I'm probably never going to follow Stevenson's path around the South Pacific (I hate humidity), I'm glad Troost did it for me.Read more ›
This book is very good indeed. I have read this book through twice in a row. While it is hard to think of any other book that interesting, I enjoyed this book that much. Why?
Troost follows the adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson through the Pacific, sometimes almost literally following in his footsteps. He observes and comments on odd events, people and things. Two of the most memorable people are a German former French Legionnaire who runs a café with his Marquesan wife and is covered with Marquesan tattoos. Another is Celine, a "man-killer" who took him on a serious horse ride up the mountains.
He has a sense of humor about it all. In Kiribati, he is unable to speak with government officials who are not impressed by the title of his previous book mostly about their country "Sex Lives of Cannibals." On Samoa, he speaks with a former deputy prime minister of Samoa because "[w]e had a mutual friend, and what I liked about the Pacific is that this alone is enough to elicit an invitation for coffee from a highfalutin official. Imagine if you knew someone who went to high school with Joe Biden, and then visiting Washington, DC, you get a call from the vice president inviting you for a ride in his Camaro."
While this is a funny book, it is a funny and enjoyable travel book. Much of the book is about French Polynesia, which many including me have dreamed of visiting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kind of a plot twist when you discover the author has stopped drinking and doing drugs, which used to lead to some lively commentary. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Mark G.
So, I read both Troost's Cannibals book and Savages book. As I was reading his Getting Stoned with Savages book, I thought that Troost spent perhaps a bit too much time getting... Read morePublished 2 months ago by 4321dud
I've read every one of Troost's books. I've always enjoyed the author's writing style. If you are looking for a more in-depth assessment of life in the South Pacific, I would... Read morePublished 2 months ago by I Love Doughnuts
I just couldn't get through it. Sex Lives (book #1) was terrific, escapist beach reading; Stoned (book #2) was not quite as good but still a fun beach read that "takes you... Read morePublished 5 months ago by F. Knoll
There's only one word to describe my experience: ARGHHHH! (I lost the darn book before I finished it)Published 5 months ago by Jaramatam
It's not his best, but it feels sincere and he's confronted a life crisis. The early chapters feel like the baby steps on a new journey. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Heidi Hermes
Troost never disappoints. I only did 4 stars because I feel his first two books were a bit better than this one and those had a more succinct flow. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kristina
Really disappointing read. As many others have said, this books is pretty aimless and drones on and on about alcoholism and rehab with a lot of unsuccessful and what I'd consider... Read morePublished 7 months ago by S. Hill