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The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific Paperback – June 8, 2004
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
J. Maarten Troost's funny and engrossing travelogues capture the beauty, and quirks, of some of the world's most fascinating locales. Visit Amazon's J. Maarten Troost Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
Maarten and Sylvia have no idea what they're getting themselves into when Sylvia agrees to a two-year contact to work on Tarawa, a remote island in the equatorial Pacific islands also known as Kiribas (The Gilbert Islands).
This was LOL funny in so many places! Maarten's turn of a phrase is so clever that he makes one laugh in the face of a nearly intolerable situation living on this remote island - part of which is so crowded it rivals Hong Kong in population density. The 20th century wasn't kind to these islanders. Their unique culture juxtaposed with the creations of the 20th century is very nearly ruining their culture. But Troost is able to find nearly everything funny (even though one wonders if he felt it was that funny at the moment) including the bowel habits of the natives. On the back of the book in Maarten's brief bio, it is revealed that he and is wife are living in California. One can only hope that he is becoming the writer for a sit-com. He makes other authors of humor/travel memoir seem dull in comparison. If I would compare him to anyone it would be Erma Bombeck-the way he is able to find hilarity in even the most mundane things.
This book deserves to be a bestseller and hopefully by word of mouth it will be.
Troost makes some insightful comments on infrastructure--he took for granted in his previous life that water and electricity came to your house by magic. On Kiribati, he has hilariously eye-opening experiences ensuring a supply of both.
Throughout the book Troost recounts the history of Kiribati, its culture, and its relationship to the outside world. He actually does a real service to the island by recording the oral tradition and myth, and placing it in context with the slim amount of published literature on Kiribati. Over the course of his stay, he grows to be a real defender of the nation. When Kiribati sincerely accepts the offer of a British drunkard to become their Poet Laureate, the global media has quite a laugh at the nation's quaint nature. Troost is certain to set the truth straight about the lout who only lasted a few months in Kiribati.
Troost writes in a light, humourous tone, making this book a pleasure to read, although there are places where Troost is a little too cute for his own good. A few photos would have been a nice touch, and is it asking too much for the publisher to include a map? And by the way, the title is misleading - there is very little here about sex and nothing about cannibalism. A book this good does not need the cheap gimmick of a misleading title.
It all begins with Troost's lethargic approach toward his job. He's fed up with it. When his girlfriend Silvia is given the opportunity to work in a program designed to benefit the health and environment of the Gilbert Islands, Troost joins the unemployed and goes with her. Thus begins their whirlwind island lifestyle amid searing heat, lackluster living conditions, consistent health problems and just overall doing without. Many of their trials are humiliating, frustrating, inhuman and sad.
Tarawa has no waste disposal system so people relieve themselves in the ocean. Refuse piles up along its narrow roads and beaches, ignored. The author's cement, vermin-infested dwelling place is considered prime living compared to the thatched homes of the natives. Other countries bully them, depleting their only revenue of tuna by greedily fishing in Tarawa's coveted waters. They have no working fire trucks, have to use sticks instead of toilet paper and four hours of electricity isn't only a rare gift, but a pleasant surprise. Dogs are disease-ridden predators that prowl in huge packs, eating their own in sheer desperation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There's no real plot here, no through line that makes you curious what will happen next. But it is a charming account of remote island life - realistic, quirky, disease-ridden,... Read morePublished 28 days ago by CBuse
Very funny book and very good read, I have just started it.Published 1 month ago by Gilbert M Lhotka
Martin Troost’s life wasn’t going much of anywhere, so he lucked out when his girlfriend got a job in the remote Pacific island nation of Kiribati, where he spent his time learning... Read morePublished 1 month ago by E. Smiley
If you would like to laugh until you cry this is your book. A hilarious look at life in the Pacific.Published 2 months ago by Rebecca Diaz
A great read for anyone contemplating a remote Pacific Island visit! It gives great personal insight into our egocentric views on other cultures.Published 3 months ago by True Blue
It was a quick read, but not necessarily a pleasant one. The humor of the author did not resonate with me and there was really nothing special about his visit. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jim In Oregon