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The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific Paperback – June 8, 2004
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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
It was hilarious. Reminded me of my son - over educated and unemployed. 😀Published 6 days ago by Lynda Vegsund
This is a really fun read if you have spent any time in the Pacific.Published 28 days ago by Chris Alexander
You will not be disappointed. The writing will take you on your own journey. Laugh out loud moments followed by what we're you thinking.Published 2 months ago by kris sotzing
I live on island though not as remote as the one in this book. However the plain facts of daily living are undeniably the same. Read morePublished 2 months ago by GuanajaSharon
My wife got so irritated so often as I read this book! I would start snorting, try to contain it, then burst out laughing with tears rolling down my face. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Somewhat entertaining... The title is misleading so I will not be purchasing other books by M Troost with tantalizing titles; got me on this one!Published 2 months ago by Tim Watry
I bought this book when my brother sent me a list of a noted travel blogger's favorite travel books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Capricorn One
Like his other books... funny stuff yet still presented in a way that I am learning about the natives.Published 3 months ago by Justin Cook
Entertaining read about the time the author and his girlfriend spent in Kiribati, some twenty years ago. Read morePublished 3 months ago by sally tarbox