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The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

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The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific Cover

ISBN13: 9780767915304
ISBN10: 0767915305
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

When Troost followed his wife to a small island nation he expected Bali Hai. Instead he found an isolated, polluted, boiling hot hellhole. His wonderful tale is both hilarious and thrilling. This original adventure offers enjoyment and also allows renewed appreciation for your morning cup of coffee and warm shower.
Recommended by Kathi, Powells.com

While most memoirs speak of a situation a person finds himself or herself in, The Sex Lives of Cannibals is self-inflicted. Troost travels to a tiny island in the South Pacific and tells of his trials. I read this as a Peace Corps volunteer in a tropical climate and was extremely empathetic to the author's frustrations and angst toward the locals, climate, and lack of good beer. The Sex Lives of Cannibals rivals the hilarity of Bill Bryson.
Recommended by Jeff J., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost—who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs—decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish—all in a country where the only music to be heard for miles around is “La Macarena.” He and his stalwart girlfriend Sylvia spend the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity of food options (including the Great Beer Crisis); and contending with a bizarre cast of local characters, including “Half-Dead Fred” and the self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of Tarawa (a British drunkard whos never written a poem in his life).

With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost has delivered one of the most original, rip-roaringly funny travelogues in years—one that will leave you thankful for staples of American civilization such as coffee, regular showers, and tabloid news, and that will provide the ultimate vicarious adventure.

Review:

"At 26, Troost followed his wife to Kiribati, a tiny island nation in the South Pacific. Virtually ignored by the rest of humanity (its erstwhile colonial owners, the Brits, left in 1979), Kiribati is the kind of place where dolphins frolic in lagoons, days end with glorious sunsets and airplanes might have to circle overhead because pigs occupy the island's sole runway. Troost's wife was working for an international nonprofit; the author himself planned to hang out and maybe write a literary masterpiece. But Kiribati wasn't quite paradise. It was polluted, overpopulated and scorchingly sunny (Troost could almost feel his freckles mutating into something 'interesting and tumorous'). The villages overflowed with scavengers and recently introduced, nonbiodegradable trash. And the Kiribati people seemed excessively hedonistic. Yet after two years, Troost and his wife felt so comfortable, they were reluctant to return home. Troost is a sharp, funny writer, richly evoking the strange, day-by-day wonder that became his life in the islands. One night, he's doing his best funky chicken with dancing Kiribati; the next morning, he's on the high seas contemplating a toilet extending off the boat's stern (when the ocean was rough, he learns, it was like using a bidet). Troost's chronicle of his sojourn in a forgotten world is a comic masterwork of travel writing and a revealing look at a culture clash. (June 8) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Okay, so Tarawa is less paradise than purgatory, but hang in there — Troost will lead you to paradise, too. Lives up to the billing as 'a travel, adventure, humor, memoir kind of book' — and a really good one, at that." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

Just in case you want to exercise your inner Gauguin, Troost here presents about a hundred reasons why you should stay in the 'burbs. He spent two years on a tropical isle, only to discover that it was a lot like hell, minus the toilets. While contending with putrifying heat, seas so polluted even those of limited divinity could walk on them, diseases never encountered in the relatively calm environs of an ER, and (shudder) no coffee or beer, Troost also found the only music to be had for miles was "La Macarena." To this case study of the absurd, Troost actually adds a bibliography. He does not include an index, which is a pity because readers may actually want to find out how many times Troost had to put up with "Half-Dead Fred" and outbreaks of hepatitis A, B, and C.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

After racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs, author Troost decided the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the Earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better. This is his hilarious story.

About the Author

J. MAARTEN TROOSTs essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, and the Prague Post. He spent two years in Kiribati in the Equatorial Pacific and upon his return was hired as a consultant by the World Bank. After several years in Fiji, he recently relocated to the U.S. and now lives with his wife and son in California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Shoshana, December 29, 2009 (view all comments by Shoshana)
No sex, no cannibals, but Troost is certainly adrift. While his girlfriend does work, which I'd actually like to read about, Troost hangs around, surfs, makes minor repairs, doesn't write a novel, misses beer when the shipment doesn't come, complains more than admires, and makes pronouncements about the people of Kiribati. Every once in a while he hits it just right, but his attempts to be worldly or arch mostly fall far short of the goal. One hope Troost's style and focus have matured in subsequent books. One hopes his girlfriend writes a book one of these days.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
OCurran, December 31, 2008 (view all comments by OCurran)
I guess I'm the downsayer on this book,it to me took to long to get moving and the author went on and on about the song "macleraina". Somehow seemed like a shifty way to try to gain money (writing book)while his better half works legitimently on a island.
The tricky use of a title he's discovered !
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(12 of 25 readers found this comment helpful)
Branmufn3, March 4, 2007 (view all comments by Branmufn3)
This book is fun. It's a shame that it has to be classified under the travel section of bookstores. I don't think I have ever been so thoroughly entertained while reading a book that makes such unexpected comments on the degradation of a civilization through Western society. It was recommended to me for a twenty-page analysis paper... I would gladly recommend it to anyone for any purpose. Just read it and you'll understand why.
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(12 of 31 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767915304
Author:
Troost, J. Maarten
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Ethnology
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Tarawa Atoll
Subject:
Australia & Oceania - General
Subject:
Australia/Oceania - South Pacific
Subject:
Australia & Oceania
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
B108
Publication Date:
June 8, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.06x5.22x.76 in. .70 lbs.

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
Travel » Australia
Travel » Travel Writing » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Oceania

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767915304 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

When Troost followed his wife to a small island nation he expected Bali Hai. Instead he found an isolated, polluted, boiling hot hellhole. His wonderful tale is both hilarious and thrilling. This original adventure offers enjoyment and also allows renewed appreciation for your morning cup of coffee and warm shower.

"Staff Pick" by ,

While most memoirs speak of a situation a person finds himself or herself in, The Sex Lives of Cannibals is self-inflicted. Troost travels to a tiny island in the South Pacific and tells of his trials. I read this as a Peace Corps volunteer in a tropical climate and was extremely empathetic to the author's frustrations and angst toward the locals, climate, and lack of good beer. The Sex Lives of Cannibals rivals the hilarity of Bill Bryson.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "At 26, Troost followed his wife to Kiribati, a tiny island nation in the South Pacific. Virtually ignored by the rest of humanity (its erstwhile colonial owners, the Brits, left in 1979), Kiribati is the kind of place where dolphins frolic in lagoons, days end with glorious sunsets and airplanes might have to circle overhead because pigs occupy the island's sole runway. Troost's wife was working for an international nonprofit; the author himself planned to hang out and maybe write a literary masterpiece. But Kiribati wasn't quite paradise. It was polluted, overpopulated and scorchingly sunny (Troost could almost feel his freckles mutating into something 'interesting and tumorous'). The villages overflowed with scavengers and recently introduced, nonbiodegradable trash. And the Kiribati people seemed excessively hedonistic. Yet after two years, Troost and his wife felt so comfortable, they were reluctant to return home. Troost is a sharp, funny writer, richly evoking the strange, day-by-day wonder that became his life in the islands. One night, he's doing his best funky chicken with dancing Kiribati; the next morning, he's on the high seas contemplating a toilet extending off the boat's stern (when the ocean was rough, he learns, it was like using a bidet). Troost's chronicle of his sojourn in a forgotten world is a comic masterwork of travel writing and a revealing look at a culture clash. (June 8) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Okay, so Tarawa is less paradise than purgatory, but hang in there — Troost will lead you to paradise, too. Lives up to the billing as 'a travel, adventure, humor, memoir kind of book' — and a really good one, at that."
"Synopsis" by , After racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs, author Troost decided the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the Earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better. This is his hilarious story.
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