The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
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 who’s 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.
Read this book!
By Maudeen Wachsmith "BeachReader" - February 27, 2005
You know how you feel when you've just finished a really good book and want to tell everyone you know about it? That is how I feel about THE SEX LIVES OF CANNIBALS. During the first few chapters I was laughing out loud so much and reading passages to my husband so often that he mentioned he wouldn't even have to read the book. However since he formerly lived in the Marshall Islands, this book hits home to him and he could hardly wait until I was done to grab it from my hands.
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... read more
One of the best in recent years! Give this book a chance!
By Jessica Lux - September 1, 2005
Troost and his wife truly do go to the end of the world, to a tiny country in the equatorial Pacific, and live in an alternate reality. Troot's misadventures with the town's hygiene and sanitation, the toxic fish, a complete lack of vegetation, limited dry goods, cannibalistic dogs, a rundown airplane, high seas on a plywood boat, and the like are relayed to the reader with humor and wit. Beer is popular because it "tends to be parasite-free and calorie-laden, two very useful attributes on Tarawa." At first, Troost is an outsider, shocked by the island going-ons, but over the course of his two years there, he truly adopts the island lifestyle, so much that America is a complete culture shock for husband and wife when the part ways with Kiribati.
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... read more
A light entertaining account of an ex-pat's life in Kiribati
By saskatoonguy - October 16, 2004
The author describes living for two years in Kiribati, an ex-British colony in the Pacific Ocean that is now independent. He thought he was moving to a tropical paradise, but instead found that even in the national capital, people would regularly defecate in the lagoon, the grocery stores couldn't keep basic staples in stock, and water and electric supplies were irregular at best. He speaks of the Kiribati people with enormous and sincere affection, but a reader can't avoid the conclusion that these islands would be better off if they were still a British colony.
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... read more