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The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific Paperback – Jun 8 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; New title edition (June 8 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780767915304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767915304
  • ASIN: 0767915305
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Although accustomed to globe trotting, Troost and his wife, Sylvia, were truly innocents abroad when they moved to the island of Tarawa in the South Pacific, where Sylvia had accepted a government position. Tarawa is the capital of Kiribati--a republic of tiny atolls located just above the equator--and the place where Troost's dreams of paradise were shattered. Although Tarawa has much to offer, such as stultifying heat, dogged bureaucracy, toxic water, La Macarena, and the fantastic rituals of the I-Kiribati people, it lacks running water, television, restaurants, air-conditioning, and, the most crucial amenity, beer. Culture shock ensued for Maarten and Sylvia, and he chronicles their two years on Tarawa in a hilarious, sardonic travelogue. Among the more memorable episodes is the time a simple fishing trip turns into a hunt for a giant thresher shark and when Troost blasts a Miles Davis CD to combat the incessant repetition of La Macarena. Troost's mystified admiration for the I-Kiribati people shines through it all, and readers learn how humor itself can be a necessary tool for survival. Jerry Eberle
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've never ventured into the genre of travel narratives before, and this book was a wonderful start. I just couldn't put the book down. Mr. Troost discuss his 2 years in Kiribati with his girlfriend, Sylvia, as they adjust to a life vastly different from that in the US. Each chapter provides a humourous anecdote about their experiences, from interactions with natives to near death experiences at sea. What really makes the book wonderful is that you really feel like you get to know the author, and you feel like you are experiencing the torments and tribulations of island life with him. I do hope he writes more!
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Format: Paperback
The answer: nothing. I was flipping through the book reviews in "Island" one day and came upon a review of this book. I guess the "Island" editor wasn't impressed. He basically said the book was okay and compared its author to a "second-rate Dave Barry."
Luckily I decided to check the book out for myself. Turns out the reviewer for "Islands" magazine wouldn't know a great read if one walked up and smacked him on the behind.
This is dedicated beach reading. I took the book with me to Gulf Shores last week and laughed aloud many times on the beach as I read it (almost in one sitting). Great style, great attention to details, great in capturing the maddening essence of living in a paradise gone mad.
Fans of tropic-themed tomes (you know who you are) will love this book.
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Format: Paperback
I think the author used the title just to grab our attention. Duh! Of course there aren't any cannibals in the book--you can tell if you read the back cover. This is a humorous, fascinating look into an island who is responding---or not, to Americanization. Its a look into how a modern young, educated couple could survive in the Tropics, if they really could persevere. I don't know if I could've made it through all that the author and his beloved Sylvia could have. The trials and tribulations they go through are just----winsome. Its like an anthropology lesson and a comic book; the author has done his research and has also maintained a respect for his subject.
This book is "light" meaning that you can easily read it and enjoy it at the pool or at the beach. I recommend an outside setting when you read it. It adds to the ambiance that is set up.
I recommend this story---and look forward to more if the author feels duty bound to write another in say, 10 years or so. Its an unusual type of book, but its worth the read. I'm sharing it with my friends and family!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Firstly, I want to say that unlike like so many other reviews, I was not paid to write a review, nor did I receive a free copy of the book to write a review. I bought this book with my own money on a whim. I honestly can say I enjoyed the book - and yes, (although incredibly rare for the dust jacket reviews to be accurate) I found this book to actually be funny! A bit like reading travel lit (if that is your thing), the book is both memoir of the author's time in the Pacific islands, and also Encyclopedia Britannica excerpt that will inform you of the area's brief history, primary exports (none) and imports (everything, but especially beer!). I will add that for some reason I received a copy with a misprinted cover. The subtitle read, "Adrift in the Equatorial" and "Pacific" was not printed. The rest of the book's printing was fine and this didn't impact my enjoyment.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very funny and irreverant set of stories about Mr. Troost's two years of living on the island of Kiribati.
One of my students asked to discuss some of the items in the chapter on government. I read this chapter and then bought the book. While the first two or three chapters were slow, I couldn't put this book down for the other 20.
Many of the points Troost makes about island life could apply to quite a number of other pacific islands. He doesn't provide any suggestions on how islanders could improve (refreshing given the large number of bad suggestions these nations have had over the years)and he sticks to relating snapshots of his life in and around the island.
This is a fun book to read.
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Format: Paperback
This book is quite entertaining, and gives the reader a peek into the reality of the islands that used to be paradise. Western culture and civilization has rendered many of the tropical islands almost uninhabitable, and the author paints this picture clearly. I'm sure some liberties were taken in describing some circumstances. Even so, there is enough substance here to make you think of the situations described after a few chuckles wear off. My only complaint on the book is that the author seems to want to fit in complex language into the beginning of the book, but this subsides as the reader progresses.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book! The author has a very original humor and the book is extremely easy to read and very very amusing. Congratulations Maarten Troost. I also like the end of the book a lot and luckily he saves the country of Kiribati telling the reader that the outer islands are not like Tarawa...The only thing i didn't like was the phrase in the back cover that suggests that "Kiribati is possibly the worst place on earth" . Very offensive for the people of Kiribati. I sort of think that this phrase was not written by the author. The book is a masterpiece, an absolute Must-read
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