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The Sex Lives of Cannibals
The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific | J. Maarten Troost
8 posts | 21 read | 27 to read
The laugh-out-loud true story of a harrowing and hilarious two-year odyssey in the distant South Pacific island nation of Kiribatipossibly The Worst Place on Earth. At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troostwho 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 jobsdecided 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 fishall 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 yearsone 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.
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Librarybelle
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Maarten and his wife move to a small equatorial Pacific Island due to his wife‘s new job. Right away, Maarten realizes life on an island is way different than life in the states. This is a funny exploration of learning to reshape one‘s life, and yet there‘s an undercurrent of serious issues. I think this is the first of his books - Maarten has written a series of sorts about his family‘s adventures. #JourneyToTheIsland #SoaringScores

ljuliel Excellent book. I‘ve listened to all of his and liked them all. Very funny and entertaining. 1w
Zelma I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I don‘t know why I haven‘t gone on to read more of his books, but I keep eyeing the one about China. 1w
CrowCAH I wouldn‘t doubt life in an Island would be different than the city! 1w
Librarybelle @ljuliel @Zelma I thought this one was so funny! I‘m surprised I haven‘t read more. 1w
69 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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keithmalek
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Pickpick

When he was in high school, Hunter S. Thompson was so impressed by The Great Gatsby that he used to type the book on a typewriter in the hopes of being able to subconsciously capture F. Scott Fitzgerald's style in his own writing. I never came across an author that made me want to do this...until I read this book several years ago. One of my all-time favorites!

TheKidUpstairs I'm going to read this one for #LitsyPassport (Kiribati). I wasn't overly excited about it, but this review piques my interest! 2y
keithmalek @TheKidUpstairs Awesome! There's nothing better than a book add! 2y
keithmalek @TheKidUpstairs What is LitsyPassport? 2y
TheKidUpstairs @keithmalek it's a reading challenge (I can't remember who is running it!) You pick the number of countries you'd like to visit, and the organizer sends you your itinerary. You can choose to read books set in those places, or books written by authors from those places. I'm doing primarily authors, but can't get hold of anything for Kiribati, so I'm cheating a bit there. 2y
keithmalek @TheKidUpstairs Troost also wrote "Getting Stoned With Savages", which takes place in Fiji, Headhunters at my Doorstep", which takes place throughout the South Pacific, and "Lost on Planet China." That was the only one I didn't care for. The others are outstanding. Another one of my all-time favorite books is "Round Ireland With a Fridge" by Tony Hawks. 2y
26 likes5 comments
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addendumadventure
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Pickpick

A must-read if you enjoy a laugh out loud cultural assimilation piece or have ever spent some time on tiny islands, especially those in the South Pacific!

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TheWordJar
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These were the first #farflung books that came to mind. A tropical location doesn't always mean paradise, but it can provide a beautiful backdrop for some awkward adventures with the locals.

#maybookflowers

Zelma The Sex Lives of Cannibals is really fun, and totally nails the emotions that go through moving to a remote culture very different from your own. 2y
WhatDeeReads That's an awful title. Disappointed that some editor somewhere didn't ax that. 2y
See All 8 Comments
TheWordJar @Zelma I always thought I'd love island living...until reading this book! 🤣 Fun to read about his adventures! @Lucky_LaDee Unfortunately, I think the publishers probably loved the title for the shock factor. With the kids around, it's definitely a top-shelf book. 2y
Zelma @TheWordJar I didn't live on an island but in a similarly remote place (alaska off the road system). This book rang so true on the weirdness and difficulty. 2y
TheWordJar @Zelma Did you get things delivered by train?? I loved the show Railroad Alaska, where people lived off the grid and had to get supplies delivered by train. I lack all necessary skills to do that, but it's amazing to watch them make it work. 2y
Zelma @TheWordJar nope, no train either. 400 miles west of Anchorage. Only accessible by air. Barges could get through for a short time in summer via river. 2y
TheWordJar @Zelma That is remote! I find all this fascinating. You should write a book! I also just recently found out Juneau is only accessible by boat or plane. The capital!! 2y
47 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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ReadingEnvy
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There is still time to submit the best book(s) you read this year to the Reading Envy Podcast. The book does not have to be published this year. Other podcasters welcome too! Instructions at the link. http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2016/11/be-on-podcast-tell-me-best-book-you.html

(this is an old favorite picture of Bailey, who loved books more than anything else in the world.)

britt_brooke Aw, love that face! 💕 3y
LeahBergen ❤️❤️ 3y
MyNamesParadise Cute pup!! 3y
Bookchipmunk Hi Bailey! 🐶🐾 3y
58 likes1 stack add4 comments
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EloisaJames
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Pickpick

Hilarious guy who moves to small South Pacific island, expecting Paradise... ha! Not that way at all. A very real memoir, about living in a fascinating (from the outside) part of the world.

BeththeBookDragon I love Troost. I haven't seen anything from him lately though... 3y
ReadingOver50 Sounds interesting 3y
Centique The book sounds great. AND that's a cool bowl (vase?) in your picture! 😊 3y
EloisaJames @Centique thanks!! It's a planter, but I can't keep plants alive, so it's empty. I got my daughter to help with making some photos. 3y
LyndseyReads I really enjoyed his book about traveling in China. (Also, I'm thrilled you're following me! I found your memoir _Paris in Love_ to be just delightful.) 3y
72 likes13 stack adds5 comments
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murflegirl
Pickpick

This was a hilarious and refreshing change to my usual thrillers and mysteries and heavy nonfiction topics. Maarten found himself listless and unmotivated after grad school. His girlfriend Sylvia landed a job on the remote island of Tarawa, and they ended up leaving their civilized lives behind. The story was pretty funny, pretty sarcastic, and very lighthearted.

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murflegirl
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Got this from the library forever ago and I'm just now getting through it. I thought the writer wrote a bit pretentiously at first but once I adjusted to his style, I've found this book quite humorous. A witty and downright funny tale of the author and his girlfriend moving to a tiny obscure island when she lands a job there.