After two grueling years on the island of Tarawa, Troost was in no hurry to return to the South Pacific until he began to feel remarkably out of place in modern America. He knew it was time to set off again for parts unknown. Here he tells the story of his time on Vanuatu, a cluster of islands where he struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes but finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders. When his wife Sylvia gets pregnant, they decamp for slightly more civilized Fiji, a fallen paradise rife with prostitutes and government coups, where their son takes quite naturally to island living.
©2006 J. Maarten Troost; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
I LOVED this book! It is hilarious, from beginning to end. Maarten Troost does a phenomenal job of putting you front and center into the experience of the story and leaves you wanting more. This story has a lot of adventures that cover several different aspects of travel, from actual travel itself on crappy ships and scary airplanes, to the culture of cannibals, tourists and ex-pats. I just wish it was longer and that he would hurry up and write another book!!!
This book is a really terrific travel companion. Laugh-out-loud, embarrass-yourself-on-a-plane funny. Author has a fantastic gift for description, and the narrator does a great job of interpreting the author's voice. A MUST HAVE!
This book is interesting and hilarious. Troost has a great way of bringing across the details of somewhere far away, and presenting the shocking and uncomfortable realities as part of a great adventure. The narrator is right on for the text--understated, self-effacing, ironic. The only drawback is listening to the whole book too fast--its not one of those grave but worthy books that you have to prod yourself to listen to. This one will lift your spirits.
Spending a lot of time in Fiji myself, I can vouch for the 100% accuracy of the stories told in this book. Entertaining for sure.
What a delightful book! I had greatly enjoyed "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and hoped that this sequel would live up to my expectations. It did! Hilarious, insightful and wonderful fun! The narration is spot on, too.
If you're only going to listen to one J Maarten Troost travelogue, definitely make it the other one: The Sex Lives of Cannibals. If, after listening to that one, you're dying for more, then get this one, but be prepared for a little disappointment. It's good, but it's not as good.
This is an entertaining romp through Vanuatu and Fiji, with plenty of everyday excitement (foot-long centipedes, cyclones, live volcanos), balanced by lively forays into the past (cannibalism, cargo cults, Captain Cook's voyages).
It is not (nor is it meant to be) a novel, nor is it a review of different drugs (the author becomes fond of kava, a narcotic drink enjoyed widely in the South Pacific -- as the title indicates). Instead, it is a fantastic escape to a remote part of the world, by an author who comes across as smart, funny, self-deprecating, and immensely curious about the world. The narrator captures this persona very well.
Highly entertaining way to spend time on the treadmill at the gym. You may find people staring at your burst of laughter. Warning: a few F words used, but so funny I chose to overlook them.
I am so grateful that Maarten Troost wrote so wonderfully of these adventures! Now I can scratch that off my bucket list, having lived vicariously through him;)! And another stellar reading by Simon Vance how I would love to have dinner with him if for no other reason than to hear him talk! (Though I'm sure I'd have a million questions;))
Bill Bryson like wit and humor and interesting insights into life in the South Pacific...as well as someone who chose to live a more adventurous life (getting up close and personal with kava shells, island politics and dengue fever).
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