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The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific | [J. Maarten Troost]

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

At age 26, Maarten Troost decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to a remote South Pacific island. The idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. But he should have known better.
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Publisher's Summary

At age 26, Maarten Troost decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to a remote South Pacific island. The idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. But he should have known better.

This is the hilarious story of what happens when he discovers that the island is not the paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles with stifling heat, deadly bacteria, polluted seas, and toxic fish, in a country where the only music to be heard is "La Macarena". He and his stalwart girlfriend, Sylvia, contend with alarmingly large critters, a paucity of food options (including the Great Beer Crisis), and such bizarre local characters as "Half-Dead Fred" and the Poet Laureate of Tarawa, a British drunkard who's never written a poem in his life.

©2004 J. Maarten Troost; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A comic masterwork of travel writing." (Publishers Weekly)
"Troost has a command of place and narrative that puts his debut in company with some of today's best travel writers." (Elle)
"A delightful, self-depreciating, extremely sly account of life in a place so wretched it gives new, terrible meaning to getting away from it all." (National Geographic Adventure)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (573 )
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4.3 (262 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-03-13
    Dann Los Angeles, CA, United States 07-03-13 Member Since 2009

    My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "POOP, the order of the day in this book."

    I wanted to like this book but it had so many emphasis on poop and other related vomit wrenchers that I started to feel like this guy decided to see if he could survive living in a toilet. Frankly, I have seen these scenes and I never want to visit them again. I didn't find this story endearing at all, but just one toilet scene after another.

    If you've ever seen film of the poor sections of India, this book is just about that gross.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Wayne, PA, United States 10-18-10
    Kathleen Wayne, PA, United States 10-18-10 Member Since 2010

    School Librarian, Cybrarian, Voracious Reader and Lifelong Inquirer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No sex or cannibalism in this book, sorry!"

    I'm not sure what I expected when I was steered to reading (or more accurately, listening to) this book for my monthly book club. But what a delightful surprise! Troost's literary voice is fact-filled yet witty, sometimes zany, in the style of Nick Hornby. His descriptions of the amazing contrasts found in this incredibly remote South Pacific atoll - bleak poverty, unthinkable sanitary conditions alongside endearing characters and unimaginable natural beauty - led me to seek out more information and photos of Tarawa and the rest of Kirabati (formerly known as The Gilbert Islands). Troost's often hilarious asides, read with droll Brithish-ness by narrator Simon Vance, had me laughing out loud more than once. If you like travelogue with a strong side dish of humor, I highly recommend this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Sparks, NY, United States 12-26-09
    John Sparks, NY, United States 12-26-09 Member Since 2008

    NV, not NY

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "All Cannibals - No Sex"

    The Title of this book was obviously selected by the publisher to generate more interest, but nonetheless it doesn't diminish the fact that it's terribly entertaining and funny. The "Cannibals" in the title doesn't refer to the native islanders but rather to the American author and his girlfriend. For some reason the children of the island appear to be undully afraid of the new strangers. The author later finds out it's because the natives tell their children if they don't behave, the foreigners will eat them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Austin Texas 10-29-09
    Helen Austin Texas 10-29-09 Member Since 2007

    Reading Raven

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You will laugh and cry all at once..."

    Funny travel book that is witty, with a serious edge regarding the realities of these Islands. A humbling account of two years living on the equator. BTW has nothing to do with sex lives or cannibals so don't let the name distract you. Great narrator too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Lansing, MI, USA 03-16-09
    Greg Lansing, MI, USA 03-16-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed this very much."

    Good story, writing, and narration. I learned a little, it made me think a little, laughed a little... I was entertained. Money well spent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven North Charleston, SC, USA 01-21-08
    Steven North Charleston, SC, USA 01-21-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely Hilarious!"

    On more than, oh 100 or so, separate occasions I found myself, gut wrenched, banging on the steering wheel like a chimp beggin’ for peanuts, wiping the tears from my eyes with a coffee stained Starbucks napkin and nearly forgetting which pedal was the brake/gas/clutch while listening to this book...surely a spectacle to be seen in rush hour traffic...but there was no way to control it! If you like dry wit and intelligent humor you will not be able to stop listening to this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Las Vegas, NV 06-14-07
    Steve Las Vegas, NV 06-14-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fun and interesting read"

    Very funny in an understated way. Enjoyed it and found it interesting. (Has nothing to do with sex or cannibals).

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Los Angeles, CA, USA 05-24-07
    Bill Los Angeles, CA, USA 05-24-07
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    "Funny? No. Annoying? Yes."

    This is the first audiobook I just couldn't bear to finish.

    Here's why:

    The author clearly thinks of himself as a witty and clever guy, yet his writing reflects neither trait. There's nothing worse than someone who delivers lines as if they're comic gems, when in fact they're more along the lines of obvious and dull. The narrator does his best to inject humor into it, and for that he deserves a lot of credit.

    It's a shame, because the story could have been great. One of the few bright spots was the description of the effects that nuclear testing has had on the Bikini Atoll region.

    A great audiobook is one where you can't wait to hear the next installment. In this case, I couldn't wait for it to end.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula ATLANTA, GA, United States 01-19-08
    Paula ATLANTA, GA, United States 01-19-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Funny Funny"

    Absolutely laugh out loud funny. Enough real facts to tease you. Delightful

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Bridgeville , PA, USA 03-25-08
    Adrienne Bridgeville , PA, USA 03-25-08
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    "Only slightly amusing"

    I didn't think this book was nearly as hilarious as other people did. It was a little more historical in parts than I had anticipated, which seemed to drag on at length. The funny parts were humorous, but did not sustain the book. The narrator's dull tone carries on relentlessly and drips with sarcasm, which became more than a little annoying at times. The author is also a very big fan of himself. He metaphorically pats himself on the back quite a few times. Also, his criticism of Americans did not sit well with me. I don't consider myself as being overly patriotic, but I found his condescension to be rude and unapologetic. If you are looking for a simple book with a few amusing parts and a good bit of historical and geographic information, then this is the one for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
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