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.
"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)
I listen to audio books at night in part to lull me to sleep. This book, however, caused the opposite problem: I laughed so hard during the entire book that it kept me awake. The merriment issuing from my side of the bed had to be a trial for my poor, sleep-deprived husband. The author is a Brit, which may provide a cultural explanation for some reviewers' complaints, but it's difficult to imagine anyone not appreciating his wit--or the narrator's excellent performance.
This was my first audible book and I loved it. The visual descriptions were fantastic, it made me laugh out loud. I was so into it I listened even when I wasn't in the car! The narrator was great and easy to hear and understand. There weren't a lot of voices or accents which I appreciated.
Sometimes you just take a chance on a book.. The title isn't one you'd normally reach for, it's in a different genre than you usually read but something just catches your attention and you take a chance.
I did just that with Sex Lives of Cannibals and it tuned out to be one of the funniest books I've had in awhile. I found myself chuckling and laughing throughout it.
While the author does exaggerate and fictionalizes at times, who cares? This is a tongue in cheek book not a critical travel piece on the Pacific.
The narrator is terrific (though I never did get the logic of having an Englishman read for a New Yorker) and funny.
Take this book as offered, don't analyze it just enjoy it and you're bound to be entertained.
I really enjoyed the dry humor of this book and the funny spin the author could put on just about any situation. I laughed out loud quite often, and even more the second time I listened to it about 7 months later. I also found his observations on island life candid and informative. Having traveled a bit myself in 'out of the way places' I understand that the fantasy of "getting away from it all" is just that, and I enjoyed hearing the trials and tribulations of daily life on an island on the equator. Somewhat graphic at times, but that is what made the story so vivid. I highly recommend this book if you like offbeat humor. I enjoy Anthony Bourdain as well. The narrator was very enjoyable to listen to as well.
One of my favorites. A must read NOW. Amazing writing, outstanding performance by Simon Vance, overall one of the most charming book I've listened to this year.
It is a really interesting, quirky and, at times, laugh-out loud funny memoir of one couple's experiences living on tiny island in the South Pacific. I made my husband listen even before I finished.
I don't know why I didn't listen sooner. Don't pass this up!
mostly nonfiction listener
The narrator, Simon Vance, moves this book from mildly diverting to something closer to wonderful. The story of the slacker boyfriend accompanying accomplished partner to remote Pacific Island is a classic of the literary form. Probably a big hit among the development economist set. Think I'll have to read the rest of the Troost/Vance oeuvre.
Kept me riveted! Troost has a great sense of humor. I actually learned quite a bit in the process of laughing my head off! Looking forward to listening to it a second time.
Every aspect of this book engaged me - the historical and cultural tidbits, Maarten's account of his experience on the island, but most of all, the relentless humor and wit with which it was all presented. I found myself wanted it to go on and on!
I greatly enjoyed listening to this during my commute--it's a nice change of pace from "city life" and the author seems genuinely amiable. I'd like to buy him a beer, or at least a shell of kava, should we meet.
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