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.
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.
I'd been sick for three month with one of those new super bugs and with each new antibiotic that failed to work I fell into an even darker funk. This is likely why I decided to take a chance on this book, whose slightly risky title would normally make me avoid such a novel for fear it will be intolerably crass. I'm so glad I didn't miss out on this book, its not crass but charming. (Note: it does have bits that aren't child appropriate, some rather biological bits, i.e human waste or sex and things animals do or are done to them)
I laughed out loud, sometimes so hard that I had to briefly turn off the book for fear my laughter would make me miss one minute of listening joy.
I don't tend to buy humor books but this was such fun and so well written. The author does not sound like he has the IQ of a five year old as many humor authors do, yet is accessible on many levels. The British (?) accent of the narrator added to the humor in bits about the USA or in the way he pronounces American words. I also loved the historical and cultural portraits the author creates. I may have actually learned while I laughed.
Stoned with the Savages is fantastic as well but this is my favorite available on audible. A great listen for the car or any bad day. The only fault is how sorry you are when the book ends.
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