The Sex Lives of Cannibals

Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (1,201 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.47

Buy for $17.47

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

Featured Article: 10 Best Travel Audiobooks to Inspire Your Next Adventure


Travel stories are some of the easiest in which to escape: vibrant descriptions of faraway places, adventurous plotlines, and offbeat characters make it possible to journey without leaving the house. We carefully selected the best travel audiobooks that allow listeners to live vicariously through both real and fictional adventures from around the world. For a captivating listen next time you’re craving an adventure, browse this list of the 10 best travel audiobooks.

What listeners say about The Sex Lives of Cannibals

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    589
  • 4 Stars
    395
  • 3 Stars
    146
  • 2 Stars
    43
  • 1 Stars
    28
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    525
  • 4 Stars
    208
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    13
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    436
  • 4 Stars
    228
  • 3 Stars
    112
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    16

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

HILARIOUS

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.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

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.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A hilarious surprise

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.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny stuff

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Funny

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Zzzzzzz

I live on a tropical island. I moved here from the US. I live just off the equator. I thought the author was going to give me an insight I didn't yet have into this life that, to me, we seemed to share through some small ties.

There are so many things I hoped this book contained - like insight. But what I heard, what I couldn't even get through, was all the complaining and political drivel about how shitty the US government was. There were a couple of interesting facts (the significant overcrowding of Tarawa for instance and what overcrowding does to 18 square miles - which, in one of his funnier statements, is the same size as some driveways in Illinois); sadly, there were far more *un*interesting, unhumourous facts mucking around in this book (such as the fact that the geckos living in their water tank ate the bugs there... Surprise! Geckos eat bugs).

The author suggested at one point that he and his girlfriend made friends on the island, but rather than talk about the people, how they met, funny instances of their learning about the locals, etc., the author spent no more than a few sentences on each of his "adventures", including such fascinating topics as "the missing beer", "the peeping toms", "the ocean of poop", and "the eyebrow quirks" (which he'd learned to interpret).

One example of the thrill this book contains: (just in case I'm too blah'ed out by this book for it to come across, that was supposed to be sarcasm)

The author tells you about a fence he built. He's very proud of this fence. His girlfriend
comes home, and, upon seeing said fence, asks "What's that?" [what did the author
make the latch out of]. He found it on the roof. It was a bit of old (very old) IV tubing. Still
full of blood. He unwound it. He threw it back on the roof. He wondered if he should wash
his hands.

Wait for it... ... ... ...No, not really. It's not coming.

Even Simon Vance's fantastic voice and ability to enfold me in a story couldn't help this poor wretch hobble its way into my collection. It's going back.

So much opportunity, lost (quite possibly to the geckos in the author's water tank...).

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exremely entertaining!

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVED this book!

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!

2 people found this helpful