I found this book both hilarious and disturbing. It starts off rather dull and self-indulgent on the part of the author but it actually picks up pace with some dark laugh-out-loud humor. Some may enjoy it as I did, others (like my husband) will not be able to get beyond the first dull chapters.
Marci S. (MarciNYC) reviewed The Sex Lives of Cannibals : Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific on
Helpful Score: 6
Maybe it's just me, but this book seems to be one constant whinge after another by Troost of how Kiribati is a crappy (no pun intended) place to live. The food sucks, it's hot and he's tortured by an endless loop of "La Macarena." I expected to find a laugh or two, but I'm still waiting.
I must add while I didn't find this book all that funny, it does make you appreciate how lucky we are in our country with all the resources at our fingertips. There are lessons to be learnt here.
This is quite a funny laugh out loud kind of book. Sometimes you have to pay close attention because Troost will veer off the main subject but his antidotes are well worth the path that he is taking you down.
When Troost and his girlfriend Sylvia find themselves with an education but no real job skills they apply for and are offered a government type of job on the Pacific atoll of Tarawa. This coral reef that is basically in the middle of no where is only the beginning of their troubles. Exactly how does one pack for a trip to an equatorial sandbar? Needless to say they were quite ill prepared for their lodgings, food and what the locals use as toilet facilities. Ok, that part was really funny.
As Troost sets out to write the great American novel real life and death takes over and the reader is scurrying to find out what Troost and Sylvia will get themselves into next. With a great cast of characters and a wonder command of storytelling Troost is a writer to follow.
This is one of those books that if it weren't true, you'd never believe it. Not only is it *really* funny, but it talks about a portion of the world that no one even knows about, or if they did, have probably forgotten about. It's amazing how different life is outside our comfortable Western world, and Troost really brings that home. I kept reading passages to my husband saying, "Can you believe this?" or, "Did you even know about this?" Plus you really come to love the people of Tarawa (though believe me, they don't want or need our love). An incredible book - highly recommended, even to those who hate to read (like my husband LOL).
Ever want to join the Peace Corp? Visit untamed lands? Live on your own sunbaked retreat? Funny and interesting. I suggest it for Anthropology students who want to do island work, or anyone who has ever wanted to own their own island.
Laugh-out-loud funny. This book was hysterical! Troost writes about how he and his girlfriend end up spending two years on the main atoll of Tarawa, in the equatorial Pacific, and his descriptions of their living conditions, and the local customs, and their gradual change from sophisticated city people to island beachcombers is just priceless. I can't think of anyone that wouldn't enjoy this book. It never bogs down, always entertains, and the laughs just keep on coming.
Hilarious! My husband got so frustrated when I was reading this book because I kept laughing out loud, but couldn't explain in a word or two what was so funny. He just had to read it for himself. Maarten and Sylvia have more adventures and misadventures in two years living in the South Pacific island nation of Kiribati than most Americans have in two life-times.
I can hardly express how much I loved this book! From the very first page I had a big grin on my face. Initially, the author's tone of voice reminded me of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide. Once on the island, the author had me laughing out loud more times than I could count. I couldn't put this one down and greedily read into the wee hours of the morning. I found the historical facts fascinating and the description of everyday life in this part of the world made me shake my head in disbelief. Troost does a great job of carrying you along with vivd descriptions of something he's doing or observing and then dropping the most unexpected hilarious or disgusting or shocking event in the middle of it. Great travelogue, great comedy, great history. For the rest of my life, Whenever I daydream about running away to some faraway island, I will think of this book. Highly recommended.
In general a great book. It took me a little while to actually get "into" the book. The author tends to be a bit wordy and sometimes takes too long to get to the point. It does provide a unique look into the lives and culture of the people of Kiribati though. I would definitely recommend this book to my smarter friends, but wouldnt recommend it to someone who wants an "easy" read.
Amy M. (georgiagymdog) - , reviewed The Sex Lives of Cannibals : Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific on
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book so much, I immediately dove into Troost's follow-up to it, Getting Stoned with Savages. Written with a hilariously dry sense of humor, this book takes the reader to the other side of the world and makes him/her simultaneously want to be there and want to run hard in the other direction. Fabulous read!
Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) was an unknown place to me before I listened to this book. Just getting there was an adventure, with pigs on the runway and museum-quality airplanes. Once there, the culture shock hits on so many fronts.
While the beginning of the book lagged a bit for me, starting off in North America with Troost dodging a financial responsibility of finding a job, I thoroughly enjoyed the other 4/5ths of the book set in Kiribati. The authors honest portrayal of the islanders in all their humor and endurance of island living was well rounded. I especially enjoyed the author trying to see things through Kiribati eyes how insane or rude or ignorant are the foreigners? The chapter dealing with the island dogs how they are seen more of as a nuisance and possible food source was a bit hard because of my cultural background, but was explained well by the author. Over all, this book is laced with humor and honesty of the authors experience of his time in Kiribati.
Joshua B. reviewed The Sex Lives of Cannibals : Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific on
Fun and witty travel writing. Found myself laughing out loud regularly! Troost records details of island life with colorful clarity, solid historical details that delight - not bore, and a strong grasp of the English language. Every once in awhile, some of his lines and ideas are simply brilliant and poetic. Well worth reading.
Sarcastically witty book about a man who accompanies his girlfriend when she gets a job in the international development field. They travel to a speck of land in the Pacific and that is where the fun begins. This is a really interesting look at life on an island. The author also manages to educate the reader about the history of this part of the world. I enjoyed this book and the humor the author uses to describe sometimes depressing situations. The quality of life in an underdeveloped country, even on a beautiful island, it not always rosey. People that work in the development field will especially enjoy the humorous exploits of traveling to a new land and experiencing a new culture.
Did not enjoy this book, even though it a life experience of his island life that certainly is not paradise. This author likes to hear himself talk. It was a struggle getting through it. We read it in one of my book clubs, 2 out of 6 laughed through the whole thing, loved his sense of humor the rest of us did not care for his style of writing.
Don't be fooled by the title. It's an eyecatcher, but Troost may have done himself a disservice by using that title. (I almost didn't request this book because of it.) Although it IS quite funny (and fun to read), Troost states his political views, and those of his wife, very intelligently. I think the story deserved to be longer and wished that the author had told us more. I liked this book very much.
Humorous, satirical travel book to that "Deserted Island", which is actually over-crowded and filthy and ensnarled in bureaucratic foibles. Very wry humor. Though I chuckled a bit at times, mostly it was just depressing.