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The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific (2004)

by J. Maarten Troost

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,813698,175 (3.87)1 / 121
Let me say at the top that I didn't have a particularly good reason for moving to Tarawa, a small island in the Republic of Kiribati. There was nothing Quaker-ish, Thoreau-ish or even Gaughin-ish about my taking a little leave from western civilisation which I though was fine mostly, particularly as manifested ion certain parts of Italy...To picture Kiribati, imagine that the continental US were to conveniently disappear, leaving only Baltimore and a vast swathe of very blue ocean in its place. Now chop up Baltimore into 33 pieces, place a neighbourhood where Maine used to be, another where California once was, and so on until you have 33 pieces of Baltimore dispersed in such a way that 32/33 Baltimorians will never attend an Orioles game again. Now take away electricity, running water, tollets, television, restaurants, building and aeroplanes (except for two very old prop planes tended by people who have no word for 'maintenance'). Replace with thatch. Flatten all the land into a uniform two feet above sea level. Toy with islands by melting polar ice caps. Add palm trees. Sprinkle with hepatitis A, B and C. Stir in dengue fever and intestinal parasites. Take away doctors. Isolate… (more)
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» See also 121 mentions

English (67)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Very, very funny in places - lots of laugh-out-loud moments. Troost paints extremely clear pictures of what life is like on this particular tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and suffice it to say that there isn't enough money to get me to even visit there, much less move there. ( )
  PlatinumWarlock | Nov 20, 2022 |
I enjoyed this very much. It was very informative, humorous and self-conscious. Like the author, I did not really know what to expect from Kiribati and it surprised me a lot. The life on an overpopulated, polluted and really small atoll in the middle of the mightiest of oceans far far away from the world of the dry land felt really claustrophobic at some moments and like a fantasy world at others. ( )
  dacejav | Jun 28, 2022 |
Don’t let the title scare you (or entice you). It was probably the Publisher's idea (or perhaps the author's) to get your attention. But the book is more a PG-13 humorous travel / adventure book about a two-year stint on a third world island chain than anything titilating about sex or cannibals. His travel / adventure takes place in the island country of Kiribati (yes, it really exists. I believe its the island group previously known at the Gilbert Islands, lying in the cross hairs of the equator and the International Date Line). In our world of readily available foods and goods, it's interesting to see a little of how so many other peoples live. The writing style isn't necessarily one of classic literature, but sounds more like it's written by your funny neighbor. And that made it easy to relate to, more human and personal. It's an enjoyable story, with humorous situations, worth a summer read at the beach.
( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
This story is quite amusing and reminds me of the quirky anomalies we find in cross-cultural experiences, especially in developing countries. It finds the humor in mistaken assumptions about what initially appear to be romantic ideas --now freshly debunked. As a far-flung traveler who has dealt extensively with the potential unpleasantries of travel and reinterpreted them for the adventures they offer, this book speaks to my adventurous spirit and sense of humor. ( )
  WendyHinman | Aug 13, 2020 |
Really interesting and quite funny! It's likely that I'll pick up Troost's books on Fiji and China at some point, too. ( )
  KristinaSimon | Nov 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
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For Sylvia and Lukas
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One day, I moved with my girlfriend Sylvia to an attoll in the Equatorial Pacific.
Quotations
Still, I tried to teach the dogs to growl menacingly at anyone in pants. Only Mormon missionaries wore pants in Tarawa.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Let me say at the top that I didn't have a particularly good reason for moving to Tarawa, a small island in the Republic of Kiribati. There was nothing Quaker-ish, Thoreau-ish or even Gaughin-ish about my taking a little leave from western civilisation which I though was fine mostly, particularly as manifested ion certain parts of Italy...To picture Kiribati, imagine that the continental US were to conveniently disappear, leaving only Baltimore and a vast swathe of very blue ocean in its place. Now chop up Baltimore into 33 pieces, place a neighbourhood where Maine used to be, another where California once was, and so on until you have 33 pieces of Baltimore dispersed in such a way that 32/33 Baltimorians will never attend an Orioles game again. Now take away electricity, running water, tollets, television, restaurants, building and aeroplanes (except for two very old prop planes tended by people who have no word for 'maintenance'). Replace with thatch. Flatten all the land into a uniform two feet above sea level. Toy with islands by melting polar ice caps. Add palm trees. Sprinkle with hepatitis A, B and C. Stir in dengue fever and intestinal parasites. Take away doctors. Isolate

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