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THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
The Sex Lives of Cannibals is a hilarious book describing how twenty-six year old J. Maarten Troost, after experiencing some dissatisfaction with the impending responsibilities of work and adulthood, decided to "make forth in all Due Haste for Parts Unknown" with his indomitable girlfriend Sylvia to live for two years on the island atoll of Tarawa, part of the country of Kirabalti and in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The island paradise he expected never materialized, leaving instead a land of mind-blowing heat, all kinds of bacteria and vermin, polluted oceans, planes literally held together by duct tape, and packs of wild dogs. They learn to adjust to eating fish at every meal, the beauty of an ocean as their backyard, several week schedule delays, and an island that never gets tired of "La Macarena". Syliva is more busy with work, leaving the author to find creative ways to avoid boredom. The couple manages to make the best of the situation with a great sense of self-deprecating humor, and an ultimate sense of acceptance of, and admiration for, the local people and their little corner of the world. Troost explains that he likes his entertainment to be not too serious and not too stupid - a perfect description for his best selling book.
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ABOUT J. MAARTEN TROOST
J. Maarten Troost has somewhat recently emerged as a popular and funny travel writer. He has three travel books that all center around the South Pacific, including Getting Stoned with Savages (2006) and Headhunters on My Doorstep (2013). We also recommend his travelogue Lost on Planet China.
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GREAT QUOTES FROM THE SEX LIVES OF CANNIBALS
“Personally I regard idling as a virtue, but civilized society holds otherwise.”
“It is an unfortunate reality for innate idlers that our modern world requires one to hold a job to maintain a sustainable existence. Idling, I find, if immensely underrated, even vilified by some who see inactivity as the gateway for the Evil One.”
INTERESTING FACTS & LINKS:
TARAWA, REPUBLIC OF KIRIBATI
While The Sex Lives of Cannibals is mainly a funny recount of the couple's life on Tarawa, Troost does provide a good overview of the history of the remote island and the area.