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Extended Audio Sample The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific, by J. Maarten Troost Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,723 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: J. Maarten Troost Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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At age twenty-six, 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. He should have known better.

This book tells 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, and polluted seas in a country where the only music to be heard is “La Macarena.” He and his girlfriend, Sylvia, contend with incompetent officials, alarmingly large critters, a paucity of food options (including the Great Beer Crisis), and bizarre local characters, including “Half-Dead Fred” and the so-called Poet Laureate of Tarawa, a British drunkard who’s never written a poem in his life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A delightful, self-deprecating, extremely sly account of life in a place so wretched it gives new, terrible meaning to getting away from it all.”

    National Geographic Adventure

  • “Troost has a command of place and narrative that puts his debut in company with some of today’s best travel writers.”


  • “Troost is a sharp, funny writer, richly evoking the strange, day-by-day wonder that became his life in the islands…A comic masterwork of travel writing and a revealing look at a culture clash.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “If you’re looking for an audio travelogue from hell, check out Simon Vance’s top-notch narration here…Vance provides a stiff-upper-lip tone perfectly suited to Troost’s narrative and unleashes a range of accents and voices that bring to life a South Sea island packed with lunatic locals.”


  • “A hilarious, sardonic travelogue…readers learn how humor itself can be a necessary tool for survival.”


  • “This is the true story of a harrowing and hilarious stay in the worst place on earth. Written with wit and wonder, The Sex Lives of Cannibals is a great escape. You’ll learn something and laugh along the way.”


  • “Troost has found his calling in broadly humorous travel writing. He’s a natural: he likes tumbling into the ditches of digression; he can evoke a place (Prague, in a digression from the Tarawa saga) with an ardor that will have you wanting to jump on the first plane; he’s read his history…He can also laugh at himself, almost as often as the islanders do… Lives up to the billing as ‘a travel, adventure, humor, memoir kind of book’—and a really good one, at that.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Faith | 2/16/2014

    " Hilarious, although the guy comes off as a bit whiny at certain points. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Tara | 2/15/2014

    " For awhile I could not figure out what all the hype was about. Finally, once I was about 100 pages into the book I found the author's rhythm and humour. It will not be on my top ten this year, but it was interesting to read about this foreign island and the i-kiribatis ways of living. I could not have lived on the island for more than a day. To be honest I never really took to the book-it was alright. I am not sure what I was expecting, but what I read is not it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by 2478 | 2/14/2014

    " Both this book and 'getting stoned...' were laugh-out-loud funny and very informative and interesting as well :) perfect way to escape to a tropical island without actually going anywhere! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tim Axford | 2/8/2014

    " Listened to the audiobook to and from work. While I'm not a huge fan of people other than the author reading the books on the audiobook versions, the narrator was great. The book was very enlightening, eye-opening and certainly worth a read. "

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About the Author
Author J. Maarten Troost

J. Maarten Troost’s essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, and the Prague Post. After two years in the Pacific, he was hired as a consultant by the World Bank. He spent several years in Fiji then relocated to the United States and now lives with his family in Monterey, California.