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Extended Audio Sample The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific Audiobook, by J. Maarten Troost Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 5 3.88 (40 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: March 2010 ISBN: 9781455187843
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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.”

    Elle

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

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

    Booklist

  • “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.”

    Ingram

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine Bowman | 2/3/2014

    " this non-fiction about living on a remote atoll in the pacific was very entertaining, and educational. it was a bit like reading bill bryson. the title is mis-leading b/c there's nothing really about cannibals and very little about sex lives, which is just fine by me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/23/2014

    " Just as good the second time 'round perhaps a little more dated. What adventurous 26 year old hasn't thought about taking off and taking up on a tropical island? Maarten Troost does just that with his girlfriend Sylvia. He's smart, bored, affable, politically oriented and wryly observant. He finished graduate school and instead of getting a job decides to travel and we are all the better for it. Sylvia gets a government position and off to to Kiribati and the city of Tarawa we go. City is used very loosely for this atoll. What follows is a laugh out funny travel memoir. His snarkiness ends up going native after living there for two years and we observe the trials and concessions of living on an atoll on the equator and they're never what you think they might be. Also be prepared for a thorough history lesson on well, a lot. All sorts of tidbits, both archaic and modern, are thrown about so you can learn while you laugh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan Herwehe | 1/18/2014

    " Most hilarious book I've ever read, the best I've read from him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cat | 1/12/2014

    " Brilliantly hilarious - I can't decide if I want to have this author's life or if this is a cautionary tale of something to avoid. Through my hysterical laughter, I related on a number of levels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reuben | 1/6/2014

    " Laugh out loud funny, don't read this book in public unless you like attention! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Mason | 11/20/2013

    " I think this book is hilarious, but no one I know can get into it. I don't understand. The part about diapers floating around at the beach gave me a really great speech topic- thanks mr troost! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue Haise | 10/18/2013

    " Entertaining. The audio was very well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy Whalen | 8/30/2013

    " Great travel lit from literally the end of the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ariana | 8/22/2013

    " Funny travelogue of a year in Kiribati. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 8/3/2013

    " Hilarious, interesting and horrifying all at the same time!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathay | 6/7/2013

    " Inspiring! What an adventure - life changing, bare-bones, image-provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarahcoulter | 2/9/2013

    " Probably the most fun travel book I've ever read! Troost's witty and uniquely Dutch-American humor makes this book a fun look at life at the edge of the world "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel Maschke | 1/26/2013

    " I want to give it 1.5. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheli | 10/16/2012

    " laugh out loud...and very scatological:) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 7/18/2012

    " I didn't realize until halfway through this book that J. Maarten Troost also wrote a travel book about China that's been on my to-read for forever. This is a quick funny read that makes my life abroad seem positively tame. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karli | 7/9/2012

    " Ugh. I never would have finished this book if I hadn't been reading it for book club. It's 200 pages of the author feeling snugly superior and having a laugh at the expense of the people of Kiribati. Cultural sensitivity at its worse. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy1882 | 5/4/2012

    " Laugh-out-loud funny! An interesting read in which a very different culture is exposed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 5/1/2012

    " Hilarious. Thank you, Emma. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sugardaddiecom | 1/18/2012

    " There were parts of this book that held my interest, while other parts kind of left me adrift wondering if I should do the unthinkable and stop reading half-way through. It was ok but nothing that overwhelmed me with warm and fuzzy feelings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian Rivard | 12/25/2011

    " Hands down hilarious. The author's dry sense of humor keeps you laughing the whole way through the book. It's hard to image what they went through for two years, living on a rock in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Well worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 7/22/2011

    " I read this one while in Fiji. I enjoyed it just as much as "Getting Stoned with Savages". Troost is just a very easy, hilariously fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 7/6/2011

    " Again, chose this to read on vacation and it was perfect. This was a very entertaining read and I would have enjoyed it even without the trip. Definitely laughed out loud many times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Klenox Earthlinknet | 5/23/2011

    " While a very funny true life travel book, the author touches on the realities of poverty on the Pacific atoll of Tarawa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 5/15/2011

    " Really liked this book. Troost is clever, funny, and relevent. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna | 5/13/2011

    " I didn't finish this.. I became tired and depressed with it... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karly | 4/30/2011

    " If you want to know what it is like to live on a small island in the Pacific.... this captures it! Funny writing too. As a resident of Guam now, I REALLY loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimber | 4/30/2011

    " This is a 3.5 rating.

    He had some laugh out loud moments, but tended to ramble a bit. (Love the name though - and I discovered what an atoll is, so no complaints!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 4/16/2011

    " This book was very fun. Not too serious, not too whimsical. It was very stuff focused, and I tend to enjoy books that are more people focused. I'm not dying to read more Maarten Troost, but I think I eventually will read Lost on Planet China. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 4/10/2011

    " One of the funniest books I've ever read.

    I actually read it in part on a trip, and the people in the airport gave me very strange looks as I couldn't help but laugh out loud. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 4/7/2011

    " Very funny! I really did have a fantasy of living on some remote tropical island...not anymore! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karenj454 | 4/6/2011

    " This book was a great read. Funny, but distressing about how we take care of our world. I never thought about how an atoll deals with war and garbage and even fresh water. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 4/5/2011

    " Enjoyable and provided enough details about Kiribati that I felt like I learned something. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 4/3/2011

    " The author's writing is very entertaining but I found the book did not hold my interest. I guess I need more of a story which I care about to keep me thoroughly engaged. I did finish it but it took me a long tine considering the book's size. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 4/3/2011

    " Highly enjoyable.

    Fast read.

    Funny, with some excellent and perceptive writing.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 3/30/2011

    " This is not necessarily the best book ever but it is a fun story. The title is actually a joke - it's neither racy nor gory. The narration drags on a bit in places but is quite funny and I think could be adapted into a great little travel film. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wog | 3/30/2011

    " Read this returning to the US after 2+ years of backpacking/working/living in Africa and Europe. Found it hysterically true and apt. Giggle now thinking of it. Quick entertaining read. "

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About the Author
Author J. Maarten Troost

J. Maarten Troost is the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stoned with Savages. His travel essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, and other publications. He lives in Monterey, California.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.