The Sex Lives of Cannibals – An Excellent Travel Read (says she, through clenched teeth)

Chapter 1 in which the author (me) bites the bullet and reads a delightful travel log that has her questioning why she can’t seem to focus her energy and write her own damn travel log…which she knows would be clever and entertaining and would sell in the tens of copies.

Chapter 2 in which the author (me) seriously ponders whether she is genetically flawed, evidencing what she has suspected for years, that she is a direct descendant of the Lazy tribe (of the Brentwood and Newport Lazys) and the I Don’t Seem to Give a Shit tribe (of the Bal Harbor and Pacific Palisades I Don’t Seem to Give a Shits).

Just finished reading J. Maarten Troost’s “The Sex Lives of Cannibals – Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific”, a handy compendium for those visiting the remote – we’re talking R-E-M-O-T-E island of Kiribati in the South Pacific.  In truth, I have had this book on my bedside table for some time, but seemed to have difficulty getting over the dark bitterness of envy that crept into my soul every time I attempted to open the cover.  I had convinced myself that since his style of prose and slightly skewed approach to the world was heady, colorful and informative…even zany (!), that there was certainly no room for another one of this travel writing breed, particularly a paler shade of one.  So why put myself through the humiliation of reading this?

At some stage, I decided I needed to simply accept the loss of what might have been, as I see it, a stunning and powerfully-influencing career in travel writing (hey, it’s plausible), or possibly the curiosity got the best of me.  I had to see why this guy was copying my style, perfecting my approach and otherwise, living the life that was supposed to be my career.

And because irony is never fun unless it rips you to the core, I loved this book.  Loved his humor and tale spinning.  I mean, how can you not love a book that begins with…


“This book recounts the experiences of the author while he lived in Kiribati.  A few names have been changed, either because the author, who is very bad with names, couldnt remember what they were, or to protect their privacy.  Also, since we’re disclaiming here, the author wishes to acknowledge that in a few incidents recounted herein, he has played a little fast and loose with the space-time continuum.  He has done this for you, the reader.”

I am looking forward to reading the next of Troost’s magnum opus(es?) – “Getting Stoned with Savages”, and am proactively seeking therapy for the lack in confidence and complete shattering of my spirit that reading this book will no doubt, bring on in volumes.

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