Friday, May 16, 2008

The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific) by J. Maarten Troost

"It can't carry water."

This was an interesting problem for a fire truck on an island without anything like hydrants. Tarawa's lone fire truck was of a certain age and long past its prime. It resided at the airport, where, to satisfy regulatory need, it was trotted out to edge of the runway to attend each landing and takeoff. That it could do nothing in case of fire was entirely beside the point. ~ The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific), page 84 ~

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost - who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs - decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.

Yes, he should have known better but luckily for us he didn't. What he and the beguiling girlfriend, Sylvia, encounter over the next 2 years is nearly unbelievable but true. Their adventures are delivered in humorous fashion for there is no other way to survive on an atoll. You must take everything that comes your way with a grain of salt. In some cases quite literally. Life on an atoll is beyond anything any one of us living in the States could comprehend much less live through. At times this book had me laughing out loud. Taking a "bath" in the ocean because you've spent the day cleaning water tanks, that still have no water, only to discover that your swimming buddy is a shark. Or listening to La Macarena for hours on end at ear-splitting decibels. It's one of those rare books that when you're reading in public trying to suppress your laughter and amazement those around you will turn and stare. And the fun doesn't end of here for he's written a second book, Getting Stone with the Savages, which as moved to right near the top of my TBR pile.

Cultural note ~ for those of you who are animal lovers and count among your family members the cats and dogs who share your hearts and homes you'll want to skip Chapter 14.


Post a Comment