Getting Stoned with Savages
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Getting Stoned with Savages

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  7,175 ratings  ·  570 reviews
From the bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals, the laugh-out-loud true story of his years on the islands of Vanuatu and Fiji, among cannibals, volcanoes . . . and the world’s best narcotics.

With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost established himself as one of the most engaging and original travel writers around. Getting Stoned with Savages again reveals...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published June 13th 2006 by Broadway Books (first published 2006)
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Connie
The South Pacific is not totally the paradise one might imagine from travel posters. J. Maarten Troost has written a humorous travel book where he tells of primitive transportation, corrupt governments, harrowing cyclones, huge venonous centipedes, and traveling to the rim of an active volcano. He is fascinated with the history of cannibalism, and learns about the missionaries and rival villagers who were victims to the practice. As the title suggests, he enjoys getting stoned with a native drin...more
Julie
May 25, 2010 Julie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1
Shelves: own, non-fiction
In his follow-up to The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Troost seems to have found his voice and rhythm. He picks up where he left off, overwhelmed by the constraints of the corporate life in Washington DC, until he decides that he and his wife Sylvia are ready for another sojourn in their beloved South Pacific. This time, instead of landing on a desolate atoll, they spend time in Vanuatu and Fiji. It is in Vanuatu that Troost discovers the wonders of kava, a local intoxicant, and regales his reader wit...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Some time ago, I read Troost’s The Sex Lives of Cannibals, and found it a pleasant and humorous read. Desiring a quick, fun read, I did not hesitate to scoop up Getting Stoned with Savages. Troost does not disappoint.

After spending some time in Kiribati, the basis of his other book, he and his wife return to the United States, only to become bored by the rat race. Soon, they decide to try life in another South Pacific locale, the islands of Fiji and Vanuatu.

As they had lived in the tropics befo...more
Terry
Last summer I read The Sex Lives of Cannibals, which I reported to be about neither sex nor cannibals (although, a good book nonetheless). The sequel, Getting Stoned with Savages, IS about getting stoned, and, ironically, is very much about cannibals. Go figure with the titles... I guess they just sound catchier this way.

I listened to both books and would heartily recommend it if you can get them on audio. The whole time I listened to them, I forgot that it was not the author who was reading, a...more
Jennifer
Aug 21, 2009 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: armchair travelers
This was a funny enough travel read, and definitely fits the genre of "writer and family moves to new place, has funny adventures". It was a great location to read about, although I've read more compelling discussions of a place and its people.
I especially liked the discussion of escapism and what wanderlust means. Another reviewer quoted his passage about the search for paradise and how real life always catches up. Calls into question my own current streak of armchair traveling. Also, I like h...more
Adam
While The Sex Lives of Cannibals had nothing to do with sex lives or cannibals, Getting Stoned with Savages does include much getting stoned. The use of the word 'savages' is part of the whole deal of these titles, which are slightly gauche parodies of the titles of various written materials on this part of the world from centuries past.

In any case, yes, there is much getting stoned with the populations of Vanuatu and Fiji. If what happens when you drink kava counts as stoned, in which case I a...more
Christine
J. Maarten Troost is my favorite travel writer after reading book number two. It's too damn bad he claims he is staying in the U.S. for good but we'll see about that. And he should consider writing regular old travel adventure books like Bill Bryson does. But you obviously truly experience the culture when you live somewhere.

This book was a bit different than his first because of the situation. In his first, he was living on a tropical atoll in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific which was an a...more
Justin
Rarely has my reading of a book been as well-timed as it was with Getting Stoned with Savages. In the midst of preparing to move my family overseas, reading J. Maarten Troost recount his decision to leave Washington, DC for the islands of Vanuata and Fiji was equal parts inspiration, reinforcement, and much-needed distraction from working out the details of my own complicated endeavor.

Granted, moving with my wife and son back to her home country of Denmark isn’t the same as Troost and his wife...more
Noel
"Paradise was always over there, a day's sail away. But it's a funny thing, escapism. You can go far and wide and you can keep moving on and on through places and years, but you never escape your own life. I,finally, knew where my life belonged. Home."

That quote from the end of the book, kind of sums up the entire book: why the author went to live on the island, why he stayed and why he left. This is a really funny book, the author says everything he needs to say with a drop of humor or sarcasm...more
Samantha
This was my least favorite of Troot's books. It truly is, in large part, about getting stoned with people in a third world country. (I draw the line at calling them savages...even if they did used to eat people...) The majority of this book is spent discussing Troost and his wife's time living in Vanuatu (where he spent a lot of time drinking the local delicacy 'kava' which apparently has exceptionally effective narcotic properties. His wife then becomes pregnant and they move to Suva, Fiji when...more
skokiesam
Aug 30, 2007 skokiesam rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bored people
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I have a great respect for the books she chooses as she has good taste in books. Apparently, I may have been wrong. Although I did enjoy reading this, it was a little dry at some points albeit fascinating in others. More journal than travelogue, it chronicles the author's experiences in a faraway land and his cohabitation with, of all things, cannibals.

The author is a good writer and often funny. Perhaps it's just me and my taste in books, but he...more
Kristin
From the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals, another irreverent account of expat life in "developing" countries (for all of you poli-sci/IR/WS majors out there, one must turn off the filters of academia to enjoy this). The first couple of chapters evoked riotous laughter in describing the transition to working at the World Bank and the decision to return to equatorial life. Certain observations were dead-on (e.g. the necessity of the plot-driven novel in flights that last upwards of 12 hours)....more
Torie Duda
Having long ago chosen the South Pacific as my dream vacation/habitat, I loved this book, along with 'Sex Lives of Cannibals'. The writing is fun and makes you laugh while also thinking...hmmm...maybe people crapping in the ocean doesn't make much for beautiful scenery. I read these two books simultaneously, so I seem to get them mixed up when thinking of the details of each. Either way, both were quite funny and "eww-inspiring" at the same time.

NOTE: If you happen to need a travel companion for...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Who would think a book about moving to a tropical island with enormous poisonous stinging caterpillars and enormous poisonous snakes and sharks in the water and even real cannibals would be amusing? Troost must be a very accepting fellow because he's done it not once but twice. Both times he has managed to get books out of his adventures and he seems to have written very little else, so perhaps this is a good arrangement for him. I liked book two almost as much as book one, something that is sur...more
David
A sequel to The Sex Life of Cannibals (see my review), this memoir/travelogue gets serious about the politics of the South Pacific isles, but is more often just plain funny. Troost has a curious love/hate relationship with tropical lands and I wouldn't be surprised if he uproots his family and tries again.

Fascinated by his description of the horrifying jumbo centipedes on Vanuatu, I Googled them; he had it right...they're huge and scary enough to precipitate a heart attack.
Abbey
This is funny stuff, well-written, but on the whole, I prefer gonzo travel books by Tim Cahill or Bill Bryson. I learned some things I'd rather not know - like the little tidbit that you can chop a deadly millipede in half and both halves will still attack you - and some things that were worth knowing, like knowing that I never have to go to Vanuatu. That's a destination off my life. It saves a lot of money to live vicariously through other people's misadventures.
Ru
A great follow-up to "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" and probably about as entertaining as J. Maarten Troost's first book, as well. It's a fantasy many people have -- to pick up and move away to a tropical island, and not just for a vacation. Troost and wife Sylvia find their fates once again leading them in that direction, after some life changes while living and working in the Washington, D.C. area. Troost recounts a story of seeing a woman with a broken leg board the subway, and not one man offe...more
brian tanabe
This is a must-read for all the cult followers of Sex Lives of Cannibals. I've actually heard a lot of ho-hum reviews of Getting Stoned and so it took me a while to pick this "sequel" up. But eventually, and thankfully, I did. Getting Stoned is a true beach read -- great for spring break. Troost, the Bill Bryson of the south pacific, pens a light and very entertaining travelogue about living in Fiji and Vanuatu with his wife and newborn son.
Anna
This author never fails to humor, entertain, and educate me on things I would otherwise never be exposed to. This book was equally as enjoyable as Sex Lives of Cannibals, and I was able to recall the events referenced. I simply love Troost's memoir writing style, and would love to emulate it in a book of my own some day. A definite read for lovers of adventure, travel, humor and memoirs.
SJane
I enjoyed the second installment of J. Maarten Troost's experiences in the South Pacific more so than his first. Perhaps because we both knew what he (and I) were getting into on this adventure, I found it even more readable with a light and funny, yet thoughtful perspective on being a complete outsider in a place both alien and familiar. A wonderful summer or in-between heavy books read.
Rachel Rubenstein
apparently some people quit their jobs and move to the South Pacific to get high and write books about quitting their jobs and moving to the South Pacific and getting high. the struggle must be real.
Mara
As a travel book, I liked this book. That doesn't mean I want to visit these islands, however. The author has a good mix of humor and information which reminds me a bit of Bill Bryson.
Barbara
Simon Vance, the reader of this audiobook, is outstanding. He gets 5 stars. But, the book itself was worth my time, but not outstanding.
Sonatajessica
Perfect book at the perfect time. I love reading humorous travel books, especially in the summer, I just finished a rather depressive read and moved on to make my way through a lengthy classic, so I needed something light on the side. Tada! And what a delightful tada it was.
Troost is the next best thing when you cannot go to a South Pacific island yourself. I can relate to his humor, his desire to escape and his preference for flip-flops. If you are interested in checking out his writing I woul...more
Melissa Reilly-diakun
As the follow-up to The Sex Lives of Cannibal, this is quite a nice little read. I always enjoy Troost's writing style because he can be entirely hilarious and over the top at times, but yet his stories are always spot on with how I feel or poignantly touch on some reality underneath, you can tell. As someone who has traveled to a wide variety of locations, I have a sympathy for that feeling of constantly feeling like there has to be a greener patch out there somewhere. (And also that paradise i...more
Patrick
This book felt significantly more slight than Troost's first book, The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific. We find Troost and his apparently long-suffering wife Sylvia headed back to the South Pacific, this time to Vanuatu and Fiji. Since the author has already explored the fish-out-of-water possibilities in Oceania, he seems to be reaching a bit more, and what we end up with is only slightly more than the sort of material that thousands of travel bloggers post about every...more
Melissa
I've read a couple of Troost's other books. They weren't too bad. He's a good travel writer; injects a lot of humor into his works. This book takes place kind of after the Sex Lives of Cannibals but you don't necessarily have to read them in order. They can quite easily be read as stand-alones although he does make quite a few references to his time in Kiribati (1st book) in this book.

Troost and his wife, after spending some time working in Washington DC, decide they need to go back to the Pacif...more
Finn
Nov 21, 2011 Finn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who have found themselves commuting on a crowded train wondering "how did I get here?"
Shelves: favorites
After Troost's previous non-fictional jaunt in Kiribati in The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific, he returns again. The books opens with Troost working at the World Bank, Harry Rosen suit, commuter traffic, emails, memos, meetings... marveling at the complete dissonance of a few short months ago living on a small swath of bleached coral in the middle of the equatorial Pacific where flip flops were considered "dressing up." This is something many hardened travelers, myself...more
Catherine
I identify with Troost's wanderlust, although his choice of location is much more adventurous than mine. It's hilarious to read about his adventures with primitive living conditions, natural disasters, and revolutions, but I don't think I'd be laughing so much living through some of them.

Getting Stoned with Savages is the story of the adventures he was living while writing The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific about his previous adventures. The titles of his books and the...more
Rebecca
GETTING STONED is about a dude (aren't they always?) and his now-wife who move from DC, away from successful jobs that they don't enjoy to islands in the S. Pacific and how they get a long with life there. Alot about the culture in this book, as the culture and people are very different then the US and how they don't encounter a lot of people from the US, because they want to "keep it real".

This book was okay also. Just more of the same though. People move away from successful jobs that they do...more
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J. Maarten Troost is the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific. His essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, and the Prague Post. He spent two years in Kiribati in the equatorial Pacific and upon his return was hired as a consultant by the World Bank. After several years in Fiji, he recently relocated to the U.S. and now lives with his wif...more
More about J. Maarten Troost...
The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid Headhunters on My Doorstep: A True Treasure Island Ghost Story

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“Paradise was always over there, a day’s sail away. But it’s a funny thing, escapism. You can go far and wide and you can keep moving on and on through places and years, but you never escape your own life. I, finally, knew where my life belonged. Home.” 66 likes
“i'm off to an island nation where formal wear consists of a leaf tired around a penis.” 2 likes
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