Gretchen's Reviews > The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost
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Feb 09, 08

Recommended for: anyone, except folks in Kiribati whom I worry might not think it so funny
Read in June, 2007

Having lived in the exact same equatorial Pacific nation at the exact same time as the author, I feel an unprecedented connection to this book. I loved it and was a little bit bothered by it at the same time. Mostly I cracked up laughing the whole time, as if it was a book of inside jokes between the author and me, as he described the exact things that I experienced there: everything from the toilet with a unique ocean view on the Martha to Kiribati bureacracy. The part of me that loves Kiribati and the people there as a second home and family were a little bit embarrassed, in the "I can make fun of my family, but no one else better" kind of way, but overall I think the author (whom I think I met one time at dinner at the Otintai Hotel one night) showed appropriate respect. Having lived there longer and being more fluent in the language than the author, I also was in a position to notice a few errors and a few places where I think he doesn't realize that he was treated a certain way because of the culture. Those few things aside, I loved it. It made me at once homesick and amused. I'm glad he wrote it, because I don't know that I could have.
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Rhonda I hope someday that you try. As one who understands the culture better...

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