Christine's Reviews > Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu

Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost
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Aug 02, 09

Read in August, 2009

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 amazingly unique and hilarious read. It also included lots of history.

This also includes lots of random history and information about Vanuatu and Fiji that he perfectly weaves into his tales. Troost's silly titles of his books fool you. He is a smart guy and a good writer. This book is kind of a mix of a memoir of his time spent there, his thoughtful, ponderous comments, and history about the islands. And the best part is he is funny!

My favorite parts were his romps with the prostitutes and his love of the Cava. It was interesting how his love of the Cava got him "in" with the locals. If I am ever in the South Pacific, I will be going to the Cava establishments to meet some locals.

I really enjoyed his trek to meet the chief of the cannibal village. After arriving, he just wanted to know so why did you guys eat people? He asked the chief point blank and the chief's response was that there weren't very many animals but there were lots of people so it made sense. Scholars research that stuff for years and there's your answer since this chief was around for this stuff (the last case of cannibalism in Vanuatu documented was 1969). That's an example of the stuff Troost does. That is what I would ask the chief!

Anyway, this is another good book form Troost. It is an easy read but gives you some great history and information along the ride!

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