Julia'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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's review
Jan 08, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, memoir
Read in January, 2010

I have a bad habit of borrowing books from my best friend, Andrea, and then never reading them. And then keeping them on my shelf for the next three years. So I decided to break that streak with The Sex Lives of Cannibals, which Andrea graciously lent to me over Christmas break. It's the sort of book that's a perfect filler in between bigger or tougher books, when you need something fast and amusing to clear your head. Troost was a 20-something college grad, temping in DC without any real direction, when he decided to move to the Equatorial Pacific with his girlfriend, Sylvia. There, on a tiny island, he encounters everything from sharks to La Macarana.

Troost is especially great when describing his interactions with the island residents; it's the perfect mix of "Why the hell are you so much less developed than the rest of the world," and "You are a kind, funny people who survive in a part of the world that would destroy the typical American, and I respect that." This island is as much a paradise as a hell, but you can tell that Troost comes to consider it a home--and it makes you consider chucking the temp jobs and moving across the country to follow in his footsteps.

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