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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's review
Feb 09, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: anyone, except folks in Kiribati whom I worry might not think it so funny

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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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
February 9, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Rhonda I hope someday that you try. As one who understands the culture better...

Stephanie Have you tried to contact the author? I bet he would be interested in your thoughts. Personally my only knowledge of Kiribati comes from the book, so I'm curious to know what little things he got wrong. But I'm very glad to hear that, with your perspective, you still found the book so favourable. I loved his humour and was fascinated in learning about how things work in Kiribati. It doesn't sound like there are many people in the world who would have even heard of it. I bet the author and his wife would enjoy chatting with you!

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