The Sex Lives of Cannibals

It has been a little while since I’ve written about the books I’ve been reading. Honestly, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of reading recently, beyond skimming google for recipes and looking through gardening and bug books. It has also been ages since I set foot in a bookstore.

Monday night on our drive home from San Francisco we stopped for dinner at CPK and a quick browse through the B&N next door. Gavin headed for the computer books and I went for the “Buy 2 get 1 free” tables.

I picked up a stack of “discount paperbacks” with increasingly little literary merit and another book on sewing cute little creatures in an attempt to find a less fattening hobby.

The first book on the stack I set down on the footstool was The Sex Lives of Cannibals. It had brightly colored cover art. Is that a bad reason to pick up a book? I’ll allow Wikipedia to summarize:

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific is a 2004 travelogue by author J. Maarten Troost describing the two years he and his girlfriend spent living on the Tarawa atoll in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. In the book Troost describes how he came to discover that the tiny sliver of land in the South Pacific, barely known to the outside world, was not the tropical paradise he thought it would be. Nevertheless, he and his girlfriend Sylvia build a home for themselves in Kiribati, alongside a host of colorful local characters, all the while having new encounters with the bizarre and unfamiliar.

It was fairly good, although I found parts of it could be skimmed, or completely skipped — like the history of the island. It is nice that he researched the area and even listed some sources in the back, but that chapter read like a very dull history book where someone had made sarcastic notes in the margin.

Over all it was entertaining, and has helped to solidify my love of large continental land masses.

Kindli Rating: *** (out of 5)

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