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The Sex Lives of Cannibals

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


The Bottom Line

This is a fantastic book about two years spent in the middle of nowhere, with no contact with the western world. The life of a westerner on the tiny island nation of Kiribati is a fascinating one and I recommend this book for anyone interested in travel or places around the world.
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  • Very well-written, fun, and very interesting.
  • A fascinating story of life in the Pacific.
  • Troost holds nothing back. He shares everything.


  • A map of Kiribati would have been helpful.


  • 272 pages of fun!
  • The paperback is trade-paperback-sized - 8.1 x 5.2 inches.
  • Each chapter begins with the old fashioned summaries such that begin with, "In which the Author..."

Guide Review - The Sex Lives of Cannibals

This fascinating travelogue by young author J. Maarten Troost is a fascinating look into the life of the citizens of Kiribati (pronounced kir-ee-bas), a tiny island nation just north of the equator.

After wandering around the world for a few years after college, Troost moves to Kiribati with his girlfriend who was hired to assist with the nation's development. Troost provides a graphic portrayal of the life of the native I-Kiribati and the I-Matang (foreigners) on this hot, desolate, and poor country. His is a comprehensive look at the state of the island nation and all its positives as well as the negatives.

Troost does not work so he is able to spend his time exploring and learning about and from the I-Kiribati during his two years on the atoll of Tarawa. It is a lonely place, far from everywhere and visited by ships and planes only occasionally. The island nation's air fleet of two planes operates only sporadically and ships only bring rotting foods that were not wanted by Australian consumers.

For Troost, life is miserable and yet wonderful - a Pacific Ocean dream paradise but also a nightmare of hungry and hot days, a lack of media, a bureaucracy that expropriates foreign aid, and a populous that uses his backyard lagoon as their restroom.

His book is raw, intelligent, and immensely readable. I highly recommend it!

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User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
Good ones, Member Nasmarone

The Sex Lives of Cannibals had some good Pacific Ocean vibes. Humans Need Three Hands by Drats has really stuck with me. The images of the atoll ring in my memory, and the gut-wrenching sibling scenes killed me. Sex Lives is good too, but Humans Need Three Hands was the most unique read of the year. He or she is obviously not a writer, so also not cliche or predictable, and the unpolished form just adds to the earnest plea by Kestrel to protect the other species.

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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