The Sex Lives of Cannibals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific[1] 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 and his girlfriend Sylvia adjust to life on the remote small island in the South Pacific, and build a life for themselves there. Troost describes the unusual people they live with, and bizarre and unfamiliar local customs, as well as the local people's reaction to Troost own behaviour that they regarded as unusual.

In those two years, the author adjusted to an over-whelming fish-based diet, extreme heat, and an ineffective government, which the author describes as "Coconut Stalinism - though Stalin, at least, got something done." He describes frequent electrical and water shortages, along with many other idiosyncrasies of living on such a small and remote island.

At the same time, Troost also challenges American complacency toward its own history, by doing so little to remember the many troops that died in the Battle of Tarawa during World War II, and the many foreign aid workers and consultants, who fail to consider the islanders' real needs or local culture.


This book was followed up by Getting Stoned with Savages (2006), the further adventures of J. Maarten Troost and his wife, Sylvia.


  1. ^ J. Maarten Troost, The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific, Broadway Books, 2004 (ISBN 0-7679-1530-5).