by J. Maarten Troost

Reviewer Rating:
4

Review

Not as laugh out loud funny as Troost's previous books (The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Getting Stoned with Savages, Lost on Planet China), this journey around the South Seas is a bit more introspective, and is also interspersed with history. Troost, having recently been through rehab treatment for alcoholism, is adrift in his life, and decides that all the bad things that have happened to him have happened on CONTINENTS. He needs to get back to islands. His inspiration is Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent much of his later life traveling the South Seas. Troost follows Stevenson's path and visits sites that Stevenson visited while sharing both the famous author's history and his own experiences. These are places that many of us will never see—The Marquesas, Tahiti, Kiribati, French Polynesia. Learn some of the history of these tiny islands, what has changed since Stevenson’s visits in the late 1800s (and what hasn’t), and the possible fates and futures of these remote places. An enjoyable read, a reminder that islands are not always the idyllic paradises we envision them to be, pieces of history, and proof that sometimes the farther away you get from your normal life, the more you can take a look at yourself.

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