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With The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Maarten Troost established himself as one of the most engaging and original travel writers around. Getting Stoned with Savages again reveals his wry wit and infectious joy of discovery in a side-splittingly funny account of life in the farthest reaches of the world. After two grueling years on the island of Tarawa, battling feral dogs, machete-wielding neighbors, and a lack of beer on a daily basis, Maarten Troost was in no hurry to return to the South Pacific. But as time went on, he realized he felt remarkably out of place among the trappings of twenty-first-century America. When he found himself holding down a job--one that might possibly lead to a career--he knew it was time for him and his wife, Sylvia, to repack their bags and set off for parts unknown. Getting Stoned with Savages tells the hilarious story of Troost's time on Vanuatu--a rugged cluster of islands where the natives gorge themselves on kava and are still known to "eat the man." Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles against typhoons, earthquakes, and giant centipedes and soon finds himself swept up in the laid-back, clothing-optional lifestyle of the islanders. When Sylvia gets pregnant, they decamp for slightly-more-civilized Fiji, a fallen paradise where the local chiefs can be found watching rugby in the house next door. And as they contend with new parenthood in a country rife with prostitutes and government coups, their son begins to take quite naturally to island living--in complete contrast to his dad.
The bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals returns with a sharply observed, hilarious account of his adventures in China--a complex, fascinating country with enough dangers and delicacies to keep him, and readers, endlessly entertained. Maarten Troost has charmed legions of readers with his laugh-out-loud tales of wandering the remote islands of the South Pacific. When the travel bug hit again, he decided to go big-time, taking on the world's most populous and intriguing nation. In Lost on Planet China, Troost escorts readers on a rollicking journey through the new beating heart of the modern world, from the megalopolises of Beijing and Shanghai to the Gobi Desert and the hinterlands of Tibet. Lost on Planet China finds Troost dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai; eating Yak in Tibet; deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as Cattle Penis with Garlic); visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead, very orange); and hiking (with 80,000 other people) up Tai Shan, China's most revered mountain. But in addition to his trademark gonzo adventures, the book also delivers a telling look at a vast and complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think. As Troost shows, while we may be familiar with Yao Ming or dim sum or the cheap, plastic products that line the shelves of every store, the real China remains a world--indeed, a planet--unto itself. Maarten Troost brings China to life as you've never seen it before, and his insightful, rip-roaringly funny narrative proves that once again he is one of the most entertaining and insightful armchair travel companions around.
Fantasized about quitting the 9-5? Walking away from credit card debt and student loans? Think living in the South Pacific for two years sounds like a perfect solution and perhaps even a winning idea for your first novel? Maarten Troost does just that, setting up as a devil-may-care islander while his girlfriend, Sylvia, gets to work on saving the planet, or at least a little part of it on an end-of-the-world atoll, Tarawa. Life on Tarawa resembles not so much paradise as a theatre of the absurd where planes fly with the aid of masking tape, Coconut Stalinism prevails as national government and Sylvia is co-opted by the CIA to spy on the Chinese. But abandoning continental hang-ups like barbequeing the local dogs and watching on as international industrial fishing trawlers plunder the world's richest tuna supply aren't so easy.
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