In an interview on Foreign Memoirs
So what’s your last book?
The Sex Lives of Cannibals. I’m not sure the book legitimises the title and, in any case, it’s such a funny, engaging book that it doesn’t need a title like that. It’s the funniest of all the books I read. It’s about this guy, the author J Maarten Troost, who’s in his early 20s, hasn’t developed a career yet, hasn’t launched into a job after university, and how his girlfriend gets a job with an NGO in this tiny Pacific island nation called Kiribati, on a tiny strip of land called the Tarawa atoll. It’s the middle absolutely nowhere, zillions of miles from civilisation, and it’s this flat, baking strip of land that’s overpopulated, full of trash, people defecating on the sea shore: the worst detritus of modern society. All there is to eat is tuna. And while his girlfriend’s working there, he’s trying to write the great American novel.
Not much, so he writes this book instead. And it’s so great. He writes about the infinite number of uncomfortable things about Kiribati: the baking heat, the shark-infested waters, the people pooping in these shark-infested waters. There’s the hard drinkers and the fights and the tuna…
It’s just a very, very funny read