Follow in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson with J. Maarten Troost, the bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals.
Readers and critics alike adore J. Maarten Troost for his signature wry and witty take on the adventure memoir. Headhunters on My Doorstep chronicles Troost’s return to the South Pacific after his struggle with alcoholism left him numb to life. Deciding to retrace the path once traveled by the author of Treasure Island, Troost follows Robert Louis Stevenson to the Marquesas, the Tuamotus, Tahiti, Kiribati, and Samoa, tumbling from one comic misadventure to another. Headhunters on My Doorstep is a funny yet poignant account of one man’s journey to find himself that will captivate travel writing aficionados, Robert Louis Stevenson fans, and anyone who has ever lost his way.
Penguin Publishing Group; August 2013
- ISBN: 9781101621691
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: Headhunters on My Doorstep
- Author: J. Maarten Troost
In The Press
Praise for the hardcover
Troost's sly wit permeates the narrative, propelling his saga out of the ranks of many recovery memoirs. The author weaves together entertaining and illuminating pop-culture touchstones, history, and cultural, culinary and literary references with personal experiences while rambling across the South Seas...A rambunctious, intimate trip well worth the armchair time.
(starred review) — Kirkus Reviews
—The New York Times Book Review
“A splendid travel memoir.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“A rambunctious, intimate trip well worth the armchair time.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Troost is a new generation’s answer to Bill Bryson.”
“Troost displays a level of sophistication rarely found in travel writing. His humor is spot on, and one needs humor when reading about the loss of indigenous culture in the Marquesas, the urban sprawl of Tahiti, and the notion that Kiribati as a nation may soon be subsumed by the Pacific Ocean. Acquire this book by any means possible.”
“[Troost] crafts exquisite paragraphs that capture the seductive beauty of the islands”
—National Geographic Traveler
“[Troost] crafts exquisite paragraphs that capture the seductive beauty of the islands…[and] unsheathes the same laugh-out-loud wit that marked Cannibals…Troost is an insightful guide, who can see beyond the superficial shimmer to the complexities underneath...
Ultimately, Troost’s tale is a celebration of persistence: his own persistent refusal to be seduced by alcohol, Stevenson’s persistent triumph over the tuberculosis and other diseases that wracked his body but didn’t conquer his spirit until he succumbed at the age of 44 on his beloved Samoa, and the persistent allure of those far-flung tropical specks of sand, as much fantasy as reality perhaps, but essential all the same.”
— National Geographic
(Top 10 Memoirs)
— Publisher's WeeklyPraise for The Sex Lives of Cannibals
“Troost has a command of place and narrative that puts him in the company of some of today’s best travel writers." — Elle
“A comic masterwork of travel writing” — Publishers Weekly
“A delightful, self-depreciating, extremely sly account of life in a place so wretched it gives new, terrible meaning to getting away from it all.” — National Geographic Adventure
"The Sex Lives of Cannibals
is certain to be one of the most harrowing, witty and satisfying books of the summer... hilarious."
"Books touted as "laugh-out-loud funny" frequently aren't, but fist-time author Troost has succeeded... Full of tall tales, ironic philosophizing and beer jokes, the book skewers the notion that 'civilized' Western ways are always a good thing."
“Troost has found his calling in broadly humorous travel writing. He's a natural: he can evoke a place with an ardor that will have you wanting to jump on the first plane; he's read his history; he's no chump when it comes to the ironies and iniquities of politics… He can write an entire engaging chapter on the day the beer ran out in Tarawa…. [but] also laugh at himself, almost as often as the islanders do. Troost… lives up to the billing as ‘a travel, adventure, humor, memoir kind of book’-and a really good one, at that.” — Kirkus ReviewsPraise for Getting Stoned with Savages:
“Troost is a funny, candid, and down-to-earth travel companion.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Troost manages to relate his misadventures in an irreverently funny style . . . this makes for a good beach read on your own vacation.” — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“One of Troost’s greatest successes is that he’s not reporting, exactly, not writing as a journalist would, but simply living his life in a faraway place and writing about it.”
— The New York Times
“Troost… is a travel writer who delivers the gratifying, old-school goods: curious cultural practices; encounters with venomous, nay murderous, creatures; perspective on recent history, with all the chaos wrought by European interlopers.”
"Those who enjoyed... The Sex Lives of Cannibals
will not be disappointed with this follow-up... readers sitting in offices, yearning to break free and live on a tropical isle, [Getting Stoned with Savages
] provides a wonderful, witty view into the experience- the good and the bad. Recommended for all libraries." — Library JournalPraise for Lost on Planet China; One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation
“Funny, insightful. China as you’ve never read it before.” — National Geographic Traveler
“At once breezy, funny, and edgy, with enough good reporting to make you feel what it’s like to walk China’s real streets.” — Houston Chronicle
“There are moments of humor and poignancy: an unsettling dalliance with an English translator called Meow Meow and an encounter with child beggars camped beneath a JumboTron screen in Qingdao that’s broadcasting an N.B.A playoff game.” — New York Times Book Review
“Troost’s crisp, engaging prose invites the reader to experience his adventures right alongside him. At turns meditative, whimsical, humorous, and shocked, Troost is an excellent guide to the vast, multifaceted country that is modern-day China.” — Booklist
“Made me laugh out loud more times then I can remember…Troost is already being lauded as the new generation’s answer to Bill Bryson; in my view , his wirting is markedly different, but it will definitely find an appreciative audience among Bryson fans.” — Bookpage
“Troost’s adventures are peppered with tremendous humor… and he’s magnificent writing about himself in the role of the bumbling Westerner. Readers will howl over his gastronomic imbroglios as well as his knack for attracting opportunistic, overly friendly women who offer their services as ‘tour guides.’” — Kirkus Reviews
“Troost is refreshingly upbeat… readers interested in a warts-and-all look at this complicated, evolving country will find this rich in education.” — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“This is one of the year’s best travel books.” — World Hum
“Funny and engrossing.” — Barre Montpelier Times Argus
“Troost is the kind of guy with whom you’d drink a few beers, swap some stories, and laugh until you cry.” — Winnipeg Free Press
“Readers of the world should rejoice… Lost on Planet China
is every bit as entertaining as [Troost’s] previous two. With his biting, self-depreciating wit, Troost becomes the perfect traveling companion. An example of travel writing at its best. Settle back and enjoy one of the most rollicking literary vacations yet.” — Tucson Citizen
“Hilarious.” — National Geographic Adventure
“It's a pleasure to travel with him… [a] hilarious and cutting narrative.” — Chicago Tribune
“Lost on Planet China
seems to follow the Paul Theroux school of travel writing.” — Lonely Planet
About The Author
J. Maarten Troost was a consultant for the World Bank and has lived in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Canada, Kiribati, Fiji, and Vanuatu, among other exotic locations, before settling down near Washington, D.C.