Readers and critics alike adore J. Maarten Troost for his signature wry and witty take on the adventure memoir. Hailed by Entertainment Weekly as a "funny, candid, and down-to-earth travel companion," Troost's bestselling debut, The Sex Lives of Cannibals, is an enduring favorite about life in the South Seas.
Headhunters on My Doorstep chronicles Troost's return to the South Pacific after his struggle with alcoholism and time in rehab 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, the Gilberts, and Samoa, explaining (and demonstrating) how these exotic locales earned nicknames like, "The Man Eating Isle," "The Refuge of Exiles," and "The Island of Merrymaking."
Somewhere en route from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Tahiti to exploring islands as Robert Louis Stevenson saw them, Troost gradually awakens to the beauty of life and reconnects with his family and the world. 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.
Troost's Headhunters on My Doorstep is delightful, hilarious, and filled with wisdom grounded in an engaging sense of humor. He mirrors Stevenson's own reflection, “I never knew the world was so amusing,” which he uses on the front-piece. Though Troost does give us a guide to exploring the South Pacific and describes both the histories and cultures of various islands, the story is very much a memoir. Though he doesn't obsess on his own drunken odyssey and the collapse of his life which led him to begin the journey to sobriety, that is important context for understanding how he experiences these islands. He may treat his own drunken escapades with hilarity, but beneath the laughter there is great determination and hope. (Reviewed by Bob Sauerbrey).
The list is long: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Marcel Proust, Charles Baudelaire, Jack London, F Scott Fitzgerald, Philip K. Dick, Edna St. Vincent Millay, O. Henry, William Burroughs, Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac, Dorothy Parker, Tennessee Williams…and many more. American writers Eugene O'Neill, Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner were alcoholics who won Nobel Prizes in literature. In some minds, alcohol and drug addictions have become synonymous with famous writers and other artists. This raises the age-old questions about whether intoxicants enhance one's creativity or whether these troubled artists produced great work in spite of their deep sickness of body, mind, and spirit.
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