Headhunters on my Doorstep by J Maarten Troost

June 26, 2014 Humor, Memoirs, Travel 16

Hidey Ho, Bookworms!

It probably won’t come as a huge surprise to any of you, but I’m a bit of a homebody. I like the idea of travel, but I seem to have been born with zero wanderlust. That said, I really like to travel vicariously though books. All the glamour, none of the bedbugs. When I was offered J Maarten Troost’s latest offering, Headhunters on My Doorstep, I figured I’d give it a try. With a title like that, how could I not? I received a  complimentary copy of this book for review consideration from the publisher. The fact that I did not purchase this book in no way influences my opinion on the subject. I feel the need to make that clear, because after reading this, I have a strange urge to become J Maarten Troost’s groupie. Do authors have groupies? Is that even a thing?

headhuntersTravel memoirs are a completely new genre for me, and I’m really glad this book was my introduction. After a stint in rehab to treat his alcoholism, Troost sets out on a journey to find himself. He intends to find himself by getting as off the grid as it’s possible to get in the modern world and retrace the travels of Robert Louis Stevenson (you know, the Treasure Island guy) in the South Pacific.

One part travelogue, one part meditation on addiction, and all parts hilarious, Headhunters on My Doorstep took me on a journey I wasn’t expecting. I typically go into nonfiction expecting that it will be more of a challenge for me than a novel. I chewed through this book in two days. I simply couldn’t put it down!

One of the reasons for my fascination has to do with Survivor. Yep. The reality show. When I was in college, I took a class on Small Group Communication. My professor was really fun, and he realized that Survivor was an excellent way to illustrate small group dynamics. We were required to watch the show as part of our homework, and the season I watched? Season 4: Survivor Marquesas. The only season of Survivor I have ever watched dovetailed PERFECTLY with Troost’s travels. Serendipitous, no?

The other reason I’m so gaga over this book is that Troost is hilarious! Snarky, witty, self depricating- everything I adore in a humorist. I’ve noticed that this book has not gotten as many rave reviews as some of Troost’s earlier books, which honestly has me excited. If this book isn’t considered his best work, what sort of joy do I have in store as I check out his back catalog?! Two super enthusiastic thumbs up for this one, Bookworms. Check it out!

Since this book was set on (very nearly) deserted islands, let’s play a game. What books could you not live without if you were stranded on a desert island? 

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16 Responses to “Headhunters on my Doorstep by J Maarten Troost”

    • Words For Worms

      Oh my gosh, I loved it so much!!! I got really excited about reading it after you commented on my bookmail (instagram, holla!) You were right, as usual. Amazing.

  1. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    I absolutely, positively love Troost! His first two books, The Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stoned with Savages, are two of my favorites. I have yet to read Lost on Planet China or this one, but they are SO SO SO high on my want list. In fact, I might download Lost on Planet China now. Wooo!

  2. Megan M.

    I haven’t read his stuff, but looking at the titles of his other books, he seems to like to live in places where Survivor chooses to film, like Vanuatu. Have you really only watched one season of Survivor? I admit to skipping seasons that bore me, but I’ve watched nearly all of them.

    If I was on a deserted island, I would want all of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries and of course, my copy of A Plague of Sorcerers by Mary Frances Zambreno. 😉

    • Words For Worms

      I really only watched the one season. I liked it well enough, but it seemed like it would get repetitive? Plus it makes me sad when people don’t have food and I have a bag of Doritos. Sad? Guilt? I don’t know.

  3. Jennine G.

    We are two of a kind there…love the idea of travel but really don’t have to do it. I am extremely a homebody, but I’ve never regretted any trip I have taken, I just don’t need to travel. If I had to pick a book for a deserted island, I’m not sure which I would take, but it would be a very long one so I could reread it numerous times and learn new things every time.

  4. Joules (from Pocketful of Joules)

    I’ve actually only watched one season of Survivor, the very first season. I SHOULD watch it though, because I’m pretty obsessed with Naked and Afraid! This book sounds fun and I totally need to add it to my beach reading list! =)

  5. Sarah Says Read

    I’m really glad you liked this book! Mainly because I’ve had a copy of his book The Sex Lives of Cannibals on my shelf for years, but never got around to it. I’m not even sure how I got it… but now I have a good reason to try it!

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