With his usual ability to turn small details into entertaining anecdotes, Troost faces devious gold smugglers, starving sharks and the ghosts of old islanders. A bit more candid than in his previous South Pacific narratives (read: The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Getting Stone With Savages), the author returns to familiar settings in order to compare how they – and he – have changed over the decades.
Flying into Queenstown airport – ZQN – gives new solemnity to the invention of arm rests. Wobbling through cloud-hatted peaks, the plane searches for that tell-tale paved strip at the base of the Remarkables, while rows of pale fingers clench the sides of plastic seats.
Like the pigeons, we looked – we were – homeless. Ever on the move, wherever a whim might take us. Sometimes we circled back upon ourselves, other times we chased down sudden directions.