Surviving Paradise

Surviving Paradise

One Year on A Disappearing Island

Book - 2009
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Just one month after his 21st birthday, Peter Rudiak-Gould moved to Ujae, a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands located 70 miles from the nearest telephone, car, store, or tourist, and 2,000 miles from the closest continent. He spent the next year there, living among its 450 inhabitants and teaching English to its schoolchildren.

At first blush, Surviving Paradise is a thoughtful and laugh-out-loud hilarious documentation of Rudiak-Gould's efforts to cope with daily life on Ujae as his idealistic expectations of a tropical paradise confront harsh reality. But Rudiak-Gould goes beyond the personal, interweaving his own story with fascinating political, linguistic, and ecological digressions about the Marshall Islands. Most poignant are his observations of the noticeable effect of global warming on these tiny, low-lying islands and the threat rising water levels pose to their already precarious existence.

An Eat, Pray, Love as written by Paul Theroux, Surviving Paradise is a disarmingly lighthearted narrative with a substantive emotional undercurrent.


Publisher: New York : Union Square Press, c2009.
ISBN: 9781402766640
Characteristics: 244 p. ; 24 cm.


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Apr 14, 2016

As an ex-ex-pat and a retired teacher, I identified with Peter's experience. "Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility"fits. Reading his memoir was so much better than actually living on this tiny Pacific island for 10 months-unless you're very young.

Aug 16, 2011

This was a great book! Considering it was the author's first book, it was downright amazing! It's rich in details and very witty - reminds me of Bill Bryson. The book was so good, that you don't realize you are actually being taught some anthropology lessons about the Marshallese. I not only had a great time reading it, but I unwittingly learned a lot as well.

Jun 20, 2010

I loved this book. As a world traveler and dreamer, I was sucked into the world of the Marshall Islands. The author does a great job of explaining the culture from the point of view of an outsider, and has some great insight into why it is so much different than Western culture.

Apr 04, 2010

This is a very good book. I would highly recommend it. It is educational, fun and insightful.

Topics include education, culture, growing up, and environmental concerns.


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