cover image An Evening Among the Headhunters: And Other Reports from Roads Less Taken

An Evening Among the Headhunters: And Other Reports from Roads Less Taken

Lawrence Millman. Brookline Books, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-57129-055-7

Millman is certainly a guy who likes to get around--to the sorts of places you and I might never think to go. Given the impressive range of his travels--the tropical Kingdom of Tonga; Rarotonga, the capital of the Cook Islands; Micronesia; the Bay Islands of Honduras; various villages and isles of the Canadian North; Greenland; Sark; Indonesia; Corsica; Plum Island, Mass.--it helps to have a globe handy while reading this volume. He rarely misses the opportunity to sample the local brew, such as Tongan kava, ""a blend of liquefied mud and muddy rainwater, with a dollop of dental anaesthesia""; sakau, the beverage that ""puts Pohnpeians in touch with their ancient gods""; ""sourtoe cocktail,"" named for the frostbitten, amputated digit that reputedly flavors it. Nor does he hesitate to search points of interest (flashlight fish, quirky churches, a kind of dodo called manumea, waterfalls, jungles and glaciers), and he finds wonder and beauty and humor in all of it. His knowledge of flora, fauna, history and culture is impressive, as is his rapport with the locals, wherever he is. The only minor quibble is the lack of a time frame for his journeys. But Millman is a fine storyteller, just the sort of fellow you'd want to travel with, even if your ideal vacation doesn't include a drafty tent somewhere above the Arctic Circle and a succulent serving of seal eye (raw, natch). (May)