Where The Hell Is Tuvalu?: How I became the law man of the world's fourth-smallest country

Where The Hell Is Tuvalu How I became the law man of the world s fourth smallest country How does a young City lawyer end up as the People s Lawyer of the fourth smallest country in the world kilometres from home We ve all thought about getting off the treadmill turning life on i

  • Title: Where The Hell Is Tuvalu?: How I became the law man of the world's fourth-smallest country
  • Author: Philip Ells
  • ISBN: 9780753511305
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Paperback
  • How does a young City lawyer end up as the People s Lawyer of the fourth smallest country in the world, 18,000 kilometres from home We ve all thought about getting off the treadmill, turning life on its head and doing something worthwhile Philip Ells dreamed of turquoise seas, sandy beaches and palm trees, and he found these in the tiny Pacific island state of Tuvalu ButHow does a young City lawyer end up as the People s Lawyer of the fourth smallest country in the world, 18,000 kilometres from home We ve all thought about getting off the treadmill, turning life on its head and doing something worthwhile Philip Ells dreamed of turquoise seas, sandy beaches and palm trees, and he found these in the tiny Pacific island state of Tuvalu But neither his Voluntary Service Overseas briefing pack nor his legal training could prepare him for what happened there.He learned to deal with rapes, murders, incest, the unforgivable crime of pig theft and to look a shark in the eye But he never dared ask the octogenarian Tuvaluan chief why he sat immobilised by a massive rock permanently resting on his groin.Well, you wouldn t, would you This is the story of a UK lawyer colliding with a Pacific island culture The fallout is moving, dramatic, bewildering and often hilarious.

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    1 thought on “Where The Hell Is Tuvalu?: How I became the law man of the world's fourth-smallest country”

    1. For a book that, according to Worldcat, cannot be found in a single library in the U.S this isn’t half bad. It’s another memoir from an expat on a Pacific Island; I read it shortly after the much more popular Sex Lives of Cannibals and liked it a bit better. Troost is a better storyteller than Ells, but Ells has more interesting stories to tell. This is unsurprising, since Ells’s job allows him to see firsthand how people and their society function – as the People’s Lawyer of Tuvalu, h [...]

    2. Philip Ells was a lawyer in London and he was burnt out.  He decided to escape his high pressure job by volunteering with Voluntary Service Overseas.  He was sent to Tuvalu to be the People's Lawyer.  That job is basically serving as a defense attorney for anyone who needs one.  There aren't native lawyers available for people.  The prosecuting attorney was also an ex-pat.This job came with some problems that he hadn't expected.  In Tuvalu there just isn't much crime.  It is also customar [...]

    3. Are you a lawyer thinking of a career change? Why not volunteer to be the People's Lawyer in Tuvalu? Your experience, sadly, will be completely unlike Philip Ells because we are in a technological age, now, and when PE went to Tuvalu (1993 & 1994), he was heavily reliant on irregular boats bringing post for news of the outside world.This was a fun read, of a world long gone (and soon to be physically gone too if the sea levels keep on rising), and of the tensions between volunteers as outsid [...]

    4. Where the Hell is Tuvalu? describes the two and a bit years Ells spent working as the People's Lawyer, or the People's Liar as came to be known, in the world's 4th smallest independent nation during the mid 1990's. Focusing on his job and ex-pat life among the Tuvaluans, Ells self-deprecating humour makes this an interesting read and stands almost alone as the only travel book written on this country.Disillusioned with the corporate world at the grand old age of 23, Ells decides to enroll with V [...]

    5. Well written and surprisingly entertaining and informative read recounting the experiences of a young British lawyer doing 2 years voluntary service in Tuvalu in the 90's. It highlights the struggle between customary village justice and the forces of post colonial law. Well worth a read as it gives great insights into Tuvaluan life on a remote Pacific island before mobile phones and the internet and describes well the often majestic setting.

    6. This book was a great insight into life in a completely different part of the world, Kiribati as well as Tuvalu, and one not influenced by the outside world very much. Philip Ells writing style didn't work for me and didn't see the wit mentioned on the cover or on reviews but it also didn't have me yawning. This was a random choice based on round the world in 80 books and Pointless so it could have been worse.

    7. Of all the wryly humorous memoirs about White Boys Traveling to Exotic Places ™, this is one of them. It's a fairly forgettable book (a year on I have forgotten all of the details, both major and minor) but as far as I remember, sometime in the early to mid 90s, Philip Ells headed off as a volunteer with the British Voluntary Service Overseas (sort of the British equivalent of the Peace Corps) to be the people's lawyer of Tuvalu. His willingness to be the butt of the joke won my sympathy at fi [...]

    8. I'm not really an autobiography type of person. All too often they are poorly written and seem more like fantasy than a fantasy novel. This was NOT the case with Philip Ells' "The People's Lawyer".This novel is delightfully British. Ells makes fun of his mistakes with that dry wit that only the British/English manage to convey. He does make quite a few mistakes during his stay on Tuvalu island as the People's lawyer for a group of islands. Not understanding the language and traditions permeating [...]

    9. Allow me to address this book in one sentence. You became the lawman by signing up for a UK version of the Peace Corps when you were 23. That hardly gives you insight into telling others how to quit the rat race nor does it make a good story. You went somewhere exotic that few have traveled to. Congratulations. Now stop patting yourself on the back and get back to work. (I should have known better considering I had to special order a used copy from the UK that this book was no bueno.)

    10. The author volunteered his skills to the population of the tiny island of Tuvalu. He has a pleasant narrative style, but he rambles too much, like that really interesting, nice chap you spent a pleasant couple of hours listening to at the pub, but don't want to spend any more time with.

    11. Interesting look at the practice of law in Tuvalu ( mostly domestic violence ) and to a lesser estent of Kiribati ( loads of rapes ).

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