Where the Hell is Tuvalu?

Where the Hell is Tuvalu? : How I Became the Law Man of the World's Fourth Smallest Country

3.44 (58 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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. 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 190 x 22mm | 222.26g
  • Ebury Publishing
  • Virgin Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0753511304
  • 9780753511305
  • 657,692

About Philip Ells

Philip Ells now lives back in London and remains a lawyer. This is his first book.show more

Review quote

"'THIS WITTY, HONEST ACCOUNT JUST GOES TO PROVE IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO JUMP OFF THAT NINE-TO-FIVE TREADMILL.' DAILY MAIL"show more

Back cover copy

How does a young city solicitor end up as the People's Lawyer of the fourth-smallest country in the world, 11,000 miles from home? Everyone dreams of ditching the rat-race, jumping off the treadmill, turning their life on its head and doing something worthwhile, but Philip Ells turned that fantasy into a reality. Imagining turquoise seas, sandy beaches and lush tropical trees, Ells flies off to the Pacific island state of Tuvalu armed only with his Voluntary Service Overseas briefing and his hopes of finding paradise... Nothing, however, could quite prepare him for the reality of life on Tuvalu. Housed in a filthy, humid bunker, Philip learns to deal with the heat, rain, murders, incest, recalcitrant islanders, bizarre constitution and the unforgivable crime of pig theft, along the way realising that you never look a shark the eye or ask the octogenarian Tuvaluan cheif why he sits immobilised by a massive rock permanently lodged in his groin. In this hilarious dramatic and insightful book, Philip Ells describes with self-depracating wit the collision between himself and the Pacific Islanders' sometimes extraordinary behaviour.show more

Review Text

"'I have known Philip Ells since childhood and was delighted he was sent to a South Sea Island. Now sadly he has returned to write this very funny book'"show more

Rating details

58 ratings
3.44 out of 5 stars
5 10% (6)
4 31% (18)
3 52% (30)
2 7% (4)
1 0% (0)
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