The Missionaries is a story of the collision of three cultures. A brilliant tale of ineptitude, self-righteousness, and human folly, it combines the mordant wit of W. Somerset Maugham with a sense of humor reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse.
When Dr. Sydney Prout is named the head of the United Nations mission to Elephant Island, he believes he is more than ready to meet the challenge of guiding its primitive inhabitants into the post-Colonial era, and eventually, full independence. But neither his many academic credentials nor the Journal of Race Relations have prepared Dr. Prout to reckon with the unrepentant bloody-mindedness of the natives, or anticipate the inventive ways their tribal philosophers will incorporate the most unlikely aspects of modern civilization into their religious lore and traditional way of life.