The serpent and the rainbow book review
Book Review – The Serpent and The Rainbow by Wade Davis | mobilemojomanGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.
Thank you! This book defies simple characterization, which is in keeping with its subject, the all-encompassing philosophy known as voodoo, or vodoun, as Davis here calls it. Haitian vodoun, properly understood, is concerned not merely with what is called witchcraft, but with a broad system of traditional wisdom and practical knowledge with its roots in Africa--among the peoples of the Guinea coast, all the way from the bolongs of the Senegal, the Gambia, and the Casamance to the lagoons of Togo and Benin formerly Dahomey , down to the towering rain forests of the Congo and beyond. The author begins his story and quest as a student at Harvard. His assignment is to determine the precise nature of the powerful anaesthetic which creates the state of suspended animation in a ""zombi""--one who is to all appearances dead, but is revived with an antidote and brought under the spiritual domination of another.
At Harvard University. He ended up in Haiti working on a mystery that has intrigued people for years. Davis tried to discover whether there was any truth to the stories that zombis or zombies existed. If zombies were real, Davis wanted to try to explain the science behind the phenomenon. For an academic, Davis proves to be a surprisingly talented writer with a nice ear for dialogue. You cannot avoid touching the glass, but it is just a means of support. It is the water that slakes your thirst and it is the water, not the glass, that keeps you alive.
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Not sure what initially compelled me to buy The Serpent and the Rainbow — I get book cravings the way pregnant women get food cravings. Sometimes a topic just overtakes me and I need to have it. In a nutshell, Wade Davis is a Harvard ethnobotanist who takes an assignment to discover the secrets of mysterious zombi he using this spelling in the book poisons and possible antidotes. He was commissioned to travel to Haiti and find out all that he could about the tradition of zombification, because his financial backers were convinced that it held the key to advancements in Western medicine — a substance that could induce a death-like condition, slowing the metabolism of a person could be an alternative to anesthesia and would revolutionize modern surgery. Davis traverses the country, speaking to and becoming close with locals — psychiatrists, government officials, voodoo priests, presidents of secret societies. The book is divided into three parts. He was trying to understand the deep, underlying belief system of the Haitian peasants, and explores the secret societies, the historical, political, religious, economic, and social elements of Haiti — all of which are intimately connected.