interesting but disappointing, references in reviews to other works of fiction are absolute crap. Gives a new perspective on Islam; the struggle of cu...moreinteresting but disappointing, references in reviews to other works of fiction are absolute crap. Gives a new perspective on Islam; the struggle of cultural influences, music, relgion, society, etc. with the ultimate wrangling of making sense of the world, figuring out your own belief system.
Three stars for being interesting and forcing me to look up more direct info on daily living of Muslims; nothing more for its inconsistency and excessive pararaphs about masturbation . . .never mind, maybe that was more true to life . . . (less)
Stuck in an ice storm for 3 days without electric has given me a different perspective on the Appalachian's. Only 2.5 miles from the seemingly unaffec...moreStuck in an ice storm for 3 days without electric has given me a different perspective on the Appalachian's. Only 2.5 miles from the seemingly unaffected bustle of downtown but higher in elevation made my home and neighborhood look like a war zone. Nature's most beautiful ice creations but cold, cold, cold with trees falling everywhere. I had a long overdue reunion with my camping gear and building a fire. Which brings me to visiting Covington's book; finally circulating into my hands from the local library hours before the storm hit. Snake handling and Christianity? Really. This would be a strange trip.
Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine witnessing people picking up snakes, drinking poison and performing religous ceremonies, preaching, jumping up and down calling on the Holy Ghost. How these beliefs and practices develop is interesting, though I don't think that question was thoroughly answered in this book. I had expected a bit more background on the taking up of snakes, but I can't deny it was a fascinating look at an extreme sort of Christian worship. What started out as an investigation into a case of attempted murder turned more into a personal journey of Covington's than journalism. His internal debate, spiritual questions and search for familial roots fill the pages with vivid imagery. It's the sort of mystic, harsh reality the history of these mountains has presented to those daring to make a life here. I floundered a little bit through a third or so of the book, but continued because I had such an intriguing picture of the community described embossed on my brain. I can only think that this sort of strange practice is but one answer in an attempt to "stare down" the forces that may inhibit survival.
I'm a little confused about where the humor comes in, in some of the more disturbing chapters . .. overall much of it is sadly, absurdly close to the...more I'm a little confused about where the humor comes in, in some of the more disturbing chapters . .. overall much of it is sadly, absurdly close to the painful sick reality of how we think and operate as a species.(less)