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The Serpent and the Rainbow (English Edition) di [Davis, Wade]
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The Serpent and the Rainbow (English Edition) Formato Kindle

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Lunghezza: 306 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
Scorri Pagina: Abilitato Lingua: Inglese

Descrizione prodotto


"Exotic and far-reaching . . . a corker of a read, just the way Indiana Jones would tell it." -- The Wall Street Journal

"Zombis do come back from the dead, and Wade Davis knows how." -- Washington Post Book World

"An account solving one of the most puzzling biological mysteries of all time." -- Omni


A scientific investigation and personal adventure story about zombis and the voudoun culture of Haiti by a Harvard scientist.

In April 1982, ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombis—people who had reappeared in Haitian society years after they had been officially declared dead and had been buried. Drawn into a netherworld of rituals and celebrations, Davis penetrated the vodoun mystique deeply enough to place zombification in its proper context within vodoun culture. In the course of his investigation, Davis came to realize that the story of vodoun is the history of Haiti—from the African origins of its people to the successful Haitian independence movement, down to the present day, where vodoun culture is, in effect, the government of Haiti’s countryside.

The Serpent and the Rainbow combines anthropological investigation with a remarkable personal adventure to illuminate and finally explain a phenomenon that has long fascinated Americans.

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 899 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 306
  • Editore: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edizione (5 ottobre 2010)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B0043RSJ5O
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Abilitato
  • Screen Reader: Supportato
  • Miglioramenti tipografici: Abilitato
  • Media recensioni: Recensisci per primo questo articolo
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #214.747 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards") 4.4 su 5 stelle 93 recensioni
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Science by day, ritual by night: a mystical worldview explored 3 luglio 2016
Di Austin Hagwood - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
It’s not everyday you have the chance to travel Haiti with a Harvard ethnobotanist, yet Wade Davis provides the literary equivalent with his study of zombification in Haitian vodoun societies. A serious work of science penned with the flair of a gripping adventure writer, The Serpent and the Rainbow presents a world in which fact is more fascinating than fiction. Not only does Davis discover a tangible explanation for an ancient phenomenon, he also interweaves its origins in a tapestry of spiritual belief and political power spanning West Africa and modern Haiti.

Beginning with his expedition to the jade labyrinth of the Darien Gap, Davis traverses vision quests in British Columbia, Haitian horse races, and the most hidden corners of vodoun rites in pursuit of an elusive compound capable of inducing living death. It’s a world where spirits seize acolytes, women swallow fire, and water turns to blood. Working at the intersection of chemistry and culture, Davis’ investigation takes him from the laboratories of Harvard to the pool-halls of Port-au-Prince, and the connections he forms with bokors and houngans reveal a spiritual dimension rooted in respect for the natural world in communion with a spiritual one. He’s pushed to the limits of physical endurance, ethical research, and religious politics. Indeed, as impressive as Davis’ quest to obtain samples of the tetrodotoxin used in zombie powder is his dedication to accurate reporting. Extensive historical context anchors his narrative, and a bibliography notes both scientific and anthropological references.

This isn’t a book fetishizing Haitian vodoun as a Hollywoodized cult; instead, Davis depicts a complex worldview rooted in secret societies of the Efik in Africa and evolving through Maroon communities of escaped slaves in the Caribbean. Rather than a fable of rotting flesh, vodoun represents the lifeblood of rural Haiti, a spiritual and political paradigm intertwined with a colonial past and embedded in Haitian cultural thought. Within this nexus, zombification serves a very real and judicial purpose. For anyone looking to learn more about ethnobotany, Haitian religion, and one of the most significant ethnobotanical projects of the 20th century, this book is a must-read.

For those interested, Davis’ Passage of Darkness is an account of his research in Haiti written for an academic audience. If you want to learn more about the scientific foundation for zombification, consider giving it a look.
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle "We Own the Night" 24 ottobre 2012
Di Patrick - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
First off forget anything you saw in the film, which bears little resemblance to the book. THE SERPENT & THE RAINBOW is a fascinating anthropological study that reads like fiction; easily capable of holding a reader's interest from start to finish.

It is the early 1980's and Harvard educated ethnobotantist (one who scientifically studies the relationship between people and plants) Wade Davis is sent to Haiti to investigate the validity of two reported cases of zombification. The theory being the reanimated state is created through the action of then unidentified toxins found in a mysterious mixture called "zombie powder". Dr. Davis's financial backers believe the powder may be of some pharmacological interest.

Wade Davis does indeed obtain the mysterious powder; several forms of it in fact and analysis in the States prove the substances to contain the active ingredients tetrodotoxin from pufferfish and another potent toxin from dried tree frogs. Davis hypothesizes the powder when applied to broken or abraded skin causes an extreme reaction culminating in a death-like state. The victim, fully conscious but completely paralyzed, is then mistakenly diagnosed as dead, buried alive, and left in the grave for hours to days with nothing but the darkness and his or her own thoughts as company.

This is just the beginning of what can only be described as an absolutely horrific fate. The victim is later dug up, viciously beaten and subjected to frightening rituals designed to convince the victim that he or she is now a soulless zombie. To further this belief the victim is feed a paste containing tropane alkaloids from the Datura stramonium plant which causes delirium, confusion, and memory loss. The pliant zombie is then sold to one of the large farms on the island and is usually never seen or heard from again.

Sounds pretty frightening doesn't it? Well it doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what according to the author was going on in Haiti at the time of the book's writing. By this point obtaining the powder and getting a positive chemical analysis completed wasn't enough for the good doctor. He wanted to understand WHY zombies were being created in the first place, and WHO was making the decision to create them. The author wanted to understand the magic of Haitian Vodou.

What follows is an odyssey into the secret Vodou societies who controlled the countryside, and to a certain extent the capital of Port-au-Prince. It is the societies who "own the night" enforcing a system of folk justice with zombification as the ultimate punishment. Victims are rarely if ever innocent, chosen specifically for their difficult temperament and moral degeneracy. That the author was able to penetrate so deeply into the inner machinations of the societies and their relationship with government officials, and lived to write the tale, is absolutely amazing to this reader.

So what conclusions can be drawn from this classic work on Haitin Vodou? At the very least THE SERPENT & THE RAINBOW raises interesting questions about magical ethics and the role of magical practitioners in their communities. It also describes the rarest type of government to ever exist in the Americas: the thaumacracy (a society governed by the belief in magic and the power of its practitioners). This in my opinion makes the book an essential read for all modern day pagans and not just vodouists. Besides, for sheer pleasure reading it is a really good book.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Epic search for poisons in Haiti 25 novembre 2010
Di Alfred J. Kwak - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Wade Davis (WD) is a Canadian, Harvard-educated anthropologist, ethno-botanist and environmentalist. In 1982 he was asked by 2 key US scholars in psychiatry and psycho-pharmacy to travel to Haiti to find out more about `zombies', dead people alleged to have been resurrected from their graves to work as slaves. The scholars convinced WD that death is a tenuous concept and that the ultimate proof of death is putrefaction. But reports from Haiti suggest that some people declared dead (no breathing, heartbeat or brain activity) were buried and returned later to their communities without signs of putrefaction. How come? How can a death-like state be induced, sustained, and then be undone? WD thinks 2 types of poison might be responsible: one to turn the living into a near-dead capacity, another to undo the first poison to bring them back to reality.
WD's professor of ethno-botany at Harvard made his name by staying in the Amazon basin for 12 years rather than the one planned semester, collecting tons of medical plants, some of which turned out to be vital for pharmaceutical production, e.g. tranquillizers. His students were the Indiana Jones's of the 1950's and beyond, challenged to discover new plants able to serve as inputs for new medical drugs to improve anesthesia, psychiatric treatment, even space travel, by incapacitating people and resurrecting them at will.
This is an exceptionally well-written autobiographic account of research in Haiti to prove or dispel the notion of `zombies' and the poisons/pharmacology used to create and resurrect them. He does so by combining induction and deduction, testing book-based hypotheses from today's southern Nigeria in the late 18th century, its local botany and religious (Efik) beliefs, with contemporary Haitian mindsets.
It is the journey rather than the destination that should preoccupy readers of this formidable piece of research with plenty of references to personal and written sources. Today, 25 years after the publication of WD's book, Haiti is spared no amount of suffering. Its fierce energy is reflected in many novels from the 1980s,`90s and beyond by WD himself, Mayra Montero, Madison Smartt Bell's historical trilogy, Edwidge Dantikat and others.
Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in Haiti and the powers of mind-altering drugs and rituals.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Never cared about zombies until I met one! 2 gennaio 2017
Di Jason Como - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Dr Davis is a scientist who has added a tremendous insight into the science and anthropology of zombies. As a physician new to the culture of Haiti (never having had interest in Wes Craven or any horror movies) this has lead me to a more rational understanding of a real phenomenon that happens outside of the context of the world view of my upbringing. I will now read your more academic version of this. I will not see the movie though. If this is a real thing, it needs a serious treatment that Hollywood would have a hard time reproducing.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle I enjoy all of Wade Davis' books 9 giugno 2015
Di Mark Franklin - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
As an ethnobotanist myself, I enjoy all of Wade Davis' books, because I see his images from the same side of the street. This being his first book,(I believe), it was well written,and Davis' ability to blend science, and literature is more than excellent. I wasn't as entranced with this book as I was with "One River".(a later book) The Back in Boston chapter lost my attention just temporarily, but probably because the secrets shared of Haitian culture and viewed aspects of Afro-Caribbean religion of the earlier section's of the book were so intoxicating to read. An fascinating and knowledgeable read
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