On assignment in Alabama to cover a murder trial, New York Times journalist Dennis Covington discovered the bizarre, mysterious, ultimately irresistible world of holiness snake handling. As he explored the lives and beliefs of the poor, white Southerners who practice this strange form of religion, he gradually began to explore his own soul. A ...
On assignment in Alabama to cover a murder trial, New York Times journalist Dennis Covington discovered the bizarre, mysterious, ultimately irresistible world of holiness snake handling. As he explored the lives and beliefs of the poor, white Southerners who practice this strange form of religion, he gradually began to explore his own soul. A National Book Award nominee. of photos.
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EXCELLENT book from all aspects: informative (good reporting), personal (nicely balances "objective" reporting with "subjective" interaction with what is reported, and that interaction generalizes to issues all Christians confront at some time or other), and "aha" insightful, especially in the very last chapter.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-12-12 After Covington, a writing instructor at the University of Alabama, novelist (Lizard) and freelance journalist, covered the trial of a preacher convicted of attempting to murder his wife with rattlesnakes, he was invited to attend a snake-handling service in Scottsville, Ala. He found the service exhilarating and unsettling; he felt a kinship with the people, for he was only two generations removed from the hill country of Appalachia. Of Scottish-Irish descent, the handlers are religious mystics who believe in demons, drink strychnine and drape rattlesnakes around their bodies. Covington attended other services with Brother Carl Porter; he eventually handled a huge rattlesnake, and recalls that at the time, he felt absolutely no fear. This is a captivating glimpse of an exotic religious sect. (Jan.)
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