Sunday, February 8, 2009

Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington


If you think the title of the book sounds interesting, wait till you see the full title: Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake-Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia. Um, yeah. Snake handling.

This is not a book that I would have chosen for myself, it was given to me by my very favorite language arts teacher at school. She thinks that she read it for a non-fiction class in college. We like to give each other books to read, so far, I've enjoyed pretty much everything she has given to me, too bad it has not been reciprocal. On the last book I gave her, she didn't care for the "character's voice." See, I learn so much from her. I plan on using "Character's Voice" in my next book review.

Back to Sand Mountain. I was interested in this book because, one...I'm fairly close to Sand Mountain, GA, about 40 miles away, and two...hello...snake handling.

The back of the book:

Glendel Buford Summerfod, pastor of the Church of Jesus with Signs Following, was convicted of trying to kill his wife with poisonous snakes. As Dennis Covington covered the murder trial, he discovered the bizarre, mysterious, ultimately irresistible world of holiness snake handling - a world of unshakable faith, where people handle poisonous snakes, drink strychnine, speak in tongues, lay hands on the sick, and, some claim, raise the dead. As Covington 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.

If that sounds interesting and intriguing, then this is a pretty good read. He really gets in with these people and becomes emotionally involved, so it's has more of a story feel, and not so much a documentary.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

9 comments:

Loveanewidea said...

My goodness, such an unusual story! Also, your blog feels different to me...new color scheme?

Kat said...

My husband has read that book many times. I will not even touch a book that mentions the word snakes on it's cover. I am sure I would never sleep again. But, that being said, my hubby reads all kinds of books, he is not obsessed with that sort of thing but must be at least curious about their religion to have read it so many times. We, too do not live far from Sand Mountain. We are West of it about 40-50 miles.

Pam said...

Love - My blog has no color scheme! I think that it might need some more color, what do you think?

Kat - How interesting! I didn't think I'd know anyone else who has read it!

Terri and Bob said...

Whoa, this is out there. I may have to read this even though I don't want to. Is even possible? I will have Bob look for this book.

noble pig said...

Ww I wuld have never picked this off the shelf either. Thanks so much for the head up.

Paula said...

There is something intriguing about this. I'm always interested in learning about why folks are attracted to how they worship.

SweetPeaSurry said...

Sounds tres chic!!!

doris said...

I love your blog ... color scheme or not. I've visited quite a bit but never told you how much fun I have visiting you. Thanks for making my day more interesting.

sherry said...

Was the book you gave your colleague "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"? If so, I know where she's coming from.