The Serpent and the Rainbow

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Simon & Schuster, Aug 5, 1997 - Social Science - 304 pages
128 Reviews
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.

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Davis was writing about zombies before they were cool. - Goodreads
But be prepared for a boring ending. - Goodreads
Apart from that the prose is vivid and at times poetic. - Goodreads
Love the content, hate the writing. - Goodreads
Scary, interesting, educational, astonishing.... - Goodreads
Davis is a very charismatic writer. - Goodreads

Review: The Serpent and the Rainbow

User Review  - Briankiwi - Goodreads

Fascinating, sweet and bitter indeed, and a very, very long way from Zombie Pub Crawl. Read full review

Review: The Serpent and the Rainbow

User Review  - Ellen - Goodreads

Great read, another fantastic adventure by Wade Davis. Polished this one off on trains and buses during my trip to Spain! Read full review



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T. D. Luckey
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About the author (1997)

Wade Davis received his doctorate in ethnobotany from Harvard University and is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. He is the author of many books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow and One River. He lives in British Columbia, Canada.

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