|
Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Wiki

Salvation on Sand Mountainis a story of snake handling and strychnine drinking, of faith healing and speaking in tongues. It is also the story of one man's search for his roots--and, in the end, of his spiritual renewal. Writer Dennis Covington came to this ecstatic form of Christianity as a reporter covering a sensational murder case; Glen Summerford, pastor of the Church of Jesus with Signs Following, had been accused of attempting to kill his wife with rattlesnakes. There, in a courtroom filled with journalists and gawking spectators, Covington felt the pull of a spirituality that was to dominate his life for the next several years. Attending Summerford's church out of curiosity, he soon forged close friendships with some of the worshippers, began attending snake-handling services throughout the South, and eventually took up snakes himself.

With subject matter this lurid, Salvation on Sand Mountain could have been a Southern-fried curiosity and little more. Covington goes far deeper. Tracing the snake handlers' roots in regional history, in the deep spiritual alienation of mountain people from the secular modern world they have so recently joined, Covington is more than just sympathetic to the snake handlers; in a profound way, he considers himself one of them. His reasoning is sometimes flawed--when he attempts to find snake handlers in his own family's past, for instance, the result is belabored and unconvincing--but there's no doubt that Covington's heart is in the right place. He's also not without his own brand of sly gallows humor, as in this conversation with the elderly Gracie McAllister: "She'd swore she'd never handle rattlesnakes in July again. She'd been bit the previous two Julys. 'I decided I'd just handle fire and drink strychnine that night,' she said. Good idea, I thought. It always pays to be on the safe side."

Covington eventually breaks with the snake handlers, but comes away from the experience a changed man. "Knowing where you come from is one thing, but it's suicide to stay there," he writes. An American Book Award winner and finalist for the National Book Award, Salvation on Sand Mountain is a nuanced, compassionate portrait of an unforgettable spiritual journey. --Mary Park

edit this info

Details

ISBN-10:  0140254587
ISBN-13:  978-0140254587
Author:  Dennis Covington
Publisher:  Penguin
What's your opinion on Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake-Handli...?
rate
2 Ratings: +5.0
You have exceeded the maximum length.
More Salvation on Sand Mountain: Sn... reviews
review by . May 12, 2013
Religiously hypnotic look into the world of snake handling.
Salvation on Sand Mountain was a book that truly awed me to feel things that I never felt before when it came to faith and being closer with the Spirit. Covington's book will take readers to parts of Southern Appalachia that is so little understood and appreciated, the world of the snake handling, strychchnine drinking, tongue rattling Southerner who has carried this exotic tradition from generation down to generation. The intense faith and passion which these people believe and handle their …
review by . January 25, 2000
Salvation on Sand Mountain was a book that truly awed me to feel things that I never felt before when it came to faith and being closer with the Spirit. Covington's book will take readers to parts of Southern Appalachia that is so little understood and appreciated, the world of the snake handling, strychchnine drinking, tongue rattling Southerner who has carried this exotic tradition from generation down to generation. The intense faith and passion which these people believe and handle their serpants, …
Photos
Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake-Handling and
Related Topics
The Outsiders (Novel)

A book by S. E. Hinton.

Shutter Island

A book by Dennis Lehane.

Moby-Dick

A novel by Herman Melville

The Bell Jar

Book

© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists