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Lunch » Tags » Book » Reviews » Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake-Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia » User review

Religiously hypnotic look into the world of snake handling.

  • May 12, 2013
  • by
Rating:
+5
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, is, in a crazy way, admirable and moving. Covington really does have an ear for the core message of what these handlers want to convey: handling snakes (however deadly some of them might be) is to be closer to God. The author writes with a compassionate, freakish warmth, a sacred reverence not just for the people involved but for an act that nobody would fathom themselves participating in. The prose is lush and stimulating and will draw many readers -- however sarcastic or doubtful they may be -- into this unique fire and brimstone subculture before they can sum an opinion of the people who handle snakes in the name of God. Salvation on Sand Mountain is indeed a book that has some of the best writing about the South.
Religiously hypnotic look into the world of snake handling.

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More Salvation on Sand Mountain: Sn... reviews
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, …
About this book

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 ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0140254587
ISBN-13: 978-0140254587
Author: Dennis Covington
Publisher: Penguin

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