BN.com Gift Guide

The Serpent and the Rainbow

( 8 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$12.19
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (50) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $7.89   
  • Used (36) from $1.99   
The Serpent and the Rainbow

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.66
BN.com price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Exotic and far-reaching . . . a corker of a read, just the way Indiana Jones would tell it." — The Wall Street Journal

"Zombis do come back from the dead, and Wade Davis knows how." — Washington Post Book World

"An account solving one of the most puzzling biological mysteries of all time." — Omni

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Haitians believe that the world is full of spirits, and accept spirit possession as part of life and of their African-derived vodoun religion, notes Harvard ethnobotanist Davis. This booka combination of travelogue, scientific report and mysteryis an arresting account of his search for poisons and antidotes presumably used to create zombis, the victims usually selected by a secret society tribunal. Analysis revealed that the poisons contain a substance that lowers the metabolic rate almost to the point of clinical death, from which, with the help of sorcerers, bodies may be raised from the grave. Vodoun priests, witnesses and alleged zombisone of whom Davis metmaintained that the victims of such unnatural deaths are often turned into robot-like slaves. How Davis gained access to the all-powerful network of secret societies similar to those of West Africa, witnessed and even participated in their meetings provides the final key to the zombi mystery. First serial to Omni. January 6
Library Journal
The book is an anecdotal and personal account by Davis, an ethnobotanist who pursued research on zombification in Haiti. During the course of several field trips, Davis discovered the neuropharmacological properties of plant and animal substances that explain how zombies are made. Davis also became enmeshed in the social web of Haitian society and depicts the historical forces that led to the intertwined relationships between cults and secret societies on the one hand, and the government on the other. The book lacks the kind of completeness that might be of interest to anthropologists, ethnobotanists, and medical specialists; it is more of a personal narrative, a diary of discovery, interesting to the public at large, but leaving specialists with a number of unanswered questions. Preferred Choice Book Plan main selection. Winifred Lambrecht, Anthropology Dept., Brown Univ., Providence, R.I.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684839295
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 8/5/1997
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 236,482
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling

    I initially became interested in this book after writing an adventure novel set in 1935 Haiti which contained a fictionalized account of voodoo. Naturally I was drawn to the Wade Davis's Serpent and the Rainbow.

    Containing close to 300 pages with fast-paced chapters I found this to be a great value. Not only does it satisfy a person seeking an adventure novel (which it is) or as a guide to native cultures and anthropology (does this too) but also as a sort of mystery. Indeed a murder mystery whereby the victims refuse to play their roles and keep returning from the dead!

    I understand that since the publication of this book, some in the scientific community want to dismiss this important work. Until these skeptics spend the time, energy and effort that was expended by Wade Davis in his epic search for the truth; it would be my suggestion that they study a bit more in order to catch up.

    The casual reader as well as the research type will enjoy this well made book. I greatly appreciate the work the author put into this material. And finally, to agree with the other reviewers - No, this is not at all like the movie.

    I can also recommend an oldie but goodie - Voodoo Fire in Haiti

    I hope you find my opinion helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch
    Author of Wingtips with Spurs

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    somewhat slow...but interesting overall

    Rating: 3.5 stars

    The Serpent and the Rainbow is a somewhat slow first-hand account of the search for the truth behind zombis. Wade Davis weaves together mysticism, ethnobotony, anthropology and history. Overall, it was a pretty interesting tale Wade wove. I especially enjoyed learning some of the history of Haiti and her African roots. There were parts though that bored me. The movie is much more exciting, but if you're interested in the real story written by the man himself you should read the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    Intetesting

    An informative read, but ocassionaly rambling and dull.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good For Research

    This Book by Wade Davis, a professor at Harvard is a very good book for reading and general information about voodoo. I like the mix of science and reilgion, and the paradox of freewill and to think this book is not fiction but nonfiction and really happen. Now if anyone is like me and read alot and expand one,s intellect then this book is the one for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    A good read

    Can get a bit repetitive at times.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)