At Play in the Fields of the Lord

At Play in the Fields of the Lord

by Peter Matthiessen


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In a malarial outpost in the South American rain forest, two misplaced gringos converge and clash in this novel from the National Book Award-winning author. Martin Quarrier has come to convert the elusive Niaruna Indians to his brand of Christianity. Lewis Moon, a stateless mercenary who is himself part Indian, has come to kill them on the behalf of the local comandante. Out of this struggle Peter Matthiessen creates an electrifying moral thriller—adapted into a movie starring John Lithgow, Kathy Bates, and Tom Waits. A novel of Conradian richness, At Play in the Fields of the Lord explores both the varieties of spiritual experience and the politics of cultural genocide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679737414
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1991
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 412,536
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Peter Matthiessen was born in New York City in 1927 and had already begun his writing career by the time he graduated from Yale University in 1950. The following year, he was a founder of The Paris Review. His works of fiction include Shadow Country, which won the National Book Award, At Play in the Fields of the Lord, The Watson Trilogy (Killing Mister Watson, Lost Man's River, and Bone by Bone), and Far Tortuga. Matthiessen's parallel career as a naturalist and explorer has resulted in numerous widely acclaimed books of nonfiction, among them The Tree Where Man Was Born, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and The Snow Leopard, which won it. He died in 2014.

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At Play in the Fields of the Lord 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
heartrl More than 1 year ago
Phenomenally written and complex. Loved this book.
NicholasPayne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Matthiessen writes intelligently, but never quite captures me, but never would I say he isn't worth a read.
kambrogi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I chose this for a book/movie club because I liked the movie so much, but as the film turned out to be 3+ hours long, we chose The Mission to view. Both are typical missionary-mercenary stories, where people tamper with primitive cultures for different ¿ usually selfish -- reasons (example: Poisonwood Bible). The book starts very slowly, and is a rather negative take on missionaries, but by the sixth chapter it gets into gear, and I found it very thought-provoking, exploring issues of faith, identity and culture from the point of view of missionaries (both Catholic and fundamentalist, American and non-), government officials, and most especially the compelling native American mercenary character who is adrift in every world: Louis Moon.
stellamaymarie More than 1 year ago
one of the best books i've read. great characters, fantastic story, i've read it twice and may read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
steveforbertfan More than 1 year ago
I rarely read a book that I can't finish and this is one of them. I saw the movie and loved the movie so much that I thought to read the book to get a further perspective of the story, characters, etc. Instead I found a book that was boring and almost incomprehensible