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The Shark God av Charles Montgomery
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The Shark God (utgåvan 2009)

av Charles Montgomery

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
1373154,165 (3.64)Ingen/inga
When Charles Montgomery was ten years old, he stumbled upon the memoirs of his great-grandfather, a seafaring missionary in the South Pacific. Twenty years later and a century after that journey, entranced by the world of black magic and savagery the bishop described, Montgomery set out for Melanesia in search of the very spirits and myths his great-grandfather had sought to destroy.  In The Shark God, he retraces his ancestor’s path through the far-flung islands, exploring the bond between faith and magic, the eerie persistence of the spirit world, and the heavy footprints of the British Empire. In the South Pacific, he discovers a world of sorcery and shark worship, where Christian and pagan rituals coexist and an ordinary day is marked by confrontations with America-worshiping cult leaders and militants alike. A defiantly original blend of history and memoir, anthropology and travel writing, The Shark God is ultimately a tale of personal and political transformation.   “The Shark God, a travel story as dark and twisted as one might ever wish to hear . . . reaches a superb climax with some apocalyptically page-turning scenes.”—Guardian   “A fascinating account of the drama of Melanesian life.”—Times Literary Supplement   “With exquisite writing, Montgomery lovingly captures the beauty and the horrors, the mysteries and the shams of the people and places he visits.”—Publishers Weekly   “A very real and memorable talent. . . . The endurance [Montgomery] displayed on his travels was admirable, the adventures he survived were tremendous, and the quality of his prose seems matched only by the wisdom of his observations.”—Simon Winchester, Globe and Mail (Toronto)… (mer)
Medlem:evenlake
Titel:The Shark God
Författare:Charles Montgomery
Info:HarperCollins e-books, Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:unread, adventure, nonfiction, memoir

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The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific av Charles Montgomery

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Following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, a missionary to the Melanesian islands, Montgomery embarks on his own journey of discovery. In an attempt to find the deep faith of his ancestor, he treks to remote villages of indigenous peoples to witness their secret ceremonies, black magic, totems and superstitions. The lines between myth and miracle become blurred as Montgomery learns to define his own beliefs. ( )
  poetreegirl | Feb 1, 2013 |
I read this book as part of the First Look program of Harper Collins. I cannot begin to even express how very very good it is; it is nonfiction, travel but not yet travel, and incorporates history, mythology, religion, spirituality, anthropology and an insight gleaned from the author that is truly unbelievable.

Inspired by his find of an envelope of sand in the library at Oxford, the author, Charles Montgomery decides that he will follow the route taken in 1892 by his great-grandfather, Henry Montgomery, and Anglican missionary and bishop. Henry had gone on the mission ship Southern Cross with the mission of bringing "the One True God to the heathens of the Melanesian archipelago". Charles Montgomery's tracing of his ancestor's footsteps is only part of the journey, though. It's what he finds along the way that comprises the meat of this story.

In a nutshell: the first missionaries reported back that the inhabitants of the Melanesian island chain practiced cannibalism, headhunting, magic, and had a lust for blood. The Melanesians also had literally thousands of spirits inhabiting the islands, and if someone knew the right techniques, then it was possible to "harness the power of curses, magic cures and helpful spirits." (12) But as Christianity began to move into the islands and the writings of the missionaries began to tout their successes, these gods and spirits, as noted by the author, "receded into the shadow of the new god..." (13) The author sets out in his grandfather's shadow to find where these spirits had gone and to find any vestiges of "heathens," and to discover the old knowledge from "someone very old and wise." (17) What he expects to find and what he finds make up the very heart and soul of this story.

It is an incredible journey; I was literally mesmerized from cover to cover. I highly recommend this book. My only critique is that it needs pictures! This would have more fully fleshed out the author's adventures. Maybe there are no pictures because it's an ARC. Please do NOT miss this book. ( )
1 rösta bcquinnsmom | May 9, 2006 |
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What indeed do we not owe to the influence of the departed?
They are not dead. Thousands of them live for us,
they still speak to us out of every century, and from far down
the ages, till we have reached the furthest bounds of history.
Somehow they seem all round us.

  - Henry Montgomery, Life's Journey
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When Charles Montgomery was ten years old, he stumbled upon the memoirs of his great-grandfather, a seafaring missionary in the South Pacific. Twenty years later and a century after that journey, entranced by the world of black magic and savagery the bishop described, Montgomery set out for Melanesia in search of the very spirits and myths his great-grandfather had sought to destroy.  In The Shark God, he retraces his ancestor’s path through the far-flung islands, exploring the bond between faith and magic, the eerie persistence of the spirit world, and the heavy footprints of the British Empire. In the South Pacific, he discovers a world of sorcery and shark worship, where Christian and pagan rituals coexist and an ordinary day is marked by confrontations with America-worshiping cult leaders and militants alike. A defiantly original blend of history and memoir, anthropology and travel writing, The Shark God is ultimately a tale of personal and political transformation.   “The Shark God, a travel story as dark and twisted as one might ever wish to hear . . . reaches a superb climax with some apocalyptically page-turning scenes.”—Guardian   “A fascinating account of the drama of Melanesian life.”—Times Literary Supplement   “With exquisite writing, Montgomery lovingly captures the beauty and the horrors, the mysteries and the shams of the people and places he visits.”—Publishers Weekly   “A very real and memorable talent. . . . The endurance [Montgomery] displayed on his travels was admirable, the adventures he survived were tremendous, and the quality of his prose seems matched only by the wisdom of his observations.”—Simon Winchester, Globe and Mail (Toronto)

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