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Song from the Forest [Hardcover]

Louis Sarno
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

18 Mar 1993
Entranced by a piece of vocal music which he heard on Dutch radio in 1980, Louis Sarno, an American anthropologist, spent hundreds of hours listening to ethnic music in pursuit of its source. He then travelled to the ancient rainforests of the Central African Republic to seek out its creators, who proved to be pygmies, a people legendary for their short stature and melodic wealth. Expecting to discover a noble people at one with nature and constantly indulging in meaningful music, Sarno was disappointed to find what seemed to be a lazy, scrounging group, surviving exclusively on tadpoles. Only when he had lived with the Ba-Benjelle pygmies for some time was he allowed to see that this unsavoury veneer was in reality covering a culture of extraordinary beauty and spiritual sophistication. He became inextricably involved in their lives - attempting, as he did so, to record their music for posterity, often with hilarious consequences. At the same time, he sought to protect their fragile existence from an increasingly destructive world. Permanently changed by his experience and captivated by a beautiful pygmy girl, he found making his home there a very easy decision. Encompassing cultural, environmental and human interest, this is Sarno's story.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group) (18 Mar 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593018648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593018644
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 835,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A window on a different world. Louis Sarno begins his description of his life with the Pygmies with the eyes of a westerner. His experiences transform his viewpoint to one more in accord with that of the Pygmies. The Pygmies are very close to their natural environment, the forests of Central Africa. Sarno's description of the forest spirits are both enchanting and enigmatic. His obsessive regard for his young Pygmy wife is slightly disturbing. We are afforded a view of this world through the eyes of a man who is truly passionate about it. Sarno's story is both one of the ongoing lives of the characters in this world and one of changes within it, some of which he has instigated himself, in order to benefit and preserve it. A second volume is long overdue.
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