6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A scintillatingly scientific book,
This review is from: Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle (Paperback)
Dan Everett has managed something quite rare for a writer covering a quite dense scientific subject and that is to make his book highly accessible, humorous and enlightening. I bought the book after hearing it serialised as BBC4's Book of the Week a few months ago and couldn't put it down.
The book offers both a thoroughly informative insight into the Pirahas Amazonian indians while at the same time chronicles the author's own trials and tribulations involved in adjusting to living in such a difficult environment with his young American family. I found the book a perfect balance between these two main areas and found that this mechanism has made a quite in-depth exploration of the linguistics and anthropology of this tribe into much more reader-friendly book. The book will also be quite an eye-opener for anyone who believes that humans have an innate "need" to believe in God or gods as the Pirahas have no creation myths in their culture at all. They appear to have evolved, due to their fantastically isolated habitat, completely in isolation and they have a language, culture and societal structure that is entirely unique. The book will make you reassess, with any luck, your existing moral framework when you realise that there is no such thing as moral absolutism. The reader will further find here irrefutable evidence for a functioning culture and society that is based on a totally alien set of rules and precepts. All in all then, a terrific book that will teach you lots of fascinating things in a fun way.