With subject matter this lurid, Salvation on Sand Mountain could have been a Southern-fried curiosity and little more. Covington goes far deeper. Tracing the snake handlers' roots in regional history, in the deep spiritual alienation of mountain people from the secular modern world they have so recently joined, Covington is more than just sympathetic to the snake handlers; in a profound way, he considers himself one of them. His reasoning is sometimes flawed--when he attempts to find snake handlers in his own family's past, for instance, the result is belabored and unconvincing--but there's no doubt that Covington's heart is in the right place. He's also not without his own brand of sly gallows humor, as in this conversation with the elderly Gracie McAllister: "She'd swore she'd never handle rattlesnakes in July again. She'd been bit the previous two Julys. 'I decided I'd just handle fire and drink strychnine that night,' she said. Good idea, I thought. It always pays to be on the safe side."
Covington eventually breaks with the snake handlers, but comes away from the experience a changed man. "Knowing where you come from is one thing, but it's suicide to stay there," he writes. An American Book Award winner and finalist for the National Book Award, Salvation on Sand Mountain is a nuanced, compassionate portrait of an unforgettable spiritual journey. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a very easy read but well written! I have watched snake handing from a long, long way off and wished I had THAT much faith in my GOD and Savior!Published 3 days ago by Alley cat
A fascinating and culturally relevant journey into the world of "mountain religion". The author provides such a unique perspective on the topic as he became personally... Read morePublished 3 months ago by B. Olive
(This is the edition I read, but many other reviews of this book can be found in a newer edition.)
In Dennis Covington's account of Pentecostal Appalachian Snake... Read more
I felt the Holy Ghost in the book now I'm saved and seeking a handling church
Please help me now????
Had to read this for an English class in college. I was very much dreading reading this but once I got started i could not put it down. I read it in two days. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Matt Miller
A beautiful, respectful, and spiritual book about a little understood religious expression and the people who practice it. An unforgettable journey.Published 6 months ago by C. Parr
Dennis Covington's book is journalistic memoir at its finest. Covington is honest about himself and his subject matter, but never judgmental about others. Read morePublished 6 months ago by mando_lines
This book is incredible. How the state of Arizona could have closed their eyes is beyond reason. It is compelling but a very sad story.Published 7 months ago by John R. Erain
The book gave me a better understanding of this religious practice. I would definitely recommend this book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Becky Scaglione