To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
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
Covington is an excellent writer and takes the reader on his personal spiritual/social journey into a Pentecostal "sect. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Ashburnus
I wanted to appreciate this book but quit reading after 60 pages. This was not a world in which I wanted to spend more time... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Francesca75
Salvation on Sand Mountain, written by journalist Dennis Covington in a masterly, artistic style, is a cultural expose about religious fundamentalists from southern Appalachia who... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Russell H. Ferrell
It's a very peculiar reading for sure. The gist of it is that there are snake handlers who interpret the bible literally, and they drink poison and act basically like "war... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Timaeus
This is a very interesting Book to Read, I like the way he writes his Stories.Published 2 months ago by Beartrap
Journalists can get all kinds of assignments. War zones, crime scenes, frat parties. Imagine this one: pack your bags and go assimilate yourself deep into the Southern Appalachian... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tom Field
I like unusual subjects. This one fit the bill. The writer let you get to know the characters, who are/were real people. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kindle Customer