Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on June 13, 2015
This is a beautifully written book with inspired prose and deep insights. It looks at Africa and Africans with open eyes and a sensitivity to their heritage and culture. It also examines the role of missionaries in Africa, some of whom are good and some terrible. It is not a book for the deeply religious who cannot stand to see their own beliefs challenged or to acknowledge that there are other belief systems out there that are held just as dearly by their followers.
I would like to site some of my favorite passages.
I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence.
Mama says their skin bears scars different from ours because their skin is a map of all the sorrows in their lives.
I pictured hands like those digging diamonds out of the Congo dirt and go to thinking, Gee, does Marilyn Monroe even know where they come from? Just picturing her in thr stain gown and a COngolese diamond digger int he same universe gave me the weebie jeebies. So I didn't think about it anymore.
God doesn't need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves.
Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.
There are a lot of other passages and verbal images that I loved but I can't copy the whole book here. However, there is one last thing I want to say and this is a complaint.
Here is the quote:
A parasite of humans that extinguished us altogether, you see, would quickly be laid to rest in human graves, So the race between predator and prey remains exquisitely neck and neck.
As always, it is impossible for people to understand evolution. This passage was supposed to have been said by a researcher at the CDC. It fails to understand that evolution is not forward looking. It is highly likely that this scenario has played out over the millennium for species that no longer exist. In fact, the Tasmanian devil is currently facing extinction from a viral form of cancer that fits this description. This kind of thing is more likely in small populations where genetic diversity is limited. Probably the human race has little to fear on this account.