Dont Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle
Reviewed by- Andrea (2010/04/25, 04:19 PM)
I was drawn to this book because I love learning about other cultures. The idea of a missionary becoming an atheist after his stay with a tribe from the Brazilian Amazon was hard to resist. The author’s idea was to live with the Piraha’s as a missionary, learn their language so he could translate the bible and convert them to Christianity. He arrived in the jungle with his wife and three children and what he experienced was fascinating. Apparently all languages follow a universal pattern but according to Everett research the language of the Piraha’s does not. This coincides with their unusual culture and gives Everett the opportunity to show the reader how much language is a part of the culture. Imagine a language without words for colors or only living in the present. The first half of this book was extremely interesting and hard to put down. As a reader, you are treated to an inside look at this amazing tribe of people who live in the heart of the Amazon far from civilization. The second half of the book becomes more of a text book for the linguistic part of the author's study. It slows down quite a bit and can be a bit tedious. Near the end, it does regain its pace and completes this incredible journey. This book certainly gives you a lot to think about.Back.

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