The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow

by Wade Davis


$15.30 $17.00 Save 10% Current price is $15.3, Original price is $17. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, August 27


A scientific investigation and personal adventure story about zombis and the voudoun culture of Haiti by a Harvard scientist.

In April 1982, ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombis—people who had reappeared in Haitian society years after they had been officially declared dead and had been buried. Drawn into a netherworld of rituals and celebrations, Davis penetrated the vodoun mystique deeply enough to place zombification in its proper context within vodoun culture. In the course of his investigation, Davis came to realize that the story of vodoun is the history of Haiti—from the African origins of its people to the successful Haitian independence movement, down to the present day, where vodoun culture is, in effect, the government of Haiti’s countryside.

The Serpent and the Rainbow combines anthropological investigation with a remarkable personal adventure to illuminate and finally explain a phenomenon that has long fascinated Americans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684839295
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 08/05/1997
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 100,151
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Wade Davis received his doctorate in ethnobotany from Harvard University and is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. He is the author of many books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow and One River. He lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Serpent and the Rainbow 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
I initially became interested in this book after writing an adventure novel set in 1935 Haiti which contained a fictionalized account of voodoo. Naturally I was drawn to the Wade Davis's Serpent and the Rainbow. Containing close to 300 pages with fast-paced chapters I found this to be a great value. Not only does it satisfy a person seeking an adventure novel (which it is) or as a guide to native cultures and anthropology (does this too) but also as a sort of mystery. Indeed a murder mystery whereby the victims refuse to play their roles and keep returning from the dead! I understand that since the publication of this book, some in the scientific community want to dismiss this important work. Until these skeptics spend the time, energy and effort that was expended by Wade Davis in his epic search for the truth; it would be my suggestion that they study a bit more in order to catch up. The casual reader as well as the research type will enjoy this well made book. I greatly appreciate the work the author put into this material. And finally, to agree with the other reviewers - No, this is not at all like the movie. I can also recommend an oldie but goodie - Voodoo Fire in Haiti I hope you find my opinion helpful. Michael L. Gooch Author of Wingtips with Spurs
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3.5 stars The Serpent and the Rainbow is a somewhat slow first-hand account of the search for the truth behind zombis. Wade Davis weaves together mysticism, ethnobotony, anthropology and history. Overall, it was a pretty interesting tale Wade wove. I especially enjoyed learning some of the history of Haiti and her African roots. There were parts though that bored me. The movie is much more exciting, but if you're interested in the real story written by the man himself you should read the book.
Emia More than 1 year ago
An informative read, but ocassionaly rambling and dull.
aestrea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was not only a great and entertaining read, but packed full of wonderful, accurate first-hand information. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for an interesting fun read or looking to learn more about the culture of Haiti and the religion of Vodou.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snacksthemaster More than 1 year ago
This Book by Wade Davis, a professor at Harvard is a very good book for reading and general information about voodoo. I like the mix of science and reilgion, and the paradox of freewill and to think this book is not fiction but nonfiction and really happen. Now if anyone is like me and read alot and expand one,s intellect then this book is the one for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can get a bit repetitive at times.