5 thoughts on “At Play in the Fields of the Lord

  1. My favorite book ever, at least so far as I recall. Protestant missionaries, Catholic missionaries, and a Lakota con-man turned his own sort of missionary in the Amazon jungle. Everyone’s flawed, everyone has a plan to save the Natives, and everyone loses their minds a bit. The most likeable character turns out to be the hellfire and brimstone Protestant missionary. They made a good movie of it, too, but the scenes on mind-altering drugs don’t work so well in there. Peter Matthieson is the man,

  2. I read this book twice, in 1989 in Africa and in 1996 in Brazil, then I spent five years among the Yanomami Indians and was able to experience many of the things described in the story.

    I recently listened to the audiobook version and found it moving, fascinating and thought-provoking. Anthony Heald does a great job with voices and accents, speaks the Spanish parts well and does a good job rendering the Niaruna language.

    As a story, it is brilliantly told; Matthiessen’s prose is vivid and his ch

  3. In the Heart of a Different Darkness

    My only previous encounter with the late Peter Matthiessen was his final novel, In Paradise, which impressed me immensely. So I went back almost fifty years to this novel of 1965, and was thrilled to see many of the same themes, yet treated in a strikingly different way. The protagonist of In Paradise attends a conference on the site of Auschwitz; a Gentile among Jews, he is joined by those of other faiths and some of no faith at all, none of which emerges uns

  4. I never was able to shake the feeling that there was something missing in this novel. Maybe it was a soul or heart that it lacked? Hard to say because it was, at times, quite beautiful, and the ending was very well done, but I felt empty after I was done with the book.

    One of the biggest problems I had with the book was that the characters felt very thin. Even Moon, who was written as a ‘complicated man’ never jumped off of the page and no amount of discussion between Wolf and Andy at the end abo

  5. This book can be read strictly as a great story; but it is hard for it not to resonate within myself at least on so many levels: finding oneself, the face of evil(man corrupted by greed and power–not a new concept by any means, but very well eximplified by characters and deeds perpetrated throughout the story as well as motives–some even done in the misguided perpetuation of good!) Feuding religous factions that are more interested in the how of accomplishing Christ’s message of spreading the

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