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At Play in the Fields of the Lord: 11/18/07
Author Peter Matthessen is a naturalist and documentary filmmaker. At Play in the Fields of the Lord is a novel set in the Amazon. The same year he wrote the novel he also worked on the famous but somewhat controversial documentary Dead Birds.
At Play in the Fields of the Lord is another take on Heart of Darkness. A mercinary and a family of missionaries both come to a remote village for polar oppsoite reasons leaving the villagers in a tug of war. As with Conrad's tale, fantasticism ultimately destroys the fanatic.
Matthiessen's version of the dark journey up river is a far more straightforward narrative to Conrad's. I liked At Play in the Fields of the Lord more than I did Heart of Darkness but I still find the themes rather hard to swallow.
Readers who have enjoyed Barbara Kinsolver's Poisonwood Bible will probably like At Play in the Fields of the Lord.