I think the character Cal Jamison ruined the whole book. He was a totally unbelievable character. There was absolutely no desire to willingly suspend my disbelief. Jamison is supposed to be an anthropologist. Not a "just graduated wide eyed novice" but a seasoned professor that studied with one of the world's greatest anthropologists.
There was no way Jamison was written as an anthropologist. These may seem picky, but it ruined the entire book...not that it was really good to begin with but I just got consistantly aggravated every time misinformation was presented. It hurt to read.
1. He consistently refers to indigenous peoples as "savages."
2. He shows a good deal of racist/religiously intolerant ideas. At one point he asks his girlfriend to give up Voudon (a real religion). He wants her to stop doing the Voudon stuff. Insert the word Christian or Buddhist in this sentence and see how ridiculous that sounds. "I want you to stop doing that Christian stuff." or "I want you stop doing that Buddhist stuff."
3. Cal shows no understanding of religion as it relates to culture. It's not something that people can "just stop doing."
4. The book makes the assertion that Voudon is an unknown territory anthropologically speaking. The author makes it seem as though it's still a secret even though at the time the book was written, millions in real life practiced Voudon as well as Santeria and other forms.
5. Cal's colleagues find his study of African religions and the evolution into the Americas ridiculous. Excuse me? WTF?
This was a stupid book that plays on the Urban Legends of alternate religions.