Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Review -The Mystery Library: Voodoo

The book is, The Mystery Library: Voodoo by Stuart A. Kallen.

I reserved this book at the library without realizing it was geared toward younger readers. I decided to read it anyway. I can say it is a very good introduction to Voodou and covers the religion found in Africa, in Haiti, and in New Orleans. The book also touches on hoodoo; however it presents hoodoo in a semi-schizophrenic fashion by having hoodoo be part of Voodou in certain sections and then a separate practice or a tradition of magic that has been stripped of it's "Voodou religion". Of course both forms of presentation of hoodoo in the book are incorrect. I believe this was done because the author did not realize that "conjure" and "rootwork" were synonyms for hoodoo. I believe the author confused "conjure" and "root doctor" with a practitioner of Voodou. Despite the inaccuracies on hoodoo the book is a good, basic introduction to Voodou. The only things about the book that I dislike is that the book is only circa 100 pages and all the photographs are in black and white. Some of the photographs are good and would have had even a greater impact on the reader if colored photographs were used.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, I give this book a 5.

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