Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes by Daniel L. Everett
Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 9 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

A riveting account of the astonishing experiences and discoveries made by linguist Daniel Everett while he lived with the Pirahã, a small tribe of Amazonian Indians in central Brazil. Daniel Everett arrived among the Pirahã with his wife and three young children hoping to convert the tribe to Christianity. Everett quickly became obsessed with their language and its cultural and linguistic implications. The Pirahã have no counting system, no fixed terms for color, no concept of war, and no personal property. Everett was so impressed with their peaceful way of life that he eventually lost faith in the God he'd hoped to introduce to them, and instead devoted his life to the science of linguistics. Part passionate memoir, part scientific exploration, Everett's life-changing tale is riveting look into the nature of language, thought, and life itself.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Daniel L. Everett

See more books from this Author
Daniel L. Everett is dean of arts and sciences at Bentley University. He has held appointments in linguistics and/or anthropology at the University of Campinas, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Manchester, and Illinois State University.
 
Published November 4, 2008 by Vintage. 283 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Despite his understated style, Everett's experiences and findings fairly explode from these pages and will reverberate in the minds of readers.

Nov 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

'This places them,' Everett suggests, 'in the unenviable position of claiming that the unique property of human language does not actually have to be found in any human language.' Everett writes simply and persuasively about language, but he lacks the wit and felicitous gift for analogy that enab...

Nov 16 2008 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

When Daniel Everett went to live among the Pirahã people in the late 1970s, he was committed to two sets of orthodox beliefs.

Dec 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

Book Reporter

Everett is one of the few outsiders who ever learned to speak it, but he believes that after 30 years, the Pirahã people still do not regard him as a speaker any more than we consider a computer to be an English speaker.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

The Bookbag

I can heartily recommend this book – if you are not a language nut, you can skip the sections where Everett ponders on Chomsky's theories of language development - but if you are, you will find it fascinating, and there is so much else to enjoy in Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

None of the Pirahãs spoke any English or more than the most rudimentary Portuguese (Among their many eccentricities is their total lack of interest in any facet of any other culture including tools or language – not that they won’t use tools, like canoes, they just won’t make them or absorb them ...

Nov 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

Science News

Everett found that the Pirahã have no words for colors or numbers, no way to embed phrases within other phrases and one of the smallest sets of speech sounds in the world.

Jan 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

New Scientist

New Scientist full online access is exclusive to subscribers.

Dec 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

The Blurb

Everett suggests instead that “grammar – the mechanics of language – is much less important than the culture-based meanings and constraints on talking of each specific culture in the world.” This is much less dry than it sounds, and is all cunningly tied...

| Read Full Review of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes...

Reader Rating for Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 118 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×