By Charles Montgomery
Whilst Charles Montgomery was once ten years previous, he stumbled upon the memoirs of his great-grandfather, a seafaring missionary within the South Pacific. 20 years later and a century after that trip, entranced via the realm of black magic and savagery the bishop defined, Montgomery set out for Melanesia looking for the very spirits and myths his great-grandfather had sought to destroy. In The Shark God, he retraces his ancestor’s direction in the course of the far-flung islands, exploring the bond among religion and magic, the eerie endurance of the spirit global, and the heavy footprints of the British Empire.
In the South Pacific, he discovers an international of sorcery and shark worship, the place Christian and pagan rituals coexist and a standard day is marked via confrontations with America-worshiping cult leaders and militants alike. A defiantly unique combination of background and memoir, anthropology and trip writing, The Shark God is finally a story of private and political transformation.
“The Shark God, a commute tale as darkish and twisted as one may well ever desire to listen . . . reaches an outstanding climax with a few apocalyptically page-turning scenes.”—Guardian
“A attention-grabbing account of the drama of Melanesian life.”—Times Literary complement
“With beautiful writing, Montgomery lovingly captures the sweetness and the horrors, the mysteries and the shams of the folk and areas he visits.”—Publishers Weekly
“A very genuine and remarkable expertise. . . . The persistence [Montgomery] displayed on his travels was once admirable, the adventures he survived have been great, and the standard of his prose turns out matched purely through the knowledge of his observations.”—Simon Winchester, Globe and Mail (Toronto)
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Additional resources for The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific
He was born ten years after the death of Stradivari and, like him, lived a long life, dying at the age of eighty-eight. His life was characterized by an unﬂagging dedication to his art, from which he retired at the age of eighty-ﬁve when his sight began to fail. He worked all day in his small workshop in Paris, located at 10 Quai de l’École, overlooking the Seine. The bows that existed prior to Tourte, even those made by Arcangelo Corelli, did not succeed in extracting the instruments’ full range of rich sounds.
Allard violin by Antonio Stradivari, 1715. clockwise from top left: Front view, back view, and scroll. Photos by Stewart Pollens. No one has ever surpassed the sheer quality of the tone, beauty, and perfect craftsmanship of his instruments. At a very young age he worked as an apprentice and assistant under the great Nicolo Amati in Cremona, but soon began working on his own. Not only did he inherit the great Cremona tradition and incorporate the Brescian virtues of violin making, but he was also a great innovator who never ceased to experiment in the search for the perfect instrument.
The modern bow: françois tourte, the stradivari of bow makers The great modern bow-making tradition began in the eighteenth century with François Tourte (1747–1835), the most brilliant bow maker in history—the Stradivari of bow makers. He was born ten years after the death of Stradivari and, like him, lived a long life, dying at the age of eighty-eight. His life was characterized by an unﬂagging dedication to his art, from which he retired at the age of eighty-ﬁve when his sight began to fail.
The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific by Charles Montgomery