I expected this to be a humorous send-up
of extreme fundamentalist biblical doctrines, but it is actually a
thoughtful demonstration of the value of religious life. The secular
Jacobs follows to the letter biblical laws that often lead to hilarious
results: he eats a locust, stones an adulterer (with a pebble), and
generally tests the patience of his bemused wife. To his surprise, what
starts out as a lark for the skeptical Jacobs becomes a profound,
life-changing experience that opens the reader's eyes to new spiritual
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Don't let the boring title (an inaccurate translation) fool you: this is one of the most gripping true-adventure tales you;ll ever read. Cabeza de Vaca was one of only four survivors of a 300-member Spanish expedition to Florida in 1527. For the next 8 years he wandered 3000 miles to the Pacific Mexican coast, experiencing first-hand an untrammeled pre-European America. He describes vividly his transformation from virtual slave to revered spiritual healer devotedly followed by hundreds of natives. This is truly an awe-inspiring, one-of-a-kind mini-epic.