In 1892, the Bishop of Tasmania set sail for Melanesia with the rationale of rescuing islanders from lives of worry, black magic and cannibalism. Over a hundred years later, his nice grandson, Charles Montgomery, the bishop's direction throughout the South Pacific, searching out the spirits and myths his missionary forebear had sought to destroy.
Montgomery explored distant seashores the place gospel and empire by no means took carry. He rubbed shoulders with barefoot preachers, witch medical professionals and gun-toting rebels, in basic terms to find that the pagan spirits have been extra tenacious than the missionaries had imagined. Melanesians had stirred Jesus and Mary into an already highly spiced broth of ancestor worship, ghosts, shark gods and magic. via confrontations with a extraordinary solid of characters -- the randy ethnographer, the soft-talking murderer, the leper prophet -- the adventure turns into a debate at the nature of magic, fantasy and religion, and a metaphor for the reworking energy of story.
The final Heathen marks the debut of an exhilarating younger author who charts his adventures with ardour, perception and grace.