Part of the Objects Lessons series, a collection of short books which take a look at everyday objects, encouraging the reader to see them in a new light. Snake is part textbook, part memoir, as Erica Wright details her own experiences of the fascinating animals, paired with facts about them and their links to mythology and symbolism.
I have to admit, I’ve had a fascination with snakes since I was a kid. They’re intriguing animals, often portrayed poorly, sometimes harmless, sometimes dangerous, and much less scary than spiders. As Wright explains, they’re often linked to evil, to the bad guys, whether it’s in the Garden of Eden or the prince’s right-hand, er, snake in Robin Hood, or even the intriguing, unusual hairstyle of Medusa.
Wright does a great job of giving her own experiences alongside everything else, and there wasn’t a moment in this short book – which could really be considered a long essay – when I felt the text was boring or dry. One thing I found really intriguing was that Wright herself has a fear of snakes, but set out long ago to expose herself to them, and learn what she could about these animals.
There was nothing particularly new here (‘we might be born with a fear of snakes and spiders’ is one of my favorite factoids) for me, but it’s still an engaging read, told in a conversational tone that allows the reader to really follow it, without it becoming over-bearing or perhaps too academic. The ties to the snake as symbol, links to femininity, negative connotations and the like were laid out well and do provide food for thought, made better by the way it’s all laid out and connected.
I think this is a really good book that does well to dive into the snake, in an easy to follow manner while conveying a lot of information. It’s interesting, and worth checking out, especially if you want to know a little more about these fascinating animals.
Rating: 5 Stars
Find out more about author Erica Wright on her website.
Thank you to Bloomsbury Academic for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley.