A truly wonderful book; I would give it 6 stars if I could. The writing is spectacular, rich, creating a sense of the euphoria of its title. Three finely drawn, unforgettable characters: Bankson, the troubled, conflicted, earnest narrator, struggling to overcome the disappointment of his parents and brothers at his failure to become the great biologist; Fen, the envious, marginal anthropologist constantly overshadowed by the brilliance of his wife; and above all Nell, passionate, brilliant, insightful, beautiful, immersing herself in the culture of the tribes, capturing not just the facts but gloriously embracing the romance of it all. Penetrating insight into human intellectual competitiveness, the search of an individual for his/her own destiny. King's presentation of the anthropologist's dilemma when encountering an alien culture is perfectly apt, questioning "how we believed we could be objective in any way at all, we who each came in with our own personal definitions of kindness, strength, masculinity, femininity, God, civilization, right and wrong".

wyenotgo's rating:
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