If atmosphere were everything in fiction, Vincent Louis Carrella's first novel might be proclaimed a masterpiece. "Serpent Box" takes readers deep inside the world of Pentecostal revivalism in Tennessee's Appalachian mountains during the Depression. The "holiness" church services are ecstatic, trance-filled rituals in which ingestion of poison and the handling of dangerous snakes are meant to illustrate evil conquered by faith. Such spectacle engenders controversy, of course, but this only strengthens Charles Flint's resolve to win over the skeptics.
Charles is a preacher "with the wisdom of a man twice his age and what some call the great blessing of articulation. This is his gift and his weapon. He can out talk anybody and out think anybody and out stare anybody, and he knows the Bible so well that he can use it to back whatever point he chooses. With the written word of God behind him he is invincible."
Causes Vincent Carrella Supports