Paradise with Serpents Author:Robert Carver Deep in the jungle, the Moonies are buying up haciendas. In the cities, bank robbers rent armored cars from the military. There is a marked love affair with guns. This is Paraguay today. But once there existed a magical sub-tropical paradise in the lost heart of South America. In 1537 a group of Europeans founded Asuncion, and an extraordin... more »ary fusion of New World and Old was created--where magnificent baroque cathedrals were built of carved stone deep in the jungle and Catholic masses and high oratorios were sung and performed on European instruments by Guarani Indians and their Jesuit mentors. But every paradise has its serpents, and the history of Paraguay is also studded with oppressive and even demented dictators.
Robert Carver's long-term fascination with this intoxicating world was fueled by stories of a great-uncle who vanished into the jungles of Paraguay in search of Incan silver. Fusing past and present, on rusty steamers winding up piranha-infested rivers and into the darkest jungle, Carver journeys with scant regard for personal safety, dissecting the country's peculiarities with wit and eloquence to reveal Paraguay in all its unique and baffling splendor.« less