I read the Shaman and Ayahuasca in a period of 3 days, throughout which I shared some sections with my sleepless one-year-old son. On whole, it clarified questions, dismantled stereotypes and provided a perspective through which anyone interested in healing, culture and plant-based medicine can understand and appreciate the practice of Ayahuasca Shamanism regardless of whether they plan to journey. Translated by Costa Rica-born sacred muscian and healer Alberto Roman, the book reads like a conversation through which Don Jose Campos invites readers to enter a meditation with him. The subject matter is at times grave, bizarre, sad, beautiful and humorous. However, this work of creative non-fiction moves forward with a fluid pace and inviting tone which makes everything palatable and worth consideration regardless of your personal beliefs. For scientists, The Shaman and Ayahuasca will raise far more questions that it answers. However, for the "everyman" it will succeed in making the idea of shamanism a bit less slippery and a lot easier to embrace.
In addition to author Don Jose Campos, translator Alberto Roman, publisher Michael Wiese and Michael's wife Geraldine Overton add their personal voices to the story. This editorial step toward breaking down barriers and creating community is an apt illustration of Ayahuasca's potential to positively impact lives by connecting people to each other, themselves as individuals and the source of all life--whatever one perceives that to be.