Much more than a book on social suffering, this volume attempts to be a powerful scholarly statement about the value of a return to basics in cultural anthropology and, hence, the need to go beyond the point where any subject can be examined as "a single theme or a uniform experience." The reading is fascinating as, from the perspectives of anthropology, social history, literary criticism, religious studies, and social medicine, the authors proclaim that "the forms of human suffering can be at the same time collective and individual…the modes of experience in pain and trauma can be both local and global." Yet, what is fascinating is also complex, and what is complex cannot easily be integrated or reduced to a cosmetic simplicity—nor should it be. Thus, the main risk for the reader is that of wandering into a maze of dazzling rhetoric, convoluted hermeneutics, and brilliant insights. Reading this book can be a delight or an exhausting journey, and its content can be an inspiring tale or a painful realization of inevitabilities.