I read this book in preparation for a guided tour at the Gettysburg National Park and I have to say that it really enhanced my understanding of the tour and of what transpired there.
It's truly difficult for us today to imagine what life was like back then, and what war and hand-to-hand combat was like during the Civil War. The book did a very good job of giving us both a battlefield perspective, as well as the overall strategic perspective of why certain things happened that day and why others did not, and how it all came together to determine the outcome of the battle.
I didn't care much for the overly theatrical reading of the book (complete with different voices for the characters, with accents), but the content of the book remained untarnished by the reading, and I enjoyed it very much, especially when it was followed up by the tour at Gettysburg.
Even though I have an ancestor who was wounded at Gettysburg, I really didn't know much about the battle. This novel was written back in the 60's but has re-issued partly because Josh Whedon says it was the inspiration for Firefly/ Serenity. At least that is why I read it.
First if was a compelling account of the battle told in the form of an historical novel, through the eyes of men on both sides. After reading it I feel an interest in the Civil War that I never had before.
The narrator is wonderful. He captures accents as varied as those of Maine and Virginia. During the battle he uses emotion in his voice to capture the horror of the scene.
All in all, I highly recommend this recording.
The Killer Angels is a great book for any civil war buff. The leading figures are humanized in this work, you get the feeling you share their pain and loss as you are drawn into the story. A great yarn that leaves you wanting to hear the rest of the story
To make Robert E. Lee sound like a sissy is a rare and unhappy ability. The effect of the reader's voice reaches for pathos only to succeed in being pathetic.
If you read this book yourself, you may actually appreciate it.
This is a dramatization of events that took place in and around Gettysburg, PA during the Civil War and I loved it! Normally I would steer clear of a novel like this, because I'm not very fond of the lofty prose that is prevalent in Civil War Era literature, but I'm glad I didn't!
As stated in the introduction, a more contemporary take on what the dialogue "might" have been like was applied with much creative license. This is OK, because I have been exposed to something that I may have gone my life without...a truly great work!
The personal nature of the story-telling, the author's ability to recount (accurately, I think) the impressions of key leaders on each side of the battle.
Spoiler alert: Lt Col Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine.
Stephen Hoye's voice characterizations were uniformly superb, whether Yankee, Virginian, or British.
I have recommended it, personally, to anyone who will listen to me. Reading this has enhanced my reading of The Education of Henry Adams and will inform my re-reading of Team of Rivals. In the same way that Melville is able to instill the reader with sympathy for the whale (and THE Whale), Shaara is able to instill sympathy for all the characters - making the battle, itself, therefore, the human tragedy that it was and to this day remains.
One of those books that you wish was a never-ending story.
We listened to this book as we drove across the country to visit the battlefield. There is nothing bad to say about the book. Assuming one has not studied the battle, one learns a tremendous amount.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
I happen to agree that "The Killer Angels" is the best fictional work on what happened in Gettysburg. After a while, I really forgot that Michael Shaara wrote this novel as a tale. I've read intensively on the Civil War and the American Revolution and while they were all great and informational, a historian can only go so far at narrating the story.
They mostly relies on facts, archives, and try to trace back what happened in a reportive journalism. Most historians cannot captive the audience with first hand battle. They are always looking outside of the window instead of being in the room.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read. Unlike studying on past events in our history, with historical fiction, you are in the fight, battles, and on the first line. I was extremely impress with Michael Shaara storytelling of Gettysburg, General Lee, Colonel Chamberlain and the war between the Confederate and Union.
Instead of reading about the strategy and what lead up to the Civil War, you feel like you are with the troops, marching the hill and not knowing the expectation to come. You get to understand both side of the Civil War by General Lee and Colonel Chamberlain. I was most interested on knowing about the Union side because most of our history are somewhat bias on the Confederates.
Also, instead of reading about constant blood shed, there are conversational pieces within each troops that make this book to be superb.
Yes. Narration is excellent and for an historic novel, The Killer Angels is the best of the best.
Chamberlain's speech before the bayonet charge on Little Round Top.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.
Robert E. Lee and his reverence for God.
Dramatic sound effects would be most appropriate for this work of art.