Having listened to "Under the Banner of Heaven," this story is definitely a worthwhile listen. However, you don't need to have read it to appreciate the story.
This book does not leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. It stirred up feelings of rage and a desire to put a stop to the injustices that occur in the FLDS organisation. I wish these girls knew what existed outside of the bubble they are forced to live in. Overall great investigative skills by the author. I am thankful to have a knowledge of the atrocities that are occurring right now.
Under the Banner of Heaven
it outraged me and made me sad that so many Americans have no idea how dangerous a theocracy is.
the author is my new hero.
This book is so incredible, I listened to it twice. That this stuff happens, in this country, blew me away. It is simply a fascinating unfolding of a story that ought to be fiction, but isn't. Couldn't put it down, and kept pulling my headphones off to say "listen to this," to my husband.
Too long to read in one setting, but I really hated to interrupt my listening for anything.
The single best non-fiction writing that I've ever read, and the reader was very good.
It was something of a coincidence that I ended up reading this book at the same time as I was re-reading Bram Stoker's "Dracula."
One of the books featured a maniacal elder, who used intellect and cunning to manipulate the people around him. This creature controlled every thought and aspect of their lives, and effectively created a legion of terrified slaves, who would in turn perpetrate violence and wreak terror on future generations.
The other book was about a vampire.
It is in jest that I minimize the frightening story and ideas Bram Stoker put to paper so many years ago. Yet, in truth, the real-life actions of Warren Jeffs and his followers are far more terrifying than anything I have come across in reading any fiction.
The hideous, unabashed greed, meanness and predation that underlie Jeffs' every action are truly sickening. As bad are the lengths to which his followers have proven themselves willing to go, whether through active participation in the evil, or through handing over their most vulnerable family members to be brutalized and inculcated into the cycle of abuse and incest.
Sam Brower's investigative take on the FLDS is engaging and well-composed. As he is a member of the mainstream LDS faith, it can hardly be said that he was unfairly prejudiced or ignorant of the subjects of his study. Since I read and enjoyed Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven" a few months back, it was fascinating to delve even deeper into the culture that set the scene for the Lafferty murders. In addition, the developing relationship between the two authors added a really interesting perspective. Initially unsure of one another, the two men ended up being strong allies in the crusade to bring down the shroud of secrecy surrounding this criminal group.
The narrator gave a solid reading, true to Brower's words and powerful story without being melodramatic. It was easy to imagine that the private investigator/author was telling the story in his own voice.
The subject matter of this book is quite heavy and quite disturbing, and perhaps that is what we need as a society to ensure that such atrocities are not allowed to take place while we uncomfortably look the other way.
I would recommend the *book* to a friend, but not the audiobook. The narrator is rather whiny, and doesn't seem to know how to read out loud. He reads like a middle-schooler reading a paragraph out loud in his English class. "There was Aaay rock in the middle of Aaay street." That sort of thing. Many mispronunciations of common words. Was there no producer around to correct him?
They could have chosen a different narrator. I don't mind different styles of narration, but I really have no clue how this guy got to be a professional. In order to get through it, I had to imagine that it was the author himself reading, so I could give him a break for not being a professional voice-actor.
I have listened to other audio books on the FLDS and while their behavior may be shocking to the uninitiated, I have become to expect the irrational from the faithful. This book is very revealing about what occurs within this religious community. However, I am very puzzled by the authors own beliefs in Mormonism. Based on the book and his occupation as a PI, he seems like a rational human being capable of logic and reason. During the course of his investigations and research into the FLDS, I have to believe he uncovered the truth about the not so humble beginnings of Mormonism which contradicts the whitewashed version the church leaders are slinging. I know about the white washed version since I was forced into the religion growing up. Additionally, the FLDS is actually staying true to what the founder of this religion envisioned in many ways that the more popular LDS religion does not. Like it or not his religion (LDS) and its doctrine have the same fundamental holes in its validity and the same sordid past as the FLDS. It's very puzzling to me that the author has turned a blind eye to this, especially knowing how this blind faith can be exploited by evil people. One would have to be very naive to think that some of the horror stories coming from the FLDS devoutly faithful would never occur in the Mormon religion or any other religion for that matter where followers turn off their brain and follow without questioning.
Probably, just to get the history straight
Not aware of any!
Good reader, but mispronounced many nouns
Yes, the book was informative but there was really no story. The book just blurts out a lot of a information and doesn't really hold anything back and let you wonder. I was really looking for something that played a bit more coy with the reader.
The ending was just kind of blah. If you keep up with the national media coverage for the FLDS, then you already know the ending.
Consitent, pleasant, expected.
I think this TV Series was already made- BIG Love.
This book really shows that the family oriented, straight laced persona of the FLDS is only a front to hide the crimes of the few men at the top. It is fascinating to even think about people who still live like this in the Western US today.
I'm a fan of Krakauer's writing, esp. "Into Thin Air" - this was apparently written by Mr. Brower and I didn't find his writing as compelling.