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The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War | [Michael Shaara]

The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War

After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.
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Publisher's Summary

After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.

July 1863. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia is invading the North. General Robert E. Lee has made this daring and massive move with 70,000 men in a determined effort to draw out the Union Army of the Potomac and mortally wound it. His right hand is General James Longstreet, a brooding man who is loyal to Lee but stubbornly argues against his plan. Opposing them is an unknown factor: General George Meade, who has taken command of the Army only two days before what will be perhaps the crucial battle of the Civil War.

In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fight for two conflicting dreams. One dreams of freedom, the other of a way of life. More than rifles and bullets are carried into battle. The soldiers carry memories. Promises. Love. And more than men fall on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty are also the casualties of war.

The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable, a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny.

©1974 Michael Shaara, copyright renewed 2002 Jeffrey M. Shaara & Lila E. Shaara; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Pulitzer Prize winner, Fiction 1975

"Shaara carries [the reader] swiftly and dramatically to a climax as exciting as if it were being heard for the first time." (The Seattle Times)
"The best and most realistic historical novel about war I have ever read." (General H. Norman Schwarzkopf)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Pinkney nyc, NY, United States 06-18-11
    Pinkney nyc, NY, United States 06-18-11 Member Since 2005
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    "fraaaankley, Churlutte. Uh done give u damn"

    This is a great book, but the reader, while for the most part okay, makes Robert E. Lee sound like a caricature of an affected, elderly southern decorator. Accents are not required for the characters in this book and it was an almost fatal mistake to have used them. I had tu quit list'nen 'bout thu tam ole Roburt E. Lee started talkin'... It was painful.... and so un necessary.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Knoxville, MD, United States 01-05-08
    Bruce Knoxville, MD, United States 01-05-08 Member Since 2007
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    "My highest recommendation."


    I was going to say that this novel is "Gettysburg" in a nutshell, but that would be unfair. Killer angels is a book about people, and one of the best examples of character development I have encountered. I can't address the accurateness of the characterizations, but I loved them. I also understand the battle well enough to explain it when I take visitors up to Gettysburg. Killer Angels was, for me, an accidental discovery, and one of the greatest books I have ever "read."

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 08-17-06
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 08-17-06 Member Since 2003

    Audible Member Since 2003

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful"

    Beautifully written, rich with clarity, detail, emotion. The prose is almost poetic. Very easy to follow, transporting the listener back to Gettysburg in early July of 1863. Extremely believable as to the thoughts and words of those who were there at that terrible time in the turning point of the US Civil War. Highly recommend for anybody, not just history buffs.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S MA 11-22-13
    John S MA 11-22-13

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

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    "A must read for anyone interested in US history"

    I read this book in college as required reading in a Civil War history class. Twenty years later it is just as good. It is amazing to think that the outcome of the Civil War could have been different based on a few different decisions. Actually Robert E Lee comes off as reckless and foolish in his decision to fight at Gettysburg even though he was outnumber and the Union forces had the better ground. Longstreet, realizing that he confederate army was between the Union army and Washington, wanted to march of Washington DC. They could have then forced the Union army to attack when the Confederates had better ground.

    After listening to the book I watched the Turner miniseries. You can find it on youtube.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Sidell Mesa, AZ 10-08-12
    Sarah Sidell Mesa, AZ 10-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Too difficult to listen too."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story just didn't seem to flow and was very difficult to listen too.


    Has The Killer Angels turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, it has not turned me off to Civil War history and other stories, but it was like making my way through a swamp. Too hard to slog through, I lost interest very early on.


    Was The Killer Angels worth the listening time?

    No, I gave up early on.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam colchester, VT, USA 01-27-08
    Adam colchester, VT, USA 01-27-08 Member Since 2008
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    "history?"

    I hated history at school. This book has sparked an interested in me that I never knew existed. I look forward to listening to more about different times in history and I hope the authors had some form of influence from Shaara's style and dedication to detail.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maki New York, NY, USA 09-04-07
    Maki New York, NY, USA 09-04-07 Member Since 2004
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    "Great Read Before Heading To Gettysburg"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia A Pelham, AL, USA 04-24-06
    Virginia A Pelham, AL, USA 04-24-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Compelling!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey Suwanee, GA, USA 01-26-06
    Joey Suwanee, GA, USA 01-26-06
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    "Great Listen"

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerret Crockett, VA, USA 07-02-05
    Jerret Crockett, VA, USA 07-02-05 Member Since 2004
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    "Excellent!"

    Great novel. Fantastic narration. Five stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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