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Under the Banner of Heaven Audiobook

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

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Publisher's Summary

At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this "divinely inspired" crime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith. Along the way, he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America's fastest-growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

Krakauer takes readers inside isolated communities in the American West, Canada, and Mexico, where some forty-thousand Mormon fundamentalists believe the mainstream Mormon Church went unforgivably astray when it renounced polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the leaders of these outlaw sects are zealots who answer only to God. Marrying prodigiously and with virtual impunity (the leader of the largest fundamentalist church took seventy-five "plural wives," several of whom were wed to him when they were fourteen or fifteen and he was in his eighties), fundamentalist prophets exercise absolute control over the lives of their followers, and preach that any day now the world will be swept clean in a hurricane of fire, sparing only their most obedient adherents.

Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism. The result is vintage Krakauer, an utterly compelling work of nonfiction that illuminates an otherwise confounding realm of human behavior.

©2003 Jon Krakauer; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc., Published by arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Krakauer lays the portent on beautifully, building his tales carefully from the ground up until they irresistibly, spookily combust." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Krakauer presents details that indeed sound stranger than fiction." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Ronda 04-30-12
    Ronda 04-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating look into history of polygamy"
    Would you listen to Under the Banner of Heaven again? Why?

    Absolutely.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it was a true story, well written, and very detailed information about how these brothers became to be murderers.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve INDIO, CA, United States 04-26-12
    Steve INDIO, CA, United States 04-26-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Interesting but overall oddly organized"

    I understand that including this much information in a book must be incredibly difficult, but this book just jumped around so much with the information presented. It also probably had too much information which wasn't entirely relevant to the main case that Krakauer was presenting.

    That being said, it's still a good read and I enjoyed it. I just thought I'd enjoy it more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stephan Fairport, NY, United States 03-19-12
    stephan Fairport, NY, United States 03-19-12
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    "Eye Opening"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under the Banner of Heaven to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the printed edition. This audio edition was excellent


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene at The Mountain Meadows Massacre when the men of the wagon train have thrown down their guns, are being lead off and on a signal they are all shot in cold blood. All in the name of God. All the perpetrators are sworn to secrecy or they will be be murdered.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The inherent violence, the duplicity, and the willingness to do harm to anyone who is not of the faith (Mormon). What a history! They like to bleed the beast!


    Any additional comments?

    Great book well researched, By a person who tries not to inflame but inform oursides about Mormon History.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve 03-06-12
    steve 03-06-12
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    "I was totally enthralled by this book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under the Banner of Heaven to be better than the print version?

    Sure...you got to love Scott Brick. He could read a phone book and make it sound exciting.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not a religious person and I must admit I knew next to nothing about the Mormons going into this book. But I like Jon Krakauer's style and have enjoyed some of his other books immensely so I decided to give this one a chance. I'm glad I did. Some very interesting stuff going on here and Scott Brick keeps it entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Scarnici San Juan Capistrano, CA 02-29-12
    Joseph Scarnici San Juan Capistrano, CA 02-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You can't make this up!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes!! I'm not a religious person but this story about the mormons is like reading science fiction!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Jon Krakauer states facts, tells a true story, interjects true history,... and makes reading about Mormons like watching Star Wars.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy 02-06-12
    Billy 02-06-12

    Billy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eye opening and interesting"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under the Banner of Heaven to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print version.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    By going back and forth between the history of the Mormon faith and the murder, you get a true understanding of the events.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last stand of Joseph Smith.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was moved by the coldness by which the murders were committed. Blind faith is scary.


    Any additional comments?

    Beautifully read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kitty 02-01-12
    Kitty 02-01-12 Member Since 2016

    Give me a good mystery and I am happy!

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    "Mormonism"

    This is for the most part a study of the Mormon religion. It goes into detail about polygamy
    and some fundamentalist beliefs in Mormonism. I found it very interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer NW Minnesota, United States 01-30-12
    Amazon Customer NW Minnesota, United States 01-30-12
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    "A Chilling Story"

    This story is true and is a chilling example of mental illness. It is important to know that this IS NOT how this Mormon fundamentalist group believes. These were two brothers who were extremists like those found in every walk of life. The story is still an important one. It was well read by the narrator and was interesting from begining to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan United States 01-04-12
    Dan United States 01-04-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Not Krakauer's best..."
    What disappointed you about Under the Banner of Heaven?

    Not much else to say. I love


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory BOCA RATON, FL, United States 12-02-11
    Gregory BOCA RATON, FL, United States 12-02-11 Member Since 2012

    GSJMIA

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    "Creepy Topic"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No-the topic is morose and the stories are repetitive, not the author's fault but the topic is so dreary and creepy. Well researched but I didn't find it worth knowing at this depth. However, its good to know the backround of Mormons-I suspect them all of secretly wanting plural marriages and marrying 14 year old girls.


    Has Under the Banner of Heaven turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes, all groups or religions have their dark side. Unless you have an axe to grind, its not of much use.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this is the first.


    Was Under the Banner of Heaven worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Probably important to know the sorrid history of the LDS but its not entertaining--like reading about the history of pedophiles and misogyny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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