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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

4.2 (2682 )
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4.3 (1542 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kitty 02-01-12
    Kitty 02-01-12 Member Since 2016

    Give me a good mystery and I am happy!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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

    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Ray United States 11-30-11
    Ray United States 11-30-11 Member Since 2010

    Reignmond

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    "And Mormons think Atheists are immoral."

    At least they (Atheists) don't....
    My mother once said if you ain't got nothing good to say about a person....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 11-25-11
    Megan 11-25-11
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    "Like everything Krakauer writes - a great read"

    The subject isn't quite as exciting as some of Krakauer's other books but the story is well told and a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 11-21-11
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 11-21-11
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    Story
    "Important info about Mormonism"

    The book provides important information about the Mormon church, its history and its offshoots. Essentially it tells of how much absurdity, hypocrisy, and violence there has been in Mormonism ever since Joseph Smith. It's good that this knowledge reaches a wider audience. I had two criticisms of the book: a) I thought the way it moved between present and past a bit pointless-- a case of the writer being arch; b) eventually the catalogue of crime, craziness, and hypocrisy becomes somewhat numbing.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Wasilla, AK, United States 10-05-11
    Peggy Wasilla, AK, United States 10-05-11
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    "Narrator is annoying"

    I read the reviews before I spent my precious credit on this book. It had mixed reviews, but I thought I would be enlightened by the history. I read a review that complained about the narrator but ignored it and purchased it anyway. I really should have listened. The narrator, Scott Brick, is extremely annoying. He uses his voice to lead you to conclusions. It is difficult to get passed his voice when he used it to punctuate his bias. Granted much of what goes on in the plural families is disgusting and you grieve for the children’s abuse, but I want to draw my own conclusions. As a precaution, see if you can have a sample reading before you purchase the audio book, because who reads the book really makes a difference. This is unfortunately something I learned the hard way.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-08-11
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-08-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Awesome book..... though pure lunacy"

    This book drives a couple of key points home for me. First, anyone who professes to have a direct communication line to God should be locked up. Second, steer clear of anyone in the 21st century who thinks the earth is 6,000 years old. Other than that, the book is extremely well written and researched. I had know idea how violent, racist and outright perverted the founders of the LDS church were. All in the name of Jesus? Yeah right.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MB 06-04-11
    MB 06-04-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Very disappointing"

    I had high hopes for this book. I like Krakauer and was interested to learn more about the fundamentalist mormons. The book was tedious and the narrator was a bit grating. I did finish listening, but it was a struggle to stick with it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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