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Under the Banner of Heaven Audiobook

Under the Banner of Heaven

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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 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, 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

4.1 (490 )
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  •  
    Anonymous 06-23-17
    06-23-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Disturbing yet Informative and intriguing"

    Although the basis of the story was the murder of innocent people including but not limited to a little girl, I wanted to read this in order to become informed about Mormonism. Krakauer read with a flat delivery, but I suppose the subject matter warranted that. I believe coming from an LDS background helped Krakauer inform the reader more so than if reading a purely nonfiction book. At times the story jumped from decade to decade which was confusing, but overall I was able to keep straight the transition and growth of LDS, both fanatical and mainstream. Given the fact that I discovered this book because of my like of his previous two books, Into the Wild, and Into Thin Air, I believe he should've called this one "Into Salt Lake City." Overall a solid read if you're into reading/learning about Mormon fundamentalism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Anonymous 02-01-17
    02-01-17 Member Since 2016
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    "worthwhile read"

    well researched and interestingly presented, connecting historical events and contemporary viewpoints. author's personal perspective presented at the end excluded objective biblical research, which might encourage him in his expressed desire to know his Creator...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 05-03-16
    05-03-16
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    "Abridged and not labled so"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I am mad that I bought this abridged version when I could have bought the real one. This is a fabulous book, and I love Krakaur.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 02-18-16
    02-18-16
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    "story Is much deeper than the synopsis suggests."

    This book explores more than just the true crime tale of a few delusional Mormons horrific acts . It dives deep into the creation of this modern day, american made religion. An eye opener

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 09-09-15
    09-09-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Fascinating"

    I have been to Salt Lake and taken the tour. This book certainly shed a different light than the sterilized story told by mainstream Mormons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 03-25-15
    03-25-15
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    "too abridged"

    I read this book years ago and liked it. too many good parts taken out

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 02-25-15
    02-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Engrossing"

    I feel that the subject matter was examined very efficiently and objective manner. I found it so interesting, it makes me wish I would have got the unabridged version!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08-27-12
    08-27-12
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    "Engrossing!"
    What made the experience of listening to Under the Banner of Heaven the most enjoyable?

    The story was unbelievable and it was told in a compelling manner.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I did not have a favorite character.


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

    I have not listened to a book by Jon Krakuer before.


    If you could give Under the Banner of Heaven a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The insanity of beliefs.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was incredibly engrossing. I have never said this before but i could not wait to get back into the car so I could listen to the book. It made driving across country enjoyable, entertaining and educational.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 07-30-12
    07-30-12 Member Since 2010
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    "News to me!"
    If you could sum up Under the Banner of Heaven in three words, what would they be?

    Informative, researched, fascinating


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The history of the Church of LDS. There was so much to learn - it is fascinating that we know so little about a religion started in the USA and is growing at such a rapid rate nationally and internationally. The first chapter or two was a bit intense for me, and in my personal recommendation to friends my words are: "bear through that first section" and then you will be entralled by Krakauer;s research and writing skills telling of the the history of the people, the church, and the internal diffferences between LDS and FLDS. It is a necessary historical read, to understand the isolation of the members when they started their trek across the states and finally settled in SLC, Utah. The Utah War - fascinating historical stuff, and I do not remember that being covered in the history books! Now that Romney is the nominatee, people are wanted to learn more. This book does cover the fundamental side as well as mainstream, and I know that the LDS leadership has lambasted the book. One has to read more than one book to form a decision/opinion, and this book gave me the interest to find out more. This is good reading, and the history is almost touchable as it is just 150 years.


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

    Not, but have read Into Thin Air.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There is no fun in fundamentalism.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Anonymous 07-29-10
    07-29-10
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    "Powerful!!"

    A well researched book full of information about the Mormon religion and the dangers of religious fundamentalism. I love John Krakuer it was an amazing book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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