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Download Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, by Jon Krakauer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00002957267485 out of 53.00002957267485 out of 53.00002957267485 out of 53.00002957267485 out of 53.00002957267485 out of 5 3.00 (67,630 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon Krakauer Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2003 ISBN: 9780736698221
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Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. He now shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders, taking readers inside isolated American communities where some forty thousand Mormon Fundamentalists still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.

At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Marvelous. . . . A departure from Into Thin Air and Into the Wild . . . but every bit as engrossing. Entertainment Weekly
  • “Well-researched and evenhanded. . . . Thought-provoking. USA Today
  • “Startling. . . . Timely. . . . Krakauer uncovers a ghastly trail of forced marriage, polygamy, violence and mind control. . . . A chilling look at Mormon fundamentalism. The Charlotte Observer
  • “Horrific, gripping. . . . Soberly written and courageously reported. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • “Engrossing. . . . Incisive. . . . [Krakauer is] a very careful reporter. . . . His clear-headed, unbiased examination of the church—leavened with genuine respect—and his conclusions . . . are hard to argue with. Boulder Daily Camera
  • “One hell of a chilling read. Maxim
  • “Compelling. . . . Provocative. . . . Illuminating. . . . A gripping tale. The Christian Science Monitor
  • “Illuminating . . . provocative. . . . Krakauer is an adept chronicler of extremists [and] the tour guide of choice for secular quests. Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • “A powerful portrait of how two seemingly ordinary Americans became murderers. The Economist
  • “Powerfully illuminating. . . . Almost every section of the book is fascinating in its own right, and together the chapters make a rich picture. . . . An arresting portrait of depravity. The New York Times Book Review
  • This year’s most audacious work of nonfiction. . . . A white-knuckle mix of true-crime reporting and provocative history. New York Post
  • “Scrupulously reported and written with Krakauer’s usual exacting flair, Under the Banner of Heaven is both illuminating and thrilling. It is also the creepiest book anyone has written in a long time—and that’s meant as the highest possible praise. Newsweek
  • “Krakauer writes with almost astonishing narrative force. It is hard to stop reading. The Baltimore Sun
  • “Stunningly researched. . . . Elegant reportage. . . . An evenhanded inquiry into the nature of religious belief itself. Newsday
  • “Captivating. . . . Fascinating and appalling. . . . [Krakauer] should be applauded—and read. The San Diego Union-Tribune
  • “A great book. . . . Krakauer has found a fascinating story in plain sight, right in the heart of the American West, and told it with the narrative drive and unflinching honesty that marked his 1998 best seller, Into Thin Air. The Oregonian
  • “Jon Krakauer is at his provocative best. The New Orleans Times-Picayune
  • “A fascinating page-turner. . . . Engrossing. . . . Krakauer’s knack for crackling narrative and taut focus . . . drives this thought-provoking story. The Columbus Dispatch
  • “A hair-raising true-crimer. Chicago Sun-Times
  • Fantastic. . . . Right up there with In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song. San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Illuminating…Provocative…Krakauer is an adept chronicler of extremists [and] the tour guide of choice for secular quests.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “A disturbing picture of Mormon fundamentalists. . . . Krakauer’s straightforward style and excellent storytelling ability make the book interesting. Rocky Mountain News
  • “A terrific read. Reader’s Digest
  • “Riveting. . . . Intriguing. . . . Breezy, smooth and vigorously written, this ambitious book is entertaining and informative. . . . Krakauer reconstructs the Lafferty brothers’ descent into fatal fanaticism magnificently, interweaving their story throughout the book and giving this wide-ranging work narrative coherence and emotional resonance. . . . [He is] a superb storyteller. The News & Observer
  • “A powerful look at how religious belief can cross the line into fanaticism. San Jose Mercury News
  • “Terrifying. . . . Startling. . . . Mov[es] deftly between past and present [and] provides a fascinating glimpse of the church today. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • “Well-researched and evenhanded…Thought-provoking.”

    USA Today

  • “Marvelous…A departure from Into Thin Air and Into the Wild…but every bit as engrossing.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A hair-raising true-crimer.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Stunningly researched…Elegant reportage…An evenhanded inquiry into the nature of religious belief itself.”

    Newsday

  • “Captivating…Fascinating and appalling…[Krakauer] should be applauded—and read.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “Compelling…Provocative…Illuminating…A gripping tale.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Krakauer writes with almost astonishing narrative force.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “A powerful portrait of how two seemingly ordinary Americans became murderers.”

    Economist

  • “Terrifying…Startling…Mov[es] deftly between past and present [and] provides a fascinating glimpse of the church today.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “A powerful look at how religious belief can cross the line into fanaticism.”

    San Jose Mercury News

  • “Fascinating…Engrossing…Krakauer’s knack for crackling narrative and taut focus…drives this thought-provoking story.”

    Columbus Dispatch

  • “Horrific, gripping…Soberly written and courageously reported.”

    Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

  • “A disturbing picture of Morman fundamentalists…Krakauer’s straightforward style and excellent storytelling ability make the book interesting.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Jon Krakauer is at his provocative best.”

    New Orleans Times-Picayune

  • “A great book…Krakauer has found a fascinating story in plain sight, right in the heart of the American West, and told it with the narrative drive and unflinching honesty that marked his 1998 bestseller, Into Thin Air.”

    Oregonian

  • “Startling…Timely…Krakauer uncovers a ghastly trail of forced marriage, polygamy, violence, and mind control…A chilling look at Mormon fundamentalism.”

    Charlotte Observer

  • “Riveting…Intriguing…Breezy, smooth, and vigorously written, this ambitious book is entertaining and informative…Krakauer reconstructs the Lafferty brothers’ descent into fatal fanaticism magnificently, interweaving their story throughout the book and giving this wide-ranging work narrative coherence and emotional resonance…[He is] a superb storyteller.”

    Raleigh News and Observer

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2003 ALA Notable Book Finalist for Nonfiction
  • A 2003 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginetta Bernard | 2/5/2014

    " Wao! Very powerful book. Difficult to put it down. Another tragic way of living life under the name of faith. Very disturbing to see again what religion can do to human beings! The saddest part is that no one seems to learn from others or for that matter, past events! Tragic! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tanya | 1/19/2014

    " I had high hopes for this book because it started strong and I like Krakauer,but there was altogether too much history for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle | 1/15/2014

    " This should be required reading for everyone. Simply put, this book is an amazing work of nonfiction literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Murray Laing | 1/15/2014

    " A fascinating book by one of my favourite authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Notty | 1/9/2014

    " I absolutely loved this book. I love the way he delves into a subject and follows everything to the very end. Loved his other books as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clinton | 12/20/2013

    " required reading if Romney's the nominee "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 12/16/2013

    " So incredibly good. A historical and factual look at the beginning of Mormonism to how it progressed over 177 years but doesn't read like a thick history book, more like a gripping tale. Recommended for anyone who is remotely interested on how Mormonism came about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miranda Fisher | 12/16/2013

    " So interesting and disturbing. I had to quit reading it before bed because it was so creepy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 11/15/2013

    " Very well researched and developed history of the Mormon faith. Helped broaden my understanding, although the focus veered pretty heavily toward the sensationalist, polygamous sects. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 10/27/2013

    " Subject matter is deeply disturbing, but well written. Glad I read it, but not one I'd want to read again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna Garrett | 10/27/2013

    " Utterly fascinating. I highly recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrea | 10/10/2013

    " I had to skim after about halfway through this book. It was interesting, but the historical record started to get monotonous and dry. I applaud the author's research and objective portrayal. Informative but not enjoyable reading! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Autumn Doshier | 9/23/2013

    " Well written but not necessarily the whole story of the mormon's I know "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 China Flanigan | 8/26/2013

    " I loved this book. Weirdly, I found the history of Mormonism the most page turning aspect of this book. I recommend this book to everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rohan | 8/17/2013

    " excellent history though the author has a somewhat obvious bias against organized religion in my opinion and against mormonism a bit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 10/4/2012

    " The subject was fascinating as was the story. But I was shocked at how poor the writing was. This guy could benefit from a good editor. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stacy B | 8/21/2012

    " eeeeh...a lot like a text book! lots of info, author jumped from subject to subject tho. hard to follow. we read this in book club, based on the amazon description....we found the description only described the first chapter and not the rest of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne Vydra | 12/2/2011

    " Whoa. A book that actually brought tears to my eyes. Couldn't put it down. Also raises lots of questions about the future of the power of religion in America. Scary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristine | 10/28/2011

    " Loved the way the history of the Mormons was intertwined with a current story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 5/23/2011

    " It was interesting but not as well written as his previous books "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Callmemargie | 5/18/2011

    " Probably Krakauer's best work. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brenda | 5/13/2011

    " I hated this book only because of the subject matter. In fact, I didn't finish it because of that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 5/10/2011

    " Really interesting but it was a slow read for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Liz | 5/10/2011

    " Intriguing for the first 50 pages or so, then I spotted a few inaccuracies that made me question how much trust I put in this book as a whole. The parts about the Lafferty brothers were really good but the author was clearly biased against Mormonism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 5/9/2011

    " Took a while to read, as it made me think and ponder. Not a race-through, but astonishing and eye-opening. Krakauer certainly is not afraid to turn over rocks and look at what squirms beneath. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendy | 5/6/2011

    " It was so full of facts that were not checked. It is also sad and depressing. I chose not to Finnish.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 5/4/2011

    " I couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexander | 5/3/2011

    " So far it provides good insight into the Mormon religion and its history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 5/3/2011

    " Fascinating. It's a history of the origins of the Mormon faith and a study of radical Mormonism. It's a good account of how a faith gets derailed by fundamentalist extremism. Joseph Smith could in no way have intended the events described to have turned out as they did! "

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