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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 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (67,629 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon Krakauer Narrator: Jon Krakauer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 40,000 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 multi-layered, 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

  • Jon Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer. His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind. citation from American Academy of Arts and Letters, upon awarding Krakauer an Academy Award in Literature
    “Ranks among the great adventure books of all time.
    Wall Street Journal
  • Raw and immediate and devastating. It haunts me. Boston Sunday Globe
  • Gripping … a harrowing account. New York Times
  • Wrenching … lucid … it is impossible to read this book unmoved. Entertainment Weekly
    A great book, among the best ever on mountaineering. Gracefully and efficiently written, carefully researched, and actually lived by its narrator.
    “Terrifying … Eloquent … A heart-rending drama of human yearning.
    New York Times
  • A narrative of arresting force ... It’s gripping stuff. Washington Post
  • Compelling and tragic … Hard to put down. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Critical Acclaim for Jon Krakauer
  • “Stunningly researched…Elegant reportage…An evenhanded inquiry into the nature of religious belief itself.”


  • “Krakauer writes with almost astonishing narrative force.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “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.”


  • “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.”


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

    San Jose Mercury News

  • “Jon Krakauer is at his provocative best.”

    New Orleans Times-Picayune

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

    Columbus Dispatch

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

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “A hair-raising true-crimer.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

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

    San Diego Union-Tribune

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

    Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

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

    Christian Science Monitor

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

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “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

  • “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.”

    Charlotte 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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jill | 2/13/2014

    " Very interesting and quite shocking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jefe Blaize | 2/11/2014

    " Amazing. Mormon history. What could be more apropos w/ this election? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Esther | 2/4/2014

    " This took me awhile to plow through, but I'm glad I read it. I knew a bit about the religion before reading the book, but was disturbed to discover how much I didn't know about the early beginnings of the movement. Although the focus was on the fundamental offshoots, Krakauer connects the dots between the history, mainstream LDS, and the cultism of some of the fundamental groups. The history and rationalization of polygamy was especially disturbing, particularly the child brides and the tight control over women. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sharon | 1/28/2014

    " Fascinating, well written and quite disturbing on many levels. "

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