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

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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: July 2003 ISBN: 9780739306581
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This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
  • Fantastic. . . . Right up there with In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song. San Francisco Chronicle
  • “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
  • “Stunningly researched…Elegant reportage…An evenhanded inquiry into the nature of religious belief itself.”

    Newsday

  • “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
  • “Terrifying. . . . Startling. . . . Mov[es] deftly between past and present [and] provides a fascinating glimpse of the church today. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • “A powerful portrait of how two seemingly ordinary Americans became murderers. The Economist
  • “Illuminating . . . provocative. . . . Krakauer is an adept chronicler of extremists [and] the tour guide of choice for secular quests. Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Horrific, gripping. . . . Soberly written and courageously reported. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • “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.”

    Oregonian

  • “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.”

    Economist

  • “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 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 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 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 Sharon | 1/28/2014

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 1/23/2014

    " Some parts are slow or feel disjointed, but some parts, most parts, feel downright gripping and I couldn't stop reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 lindsay! | 1/21/2014

    " This is one of the most captivating books I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Krutko | 1/19/2014

    " Compellingly written, well-researched, a good entry point on the FLDS. I wish there was an updated edition that covered Warren Jeffs arrest however. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chargr2 | 1/17/2014

    " Fascinating. Couldn't put it down. Hard to believe it's non-fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna Garrett | 1/17/2014

    " Utterly fascinating. I highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana Craft | 1/8/2014

    " Super intense and super messed up! Honestly, I had to put it down a few times in utter disgust but overall I'm glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Savage | 1/4/2014

    " Krakauer is an insanely talented journalist. He could write about anything and make it compelling. This book was fascinating all the way through-- well-researched and smart. I love how he extended the conversation to apply to all different kinds of faith. Worth a read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Fox | 11/21/2013

    " I listened to this one on audio during my commute. It's gripping stuff from a great journalist, but not necessarily Krakauer's best stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith Guberman | 11/16/2013

    " Seemed like a timely book to reread! Well written, well researched, powerful story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leorah | 10/31/2013

    " This book is well written and the historical material is truly fascinating, but I found myself growing impatient with it about 2/3s of the way through it. I learned valuable information about Mormon history, but I didn't garner an goodwill toward this belief system. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria Halgren | 10/25/2013

    " I always enjoy Jon Krakauer's well researched books, in this one the history of the Mormon Church and the current FLDS fascinates me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna Noga | 4/26/2013

    " Was a pretty good book. Learned a lot about Mormonism. Didn't like the overall "anti-religion" tone of the book. It is possible to have faith and not turn into a nutcase. Otherwise, great book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adria | 1/3/2013

    " Quite a fascinating read - I learned way more about the LDS faith than I ever knew before - quite interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phil Sechler | 10/27/2012

    " Extremely well-reseached book that is as interesting as it is informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melbie | 8/26/2012

    " Must read informational history of the Mormon faith. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicky Clinkscales | 8/11/2012

    " I recommend this book often - good overview of the Mormon faith - as well as the fundamentalist sect. Read it as a book club and there was great discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 7/6/2012

    " I think we need to open our eyes to and read, read, read before the election! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne Sasso | 5/6/2012

    " I was left speechless. Given the 2012 election, it is a must read. Because Romney has made his faith such a large part of his campaign, I thought it was best to get a better grasp of his roots. Lets just say, I am more that startled.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shauna Woodard | 5/3/2012

    " An excellent book about the early days of the Mormon church. Absolutely fascinating. Thoroughly researched and well written. I could not recommend it more highly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Nordahl | 9/12/2011

    " Excellent detail and research. Prompts a desire to read additional source material about the Morman religion. An entire facet of American history about which I knew nothing. Fascinating! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Rowan | 6/1/2011

    " Very interesting read about a horrifying crime that gives you a lot of background on the Morman church and it's history. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marianne | 5/24/2011

    " I had a hard time finishing this. I think it's because I felt so ignorant about the subject matter and had a hard time accepting it. Krakauer is an amazing writer though, whose research is meticulous. "

  • 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 "

  • 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.
    "

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About the Author
Author Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer is the preeminent writer of narrative nonfiction. His numerous bestsellers include Under the Banner of Heaven, Into the Wild, and Into Thin Air. He is editor of the Modern Library Exploration series.