Reader reviews and comments on Under the Banner of Heaven, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Under the Banner of Heaven

A Story of Violent Faith

by Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2003, 400 pages
    Jun 2004, 400 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 6 of 6
There are currently 45 reader reviews for Under the Banner of Heaven
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Toby Bullock (12/23/03)

Hmmm...where to start. Suppose someone writes a "balanced" book about your family and doesn't use your family members for much source material. Granted, source material directly from the family is biased but so is material from those who don't like the family (or were booted out of the family). You read through a "history" of your family but see, to your frustration, that the sources used for info were only casually associated with the family or wrote about them from afar.

Basically, this book didn't do justice to my family. In short, the treatment of Joseph Smith caused me to laugh out-loud. The sources used for that particular part of the book were obviously from enemies of the church. Further, The fundementalists are not as linked to the "Main-line" (a term, incidently, that I've never heard used in Utah before) LDS church as a casual, outside observer may be led to believe. These groups and individuals pick and choose doctrines from the gospel to achieve their own ends but live nothing close to LDS observances/lifestyle.

This book takes aspects of our history (plural marriage and LDS scripture for example) out of context making it difficult for non-LDS folk to understand the whole within a full framework of Mormon history . I don't know how accurately the FLDS (another term I've never heard of) were portrayed, but I truly didn't recognize the people he described as "Main-line" LDS. I would urge people to study the source (Book of Mormon - other church publications) of the doctrines for themselves and not take this book at face value.
Dan (12/15/03)

This book was good other than the fact that it preached some very wrong ideas about mormanism. The story of the two brothers <<edited for potential plot spoiler content>> is not a good eway to portray all mormans, because there are some that are very nice people and they are not polygamists or psychos. There are religious fanatics in every religion, but that doesnt mean that religion is bad, and that is the feeling i got from this book. Other than that, the autor presents a good story combined with morman history that i find interesting. He presents the story much better than other autors might have done. It makes good references and is skillfully written. I give this book a 3 because of the fact that the author does present mormans in a bad way, and that is not how they are.
juan (11/25/03)

Of course there are dark sides to religion. Take for example the Episcopalians who now have an openly gay bishop. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I can rest assured that something of this magnitude will not happen. There is no question in my mind that there are some dark "secrets" in Mormon history. I can't be too sure what happened in the Mountain Meadows massacre. Did Brigham Young personally issue the attack? Who knows? I can say that in my 33 years as a member of the church, I've come across some real idiots who profess to be good Mormons when in fact, they are anything but. That doesn't mean that the teachings are bad and untrue, it means that there are humans running the show. I believe Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father appeared to Joseph Smith. I also believe Joseph Smith was as human as the rest of us and made some stupid mistakes. The author of this book uses only the negative aspects of the history to libel a religion that is the fastest growing in the world. If it were such a terrible religion or "cult" as some like to put it, why is it growing so fast and making so many people happy and make sense of this crisis-filled world?
Isabel (11/25/03)

The author was good about telling the story about these crazy brothers. Unfortunately, it portrayed the mormons as extremest people. Also, he tells some history but makes it sound like a fairy tale. If a person wants to find out more about this religion, a person needs to go directly to the source and do some serious research about the main message given in this religion, not only take the opinion of one person and believe to be true. I encourage people to look beyond one perspective before coming to a conclusion and I promise you will think twice. Crazy people exist in all religions, and not because of their bad ideas a religion should be generalized as bad. For example, the Islam, terrorists use it as an excuse to kill people, but that doesn't mean that was the message that Mohammed was trying to teach. And the list can go on
Pam Mayers (10/15/03)

Quite honestly, I knew very little about Mormonism. I knew that there were polygamists among them, but beyond that, I knew nothing. This book opened my eyes to their existence, their purpose, their future aspirations.
I was also fascinated by the description of Joseph Smith and how the religion came about through his revelations from God. I can't help but wonder about all prophets and their revelations after reading this book. The author does a superb job of taking the reader deep into the minds of many of the fundamentalists and their strong beliefs. It's rather chilling and, at the same time, thought provoking. I found myself searching the internet for more information about Mormonism after I finished reading the book. It was difficult to put the book down once I started reading it.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: All We Have Left
    All We Have Left
    by Wendy Mills
    September 11, 2001 is a date that few Americans will ever forget. It was on this day that our ...
  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

A library is thought in cold storage

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.