Jen's Reviews > Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
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's review
Nov 17, 2008

did not like it
Recommended to Jen by: Betsy H
Read in October, 2008

The low rating isn't because the book is poorly written--it's not. At times the book is fascinating and at times horrifying (my husband just finished it too and found it riveting). The subject matter, however was pretty dark and gruesome for me personally to enjoy. Although well researched and even-handed at times, as he explored the "underbelly" of Mormonism, there was undercurrent of contempt from the author. It showed in the description of a man with a comb-over, liver spots and bad grammar who Krakauer chose to represent contemporary LDS people, it showed in the comment of an extreme fundamentalist defector who believed that only a Mormon girl would be caught in Elizabeth Smart's situation (how would she know? she lived in a completely different culture), it showed in the obvious omissions in the teachings of Joseph Smith (like basic articles of faith that promote tolerance of other religions). I'd be interested in reading the authors' response to criticism in the second edition. Thanks to my friend for the recommendation--it certainly has given me a lot of food for thought.
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message 2: by Tami (new) - rated it 1 star

Tami jen, You write well!! Ok so I listened to this book on tape and found it disturbing as well. I did not like it either but you seem to sum it up with "undercurrent of contempt". I just think Ooohh yuk I don't like this book but I can't pin point it. so thanks

Christa JoAnna You should be banned from review books.

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