Skip to main content

Book 151: "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer

Title: Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Author: Jon Krakauer
Genre: True Crime, Non-Fiction
Read in: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

I'm honestly not sure where to start with this review. Having finished the book on Monday, I've been ruminating over it all week and trying to figure out exactly what to write about. It is definitely a good book; well-written, compelling, and (obviously) gets the reader thinking.

This non-fiction true crime book discusses the 1984 murders of Brenda Lafferty and her infant daughter Erica by Ron and Dan Lafferty (Brenda's brother-in-laws). The reasoning behind the brothers committing the murders is rooted deep in the history of Mormonism and their practice of Mormon Fundamentalism. Krakauer digs into the history and origin of the Mormon faith and the schisms of Fundamentalists it has since produced.

I will be honest that much of this book is terrifying. The history of Mormonism, much like any other mainstream religion, is rife with violence, cons, and murders in it's name (Let me be clear, I am NOT judging those of the Mormon faith or blaming the religion as a whole for these acts. Every religion has extremists that use their faith as an excuse to do abhorrent things.) Krakauer, who is atheist, is obviously biased against religion as a whole, so some of what is written does need to take that into account. However, in this edition, he has addressed a few facts that were incorrect, admitting them to be so and has since corrected them.

I really enjoy True Crime novels, however, they are harder to read. Just the fact that these people are real. That they did this horrendous thing, it makes a huge difference on how I read violence; and you well know that I read plenty of violent fiction books.

Mostly, at the end of this book, I felt sad. Sad that two lives were lost because they got in the way of two extremists who felt they had the right to take lives. Sad that there was no one in their life that they would respect enough and who had enough will to stop them from this crazy venture. I am unconvinced that Ron and Dan truly believed that the murder of Brenda and Erica was ordained by God- or if they convinced themselves of that at a later time. I also worry that some sort of un-diagnosed mental illness played a role; which also makes me sad.

The book is very well-written and definitely worth the read. I highly recommend it. If you have read it; I would love to know what you think!!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book 154: "Poison or Protect" by Gail Carriger

Title: Poison or Protect
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Novella, Steampunk, fantasy
Publisher: Gail Carriger, LLC
Read in: Nook ePub

Have you noticed that I adore Gail Carriger and everything she writes? Not yet? Well, now you know. This is the first in a series of novellas that Carriger plans to write. As with all of her work thus far, I loved it.

This novella series will follow the Finishing School characters once they are adults. This first installment is a story about Preshea. I can't say too much, given the short nature of this story, without giving spoilers. But I loved learning more about a character that was in opposition to the main characters of Finishing School. (If you can deconstruct that sentence). Be forewarned... it's steamy! This was the perfect tide-over story to get me through until Imprudence released (review to come soon!) and I'm counting on the coming releases of more novellas to get me through the next two years until the next installment of The Custard P…

Book 165: "Xoe: Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons, Oh My!" By Sara Roethle

Title: Xoe: Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons, Oh my! (Xoe Myers #1)
Author: Sara Roethle
Read in: Kindle eBook
Genre: Urban Fantasy- Young Adult

This is not a great book. It is shallow, over-descriptive, and incredibly predictable.  There are grammar errors everywhere. It is pretty much what you would expect from the Twilight fanbase of authors that are still following Stephanie Meyers in angsty Urban Fantasy.

The more of these books I read (I keep picking them up hoping that one day I'll find a gem) the more I wonder if teenagers are really so stupidly trusting. Would they actually meet some hot guy in the woods and immediately believe he is on their side so much to the extent that they trust him to protect them, stay in their room, and basically turn into a controlling stalker- all in the name of "love"? This one started out differently- the protagonist actually really didn't trust the hot new stranger. And turned out to be right that he was dangerous and crazy. H…

Book 161: "Romancing the Inventor" By Gail Carriger

Title: Romancing the Inventor
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Steampunk Urban Fantasy Novella
Read In: Nook ePub

So, my fellow readers, I'm sure you know that this is a novella by Gail Carriger. If you've been following me long, you know that means I most likely adored it. You are correct. Carriger strikes again; she has yet to disappoint me with one of her pieces, novel, short story, or novella. This novella is a long-awaited story featuring Genevieve  Lefoux. Madam Lefoux is one of my favorite characters in The Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School Series, so it is extra nice to get yet another glimpse of her later in life- after the Parasol Protectorate Series has ended. In fact, many of the beloved characters from The Parasol Protectorate make an appearance, including Alexia and Conall.

The protagonist of the story is a new character. This is a GBLTQ friendly story (obviously, since it focuses on Madame Lefoux). I liked this novella because I thought it much closer to he…