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Publisher's Summary

After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published. July 1863. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia is invading the North. General Robert E. Lee has made this daring and massive move with 70,000 men in a determined effort to draw out the Union Army of the Potomac and mortally wound it. His right hand is General James Longstreet, a brooding man who is loyal to Lee but stubbornly argues against his plan. Opposing them is an unknown factor: General George Meade, who has taken command of the Army only two days before what will be perhaps the crucial battle of the Civil War.
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fight for two conflicting dreams. One dreams of freedom, the other of a way of life. More than rifles and bullets are carried into battle. The soldiers carry memories. Promises. Love. And more than men fall on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty are also the casualties of war.
The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable, a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny.
©1974 Michael Shaara, copyright renewed 2002 Jeffrey M. Shaara & Lila E. Shaara (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews



Pulitzer Prize winner, Fiction 1975
"Shaara carries [the reader] swiftly and dramatically to a climax as exciting as if it were being heard for the first time." (The Seattle Times)
"The best and most realistic historical novel about war I have ever read." (General H. Norman Schwarzkopf)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joel D Offenberg on 12-27-09

Great book!!

Michael Shaara's "The Killer Angels" won a Pulitzer and hit the top of the best-seller list, and it deserved both honors.

The Killer Angels tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg (a key turning point in the US Civil War) as a *story.* Not exactly history, since Shaara spent a lot of time with internal narration relating the characters' mindset and history and since he admits that he modernized some of the dialogue and omitted a few minor characters. Not exactly a novel, since the story is real, the people are real, and many of their actions, words and thoughts were recorded at the time.

Shaara's writing is excellent and the story is gripping. And, I think that to truly understand the United States of today, you need to start with understanding the US Civil War and how the two sides viewed that fight.

I have fewer superlatives for Hoye's narration. It's pretty good, but I think he over-emoted during some of the battle scenes. He also tried to distinguish the characters by regional accent (Lee with his Virginia drawl versus Chamberlain with his New England twang), and it semi-worked.

The print edition has drawings to show the orientation and position of the two armies which are, of course, missing from the audiobook version. I'm not sure how much of an issue that was, but there are some good maps on Wikipedia's Battle of Gettysburg page for reference.

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33 of 34 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Robert on 08-15-09

One of my all time favorites

This book (enhanced by the reader) is one of the best books I have ever read. The characters feel like I really know them and the story is absolutely gripping. The full panoply of human greatness and folly is on display here. The reader is especially integral to the enjoyment of the story as he seamlessly moves from character to character. Some reviewers have complained he reads slowly, etc. For me, he extracts the fullness of every word, as one would each bite of the most succulent meal.

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20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By sarah on 09-16-16

A fantastic, inspiring audio book.

This is an outstanding audio book. It's not surprising this book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Recommended before a visit to Gettysburg. Outstanding narrator.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Umashin on 06-16-16

really enjoyed the book and performance

Great novel but hard to follow who is on whose side at times. The performance and story is very interesting and well told.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John Simpson on 04-30-18

Step onto the Battlefield of Gettysberg, July 1863

This book was highly recommended by American Four Star equivalents across the three Services. I also relished every minute of it.
The author's rich prose takes you to Gettysberg, and the narrator's flair, especially during the battles, made it hard to stop listening.

I'm not an American, but treasure this novel and the rich history of that era. I hope to visit the site one day and stand on the very ground where this story is told.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Mike on 11-17-16

A great story but better to read

One of the few books that would have been better to read so you could see the maps and movements of the troupes.

Still a great story

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