"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Killer Angels (abridged audiobook) by Michael Shaara

A Must for any Civil War buff

Read by George Hearn
Lasts about 6 hours

Way back in 1989 I had to read The Killer Angels as part of a American Military History class while I was attending Indiana University. Since then I've read it 3 or 4 more times and I've recommended it to countless friends and students. Surprisingly, hearing it as an audiobook was an entirely new experience for me - it was much more powerful than I remembered.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914)
The Killer Angels is the story of the Battle of Gettysburg told from a variety of points of view, but mostly from the points of view of Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet on the Confederate side. The Union side is largely represented by John Buford and Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of Maine who won the Medal of Honor for his actions on the second day of the battle.

The Killer Angels won the Pulitizer Prize in 1975 and is one of the finest pieces of fiction, let alone historical fiction, that I have ever read.

The audiobook was brilliantly read by George Hearn and uses music from Gettysburg,  the 1993 movie adaptation of the book (it is a faithful adaptation that just does not do justice to the power and tragedy of the book). This really is a beautiful production. More than once I had to stop it for the tears that came to my eyes due to the tragedy and spectacle of the battle (I am a Civil War softy - I tear up every time I watch the movie Glory as well). I do not particularly remember the soundtrack of the movie as being very moving, but it is used to great effect in the audiobook. It lasts about 6 hours and is well worth the purchase.

Highest recommendation.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

This abridged audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: The Killer Angels

Reviewed on June 1, 2008.

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