A Riveting but Confusing Exploration of Faith
This is a gripping tale of nonfiction. When you consider the politics, heartache, betrayals and passion that the Church of Latter Day Saints is built on, there is a true "Game of Thrones" aspect to all of it. Unfortunately, Under the Banner of Heaven reads more like a history book than Martin's series.
Although Under the Banner of Heaven covers much of the history of the Church of Latter Day Saints, at the core of the book are the brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty who insist God commanded them to kill a young woman and her daughter.
Captivating Storyline Overwhelmed by Timelines
One thing is certain – Krakauer's exploration of religious fundamentalism and its violent consequences is undeniably intriguing. The book provides an eye-opening account of true events that often feel stranger than fiction.
However, the excitement of the narrative is dampened by the confusing switches between timelines. Just as I got emotionally invested in one character's story, I was abruptly transported to another era or perspective. This frequent detour disrupts the flow of the book and makes it challenging to connect with the central story. It often feels like reading multiple books at once, which can be disorienting and frustrating. In fact, I have a much easier time of switching between the multiple books I read at a time than I did between these storylines.
A Pleasure for the True Crime Enthusiasts
While Under the Banner of Heaven may not be a page-turner for every reader, true crime buffs will find solace within its pages. Krakauer's meticulous research and attention to detail provide a chilling account of crimes committed in the name of religion. The exploration of characters and their motivations gives a glimpse into the disturbing depths of fanaticism.
In the end, whether you're a true crime enthusiast, or a history buff, give this book a chance. Just be prepared for a history lesson more than a drama.