This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg than any piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara's account of the three most important days of the Civil War features deft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee, Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. The most inspiring figure in the book, however, is Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose 20th Maine regiment of volunteers held the Union's left flank on the second day of the battle. This unit's bravery at Little Round Top helped turned the tide of the war against the rebels. There are also plenty of maps, which convey a complete sense of what happened July 1-3, 1863. Reading about the past is rarely so much fun as on these pages.
I thought it was a tad hard to follow all the characters -- unless you're a Civil War buff or paid better attention in History class than I did -- but this is a compelling story of the battle at Gettysburg as viewed from both sides. The dialogue follows what is historically known about these "players" without making it sound too "made up."
The books does not deal with the gruesome details of the battlefield, but depicts insight into the soldiers' feelings, the respect they had for their leaders, and the courage they faced in following those leaders' commands beyond all.
An absolutely brilliant novel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this book personalizes the Civil War in a way that had not been done before. The participant perspectives pioneered by the characterizations in this story are now commonplace, but it has never been done better. As much as I had read about the history of the Battle of Gettysburg, it was not until reading this that I felt I truly began to understand what happened. This is a MUST-read book!
A marvelous book on the battle of Gettysburg. Really humanizes the "cast" and into their thinking. Though this last is a lot of conjecture since they do not have those sorts of records. I have read my share of reports on this battle but none have been so down to earth. Well worth reading.
One of the best books I ever read! It tells the story of the battle of Gettysberg in 1863. It's a easy read and gives a great insight to both sides of the battle. This book turned me into a Civil War buff!
I have taken the trip to the Battle field a number of times. Walking accross the the fields of Pickket's Charge! I recomend this book to anyone that can get there hands on it.
Generally a fan of the Civil War genre, I found there to be way too many characters that made it difficult to follow along. I found that it made for a very dense and choppy read, much more like a history book than a novel. I can appreciate the historical accuracy, its just this book was a little too much for my tastes.
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nations's history, two armies fought for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other a way of life.
Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were also the casualties of war.
THE KILLER ANGELS is unique, sweeping, unforgettable - a dramatic re-creation of the battle ground for America's destiny.
"Remarkable... a book that changed my life... I had never visited Gettysburg, knew almost nothing about that battle before I read the book, but here it all came alive." -Ken Burns, Filmmaker
I am NOT a Civil War buff, but I can't say enough good about this book. It is much better then Gods and Generals the the Last Full Measure in my opinion. Engaging story that is written so clearly that by the time I was done, I felt like I really understood what happened at Gettysburg.
My history teacher assigned this book in high school in 1981. It one of the few required-reading books I've ever enjoyed. Many, many years later, I turned my husband on to it and recommended it to my son for *his* history novel.
Jill S. reviewed The Killer Angels (Civil War, Bk 2) on
A great description of the Battle of Gettysburg and the leaders of that battle. His style can be somewhat confusing as he goes back and forth between the Union and Confederate "players" and the maps of the battlefield are also not always helpful. But overall a worthwhile read.
Absolutely loved this book. A very readable novel of the 4 days of Gettysburg. If you are interested in the Civil War this is a great introduction to a turning point in American history and the players of the time.
I hate to be repetitive , but I must agree with the other reviewers. I learned more about the Civil War & the key figures of that time than I ever knew----and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!! I've toured Gettysburg before, but I plan on returning with a whole new perspective. This well written (Pulitzer winner) novel certainly aroused my curiosity.
One of the best re-creation of the Battle of Gettysburg. If you haven't read any books on the Battle of Gettysburg, this is the first and maybe only book you might need to read. It should be a required reading for all highschool students.
"A dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny." (from the back cover). A novelized version of the Battle of Gettysburg, the best historical novel I've ever read. Told from the perspective of Lee, Longstreet, and Chamberlain, it's the basis for the movie "Gettysburg."
I ordered this book because I was trying to read Pulitzer Prize winners that I had missed. It is a powerful book about the Battle of Gettysburg and the personalities of the men on both sides who fought it and the strategies involved. No happy ending there, but a reminder of a dark time in our history. Shaara deserved the Pulitzer Prize.
Historical novel at its finest. Along with other battlefield histories, this book put the flesh on the bones of history for our visit to Gettysburg on the 150th anniversary commemoration week. Fantastic read!
Yes, I am a Civil War buff, but still, I loved this book. Fictionalized, of course, and yet one can learn so very much about Gettysburg, whether you care to or not. Well written, fascinating. I agree it should be on high school reading lists.