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The Killer Angels

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Great book - Must read!

The Killer Angels written by Michael Shaara, is a very interesting book that describes the Civil War in vivid detail, specifically the Battle of Gettysburg. If you are an individual who is enthusiastic about learning about our nation's history and past, then it will be ...
The Killer Angels written by Michael Shaara, is a very interesting book that describes the Civil War in vivid detail, specifically the Battle of Gettysburg. If you are an individual who is enthusiastic about learning about our nation's history and past, then it will be a great choice to purchase this book. In addition, this book is, for the most part, historically accurate, and will create an image in your mind of the landscape and the various skirmishes it details. Ever since I visited Gettysburg myself, I have had a passion for understanding and learning more about the battle itself, and I feel that this book has enhanced my knowledge of it and given me a new perspective on the events leading up to, and after, the battle.
I really enjoyed the way in which Shaara used the point of view of multiple characters throughout the story, on both sides of the war, to truly involve the reader in the feeling and emotions of both the Union and the Confederacy, and allow the reader to view their perspectives in terms of the reasoning behind their judgments and reasons for being involved in such a war. When detailing a major historical event such as the Battle of Gettysburg, numbers and statistics are not always the best way to involve a reader, which is why Shaara presented the story from the perspective of a single soldier or general on either side of the war, to allow the reader to experience what the individual had felt and thought. When a reader becomes emotionally involved in a book, they are more apt to have a greater understanding of the material within, and have a much better overall experience in reading the story. I enjoyed the book because I became somewhat emotionally involved, and I greatly enjoyed the presentation of the Battle of Gettysburg through several different perspectives and points of view.
In the case of any historically significant book that has conflicting points of interest, there is bound to be some sort of bias or historical inaccuracy, and the latter of which is present in this book. One major historical inaccuracy in the book is that Shaara detailed that the 20th Maine brigade of the Union army was present to defend General Pickett's charge. According to several historians, the 20th Maine brigade was defending the Union's left flank, and could not have defended against Pickett's charge, which brings forth the presence of a historical discrepancy. I believe that Shaara portrayed the 20th Maine defending against Pickett's charge to add appeal and zest to the story. The presence of a historical discrepancy did not detract from the overall detail and meaning of the book, however it did slightly detract from the point in the plot detailing Pickett's charge.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone who has a desire to learn about the Civil War, The Battle of Gettysburg, or any of the significant military leaders. The way in which Shaara presented the information about the logistics of the Battle of Gettysburg through various viewpoints and perspectives greatly interested me, and allowed me to become very involved with the book, which is why I finished it in two days.
I would recommend this book to an audience of individuals who are mature enough to handle the violence and loss of life that the story entails, and are conscious enough to keep up with the multiple story lines.

posted by SWA7X on April 26, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

obviously forced to read this

quite honestly, I was not impressed with this book. i had to read it for school, and wound of sparknoting and cliffsnoting the book instead of reading it. a huge let-down. and very confusing when the book switches point of views.

posted by Anonymous on April 24, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Pretty good

    Tells alot of history, in a first-person view.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    a good read

    Although it plays loosely with facts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    be prepared for an unusual writing style

    While the topic is highly interesting, I found Mr Shaara's writing style a bit disjointed and hard to follow. There are many characters to follow and the author seems to think the reader knows them as well as he does. I read about half of the book and moved on to something else due to the frustration I was experiencing. I still may go back and try to finish because the topic is very interesting.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Very Good Read

    This book got you involved with the greatest Generals of the past.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2011

    Good but Kinda of slow at some parts

    When I first got this book I thought that I would really like it because I love history along with the rest of my family that was before I knew that it was a novel. The thing that I did not like about it was that it did not really happen and it was very slow I n the being and I think that it is a very hard book to get into because of all the not trying to be mean but all the useless dialogue I really don't care how good at poker this guy is I want to know what kind of person is he a good leader and what his men think of it. I think what I am trying to say is that I think that the book needs to be more to the point. This book is about the battle of Gettysburg and the author takes that battle and changes it and tells what he thought what the people where thinking about and what emotions they were experiencing and he is very good at doing that but goes on a little too much. Some of the good parts of the story are when The generals are talking about what kind of strategy they are going to use defensive or offensive and one general thinks defense is the way to go to save men and resource s but general lee is always on the offensive and he says take the offensive and end up losing the fight. I generally like the real history books and not novels but for a novel I think that this book was not half bad over all I kind of enjoyed even though it wasn't my type of book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2007

    Well, no.

    I'm sure that for the critics to get you to read this book they'll tell you that the Civil War was fought for freedom vs A way of Life, and that was the one thing that bugged me. The Civil War wasn't fought for freedom. It sounds all sweet to say that all these Americans died for the freedom of the slaves, but that isn't true. In truth, most Northerns didn't much care about what happened to them, it didn't effect their lives, and while Lincoln did end up freeing the slaves, he only did it because it would undermine the South's economy during the war and give the North more of a chance. The Civil War was fought by the North to keep the Union together. That's it. It just so happens that slavery was a topic that had to be solved for it to work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    The killer Angels not pleasing

    The Civil War was one of the greatest battles ever faught One side for freedom the other for power. This battle was told int the book The Killer Angels and it was the lives of each commander and every soldier, including their story of the battle. This book was written by Michael Shaara, who is a well known writer. This book used in the format of first person making it very confusing with all the characters there are. The novel shows the lives of all the people involved, which makes the book even harder to read. I thought that this book was not intrestng to me, and was way to confusing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2005

    Good Civil War fiction

    Good Civil War fiction, but the book did not live up to the multitudes of hype provided. Very detailed towards the leadership at Gettysburg (how anyone can read this book and still be a fan of R.E. Lee escapes me), but not much on the individual soldiers experience.

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    Posted August 26, 2014

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