Customer Reviews for

The Killer Angels

Average Rating 4.5
( 433 )
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(271)

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(88)

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(40)

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(21)

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(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 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 21 people found this review helpful.

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

We tried reading this for a group that was making high A's in my history class and all I can say is, "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH THIS MAKES MY HEAD WANT TO EXPLODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I guess if I was older I would underatand it more. I am just giving my personal opinion. ...
We tried reading this for a group that was making high A's in my history class and all I can say is, "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH THIS MAKES MY HEAD WANT TO EXPLODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I guess if I was older I would underatand it more. I am just giving my personal opinion. As an American I have the freedom of speech to say what I feel (so long as it is not demeaning or bad...). Don't get me wrong at first it was okay, then, well AHHHHHHHHHHHH again.

posted by 10435811 on April 3, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 271 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Best book I have ever read.

    This book was so good that I finished it in ome week amd usally takes me three weeks for me to read a regular 300 page book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    A classic

    Should be read by all interested in American history.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Great

    I love this book

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    Outstanding Novel!

    Wonderful blend fiction andactual events. History comes alive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2011

    i

    o

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Wonderful!!

    This book is one of the best books about the civil war! I love that you not only know what happened, but also what the soldiers are thinking and feeling!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    A Killer Read for Anyone!

    For anyone who wants to learn more about the great American heritage known as the Civil War, and possibly the greatest battle of the war, Gettysburg. This masterpiece is one that will bring you deep into the thoughts of the commanders, who controlled the Battle of Gettysburg. The three days of fighting from July 1-July 3 during the year of 1863 were probably the most glorious and terrible days of American military history. It's terrible because over 50,000 Americans are casualties, however it's glorious because the Union is preserved when the South suffers a major defeat and will never agiain wage war on Northern soil. Michael Shaara's genious creation takes you from how the battle began, day by day, up to the retreat of Lee's Army. Shaara's book includes maps of the hallowed ground to give you a real look of the actions of the two armies. After reading this book you will absolutely understand everything about the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the Civil War.

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    Excellent Story

    Michael Shaara brought the Battle of Gettysberg to life in the eyes of a few of the principal participants. I didn't realize it had been used as the basis for a screen play. I've read numerous novels about the Civil War as well as many non-fiction accounts of the war or as some of my relatives say, the 2nd War of Independence, and this made me feel like I was there.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    A Great Book, a Sad Story

    This was an excellent book, but a story that i wish didn't need to be told.
    It tell both sides of the story, and tell of the Battle of Gettysburg from the viewpoint of both the Northern and Southern officers and men.
    It bring back into mind that these men were brothers and friends before the war.
    A Very Good read.

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Just For Civil War Buffs -

    For those who need an introduction to the Civil War or who want to learn about the Civil War, this is the book to read. Michael Shaara expertly weaves the minutia of history into a tapestry of an epic tale of determination, sheer valor, and heroics of the soldiers of both sides, the Killer Angels during the Battle of Gettysburg.

    Michael Shaara's treatment of the key leaders involved in the bloodiest three-days of the Civil War, allows the reader to soak in the human aspect of a war and its effect upon them. He draws you in so deeply, that you cannot help but cry for the generals who cannot even take the time to weep for their own losses.

    This book should be on everyone's list.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Excellent Book

    A wonderful novel about the Battle of Gettysburg. Shaara takes you behind the lines and inside the heads of some of the key players in America's most famous (or infamous) battle. The most amazing thing to me was learning how different this battle could have been were it not for just a few key men, some displaying heroism, some making fatal mistakes and miscalculations. If Dick Ewell had not hesitated and instead seized the high ground...if Stonewall Jackson hadn't died that never would have been a question. James Longstreet is a fascinating character, the old warhorse. What would have happened had Lee heeded his opinion? We'll never know. The Killer Angels does a marvelous job of telling the story of Gettysburg and pinpointing the key men, decisions and mistakes that brought about that fateful day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    Gettysburg

    Shaara brings to life the battle of Gettysburg with Killer Angels. His historical fiction with the emphasis on history introduces the reader to many of the leaders of the civil war. We get to know these people on a personal as well as historical level. Shaara does not pick sides in his story telling but takes us from the North camp to the South camp fluidly. He emphasizes the leaders of the battles but also puts you in the trenches with the troops. I read this book years ago and decided to buy it for a reread and to offer my kids a chance to read the book.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    Definite Keeper

    Excellent book, great characters, human interest

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Captivating!

    The Killer Angels captured my interest from the very start. I had been told about this book from a co-worker and I'm glad I was. To feel like you were "there" at Gettysburg and to get a feel for the conflicting emotions will keep the reader engaged. I have recommended this book to others who have an interest in history. It is a fantastic read. You won't be able to put it down.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must-read if You're a Civil War Buff

    I'm not a Civil War buff, preferring my military history more current, but I read Killer Angels because so many friends recommended it. Now, I'm going to read everything Michael Shaara and his son Jeff (another historic fiction novelist) have written. The author approaches the Battle of Gettysburg from the human side. He touches on causes, but only as the soldiers would experience them. One Union soldier laments that if the South wins, he will no longer be able to visit the great fishing holes he enjoys in what would become a new and separate nation if the South wins.

    The youth of both sides' soldiers, the battles they endure without enough food or supplies, the repercussions of the volunteer army--boys and men volunteered alongside others from their own state. No one was conscripted. The fear many felt because they weren't warriors, weren't trained in battle, just common people drawn into the cause of their side.

    Killer Angels doesn't replace the typical historic account of Gettysburg. It enhances it by adding the human layer, likely the most important in any battle. Even 150 years ago, the military taught its grunts to fight for the guy next to them in the foxhole, not some cause their government espoused. In the end, my heart was saddened for the losers, for the death of their dreams and the loss of their innocence. I never did decide which side Shaara considered to be the Killer Angels.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    The killer Angels Michael Shaara

    An excellent book that details the battle of Gettysburg, having been there several times this is probably the most factual book regarding the battle. It's considered historical fiction but that's only because of quotes of generals which I'm sure he wasn't there to interview. It's a great read and puts the battle in perspective.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Realistic first-hand perspectives of the main men involved in decision-making at the battle at Gettysburg

    This book wow-ed me with its first-person perspectives of both the Union and Confederate commanders and soldiers involved in the important historical Gettysburg skirmish. After reading the book, my son purchased the Gettysburg movie that is based on the book. Although I have not yet viewed it, I did read another book that segued perfectly into this plot: "March" by Geraldine Brooks--another book that I would highly recommend.

    Although I am not a natural history buff, I found this book very well-written and compelling--as is "March" and another fictionalized account of Indian battles in Minnesota during the Civil War, "Abercrombie Trail." "Abercrombie Trail" was written by a good friend of mine and although it came out in June, it is so popular that was re-printed again in August. If you like stories about immigrants coming to this country and the life they experienced, you will LOVE "Abercrombie Trail."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2009

    Shaara puts a body on the skeletons!

    Michael Shaara has written in a captivating style that let's the reader feel what so many other writers have not been able to capture. Of the many civil war books I have read, this one does the best job of completeing the characters as human. His characterizations give flesh and body to what most authors only present as skeltons acting in a play. The main characters feel complete, with feelings and foibles, giving the reader the chance to stand next to them, not just to watch them from a distance. A great read. If you've read Civil War books and know these characters exploits, this is a must read to complete your understanding of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT READ!

    I picked up this book on the reccomendation of my Mother (a middle school librarian). It was fantastic. The style of writing is so different from anything I have read before, I could not put it down. Read this!!!!!!

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  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A good historical book to read as well as a required reading for USMC Officer Candidate School.

    A great historical book to read as well as one to learn battle strategy and tactics. This book was required reading prior to attending United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico Virginia-Marine Corps Combat Development Command. It's been 19 years and I can still remember the books name and the details of the book.

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