The Killer Angels (TBR)

I just picked up an audiobook of The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. The narrator is Stephen Hoye and the length is 13 hours and 44 minutes.

This historical fiction novel, depicting the Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, was first published in 1974 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975. Despite winning awards, the novel was never commercially successful during Shaara’s lifetime. It grew significantly in popularity and influence after the author’s death in 1988. In 1993, after the release of the movie Gettysburg, which was based on Shaara’s novel, The Killer Angels made the NYT best sellers list for the first time. From wiki:

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf described The Killer Angels as “the best and most realistic historical novel about war that I have ever read.” The filmmaker Ken Burns has mentioned the influence of the book in developing his interest in the Civil War and his subsequent production of the PBS series on the subject. The book has also been cited by Joss Whedon as the original inspiration for his science fiction/Western hybrid series Firefly.

The Publisher’s Summary

from Audible:

After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.

July 1863. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia is invading the North. General Robert E. Lee has made this daring and massive move with 70,000 men in a determined effort to draw out the Union Army of the Potomac and mortally wound it. His right hand is General James Longstreet, a brooding man who is loyal to Lee but stubbornly argues against his plan. Opposing them is an unknown factor: General George Meade, who has taken command of the Army only two days before what will be perhaps the crucial battle of the Civil War.

In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation’s history, two armies fight for two conflicting dreams. One dreams of freedom, the other of a way of life. More than rifles and bullets are carried into battle. The soldiers carry memories. Promises. Love. And more than men fall on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty are also the casualties of war.

The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable, a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America’s destiny.

©1974 Michael Shaara, copyright renewed 2002 Jeffrey M. Shaara & Lila E. Shaara (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

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