NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, this extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities. Now an FX limited series streaming on HULU.
“Fantastic.... Right up there with In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God; some 40,000 people still practice polygamy in these communities.
At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.
An interesting mix of crime and religious history.
History, sex, murder and faith
Whether you are interested in true crime novels, American history or religion – this is a fascinating book. It provides incredible insight into the American west (both frontier and modern), the development of a faith based organization (in this case Latter Day Saints a.k.a. Mormons) and the way religion can be twisted to justify people's personal (sex, murder) goals.
The focus of the book is on Fundamentalist Mormons, and NOT the mainstream Mormon church... but it does points out that many fringe religious cults could not exist without the subtle support of the root organization. The official LDS church does not support polygamy or murder, but by maintaining that the Book of Mormon (and other texts) are the absolute word of God, they give credence to those who would use these texts to justify harming others.
I would like to see Krakauer take an objective look at other faith based organizations such as the Roman Catholic church (from which I was raised) and Islam.
The book is also well written and supports its claims by meticulously crediting its source material (old newspapers, books, interviews, court records). A quality piece of work across the board.
This book provides everything a reader wants; excellent narritive, information, and excitement, while avoiding excessive commentary. Krakauer is one of the best non-fiction writers of our time. He can take any subject and make it interesting. Most negative reviews for this book can be traced back to the LDS