Killer Angels Book Discussion
March 02, 2011
Did you ever wonder what the Battle of Gettysburg was really like and why it was so important? Find out the answers to these questions at our book discussion of The Killer Angels on March 3rd at 7 p.m. at the Boardwalk Branch. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is a historical novel that tells the story of this pivotal battle from the viewpoints of officers on both sides of the conflict.
I first read Killer Angels in high school (I’m from Pennsylvania, so it’s practically required reading) before our class took a field trip to the battlefield to see things for ourselves. History has never been as alive to me as it was that day. Seeing the lay of the land with the understanding of all that had transpired during those fateful days of 1863 made a huge difference for me. The trip would have been nothing but a tourist ride if I hadn’t read Killer Angels first.
The book is, first of all, well written. It doesn’t read like dry history. Shaara crafts a beautiful narrative, balancing the thoughts of individuals with the broad strategy of the fighting itself. In addition, all of the characters—every single one of them historically accurate—are passionate, complex human beings. There is no dichotomy where one side truly righteous and the other filled with hideous villainy. The Confederate and the Union officers alike are passionate, intelligent human beings. That’s why I love The Killer Angels.
This book discussion is only the first of three Civil War book talks coming up at Boardwalk. We will also discuss The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (which is geared toward readers age 12 and up) in April and Gone with the Wind in May. Remember to sign up online for the book talks on April 7th and May 5th.