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“Brilliant. Written with deep insight and in seamless, fluid prose, Guinn’s Manson expands the story of the cult leader into something far beyond the shocking story we're used to. The best book about Manson that I’ve read . . . and I think I’ve read them all.”
“Jeff Guinn takes the reader on a fascinating, chilling visit to a dark and decadent time in American history, all the while maintaining a laser focus on the era’s most recognizable face of evil. A gifted writer and master researcher, Guinn explores the depths of Charles Manson’s twisted psyche in a brilliant effort that dramatically raises the bar on the true crime genre.”
Posted August 8, 2013
First of all I would like to say a few words about the last few paragraphs in this book.
For me Guinn manages to pinpoint Manson exactly right in those last few sentences. I actually nodded in agreement as I read them.
The fact that the author managed to get Manson's family members, sorry his genetic family, to talk to him gives this book some extra insight. It is filled with factual info that makes a lot of things less mystical, and let's be honest the media likes to paint Manson that way, and with a great deal more realism than is usually shown in regards to this true story.
Manson is a sociopath.
There is nothing special about him and he doesn't possess an awe-inspiring charisma. Manson obviously learnt to manipulate at an early age and use his adapted Dale Carnegie skills. He was/is a controlling, abusive, misogynistic criminal with a tendency towards violence. If he and his cult members hadn't been caught they would have gone on to murder many more.
They didn't though and unfortunately the vile acts they committed has given Manson and his tribe the attention and notoriety that Manson craved. Even now, after many decades his name still commands and instills a sense of evil and foreboding in people of which he is not and never was deserving.
His fellow comrades in murder seem to get a lot of leniency from many corners. Drugs, mass-thought, fear and control can only explain a part of their involvement.
Fact is they are the ones who used the weapons. Nobody forced Susan Atkins to stab Sharon Tate, no person held Tex's hand while he stabbed, shot and caved the victim's head in. They are just as responsible as the person who sent them there. They went without concise orders so ultimately they decided to choose to commit murder and how to do it.
I have no pity and am not swayed by arguments that place the sole blame on Manson.
Guinn doesn't do that. He doesn't play up to the media hype or make excuses for the poor brainwashed vulnerable females/males. He sees Manson for the role-playing manipulator he is. Even after all these years Manson still sits in prison and thrives on the attention of murder junkies, Manson fans and the media.
Despite the fact that the flow of information could have been a little smoother this was a good book. It contains a lot of insight from sources close to Manson and people who were part of his life on a daily basis.
I especially liked the fact that the author gives the reader all the info about Manson's rocky childhood, adolescence and early adulthood in juvenile detention or prison. that way the reader can absorb that information and decide whether it is enough of a factor to feel sympathy or understanding for Manson. The author allows us to have that opening, a door of sorts, and then right at the end he opens another door.
The door marked 'Manson would have done this anyway, it just would have been another time and different victims' and I for one will gladly walk through that door.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.
15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is a truly fascinating look into the life of one of the most notorious murders in America's history. It is extremely well researched and documented. At times it turns your stomach. It is a brilliantly written book.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
What an exceptional book!!! I was mesmerized by the details of the life of Charles Manson. He is such a monster and it is interesting to see the steps that were taken to create his evil over the course of his early life.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2013
Quite a good read. It contained a lot of interesting information i'd not heard or read of before. The author covers the subject matter very thoroughly but keeps the pace. The book never dragged. I'm interested in reading others by this author.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2013
Although I've read other books about Manson, this book added info I didn't know. The whole life story is completely eerie and creepy. It will make your hair stand up by the roots. This book was well worth the money. Also, another new novel called "The Partisan" by Willian Jarvis has a evil sociopathic character - as well. This new novel has strong male and female characters. It is based on facts about World War II. That book is only 99 cents on the Nook right now. Both books are fascinating. They deserve A++++++
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2013
I have read other books on this subject, but this book shed some new light into both Manson's childhood and the Tate-LaBianco murders that I had never before heard. It is definitely a must read if you are true crime follower.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2013
A book about Charlie Manson that delves into his boyhood, and the occurances that shaped his personality into a con-man who had the power to persuade his "Family" members to commit murders at his command. It is interesting reading, but it is no Helter Skelter.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 30, 2013
Such a well written and researched book. Yes, I do believe that Charles Manson does possess demons, but reading about his early years makes me question, can monsters be made by others who are evil? How could a person be at the receiving end of the abuse that he went through without becoming a predator.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 14, 2013
Posted September 14, 2013
Posted February 17, 2014
I actually love getting to know the inside details of serial killers or someone related to this category. As most people, we like to know the "how and why" of most crimes that occur. This book was giving everything you need to know about the build up of how Charles Manson became the person he is. It is very intriguing, insightful, and informative. This author did a superb job of putting as much information as he can into this book, which include genetic family members words and anyone that was in contact with Charles. If you want to know how Manson became the person he is, I totally recommend this book to you.
P.s. Saw this book at my local B&N bookstore, it was $30; as ane-book it was $15.
Posted December 30, 2013
Haven't finished yet but it is a great read. Also check out Hector's Juice as a companion fantasy/historical fiction book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 8, 2013
Jaw Dropping & Surprising
I just finished Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn. WOW! I really learned a lot from this book, I was only a small child at the time the Tate/LaBianca murders, so can't really remember when this all took place. But have read and heard lots about it since.
The author gives a lot of background history of the 60's and 70's and what was going on in the world at that time as well as the early years of Charles Manson.
How his mother and and uncle spend time in prison, leaving Charlie to be raised by his grandmother and another aunt and uncle. His mother did try for a while after being released but Charlie was a manipulator from the early years. His early years in reform schools & the penitentiary he learned more ways to get people to do what he wanted.
The book contains interviews from adopted sister Nancy, and cousin Jo Ann. And pictures of Charlie as a young boy who you would not know by looking at the pictures that he would grow up to be the "The Most Dangerous Man Alive".
It is scary that one man could have such influence over people that they would do whatever he told them to.
This is a must have book for anyone interested in the Manson family and the Tate/LaBianca murders.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, rather it be good or bad.
Posted September 13, 2013
Posted September 10, 2013
Once again, Jeff Guinn put a lot of time into his research. If you are looking for gore and gross details this is not the book for you. This book really focuses on Manson and his followers and how they got to the point in their lives where they would commit murder. It is very detailed and provides a lot more information surrounding the hippie culture of the late 60's. It shows how these young people with such low self esteem could be so easily manipulated. It also provides much insight about Manson's childhood and family life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2013
If you've never read any type of book on avoiding diets and embracing a healthy lifestyle, then I would certainly recommend this book. It would also be very informative to people with eating disorders - specifically binge eating disorders - as it contains tips and facts about metabolism and your body's reactions to limiting and binging.
However, if you have read books like the aforementioned, then you're not going to find much new other than some food facts that are, admittedly, quite interesting.
I hate to lower my rating due to poor proofreading, but it was bad enough where I felt it was necessary. There are lots of run-on sentences, misplaced commas and excessive commas, and misplaced words or typos that could have easily been caught by a once-over before it went to the "nook press". At times this made it difficult to read because you have to read and then read again for it to make sense. There were also grammatical errors (i.e. hand full instead of handful, there instead of their, etc.).
Information is good, and even though much of it is redundant, it is worth a read if you've never read a similar book.
0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 9, 2013
This is by far the most informative and interesting book ever written about Manson, at least in my opinion. And I believe I have read all books relating to the Sharon Tate case.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2013
Posted August 31, 2013
I loved Guinn's book on Bonnie and Clyde, Go Down Together, and I am very interested in the Manson family so I bought this book
in hardback which I hardly ever do. This book met and exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend it .