Saturday, August 10, 2013

MANSON by Jeff Guinn ( A Book Report)

Dear Class,

My friend Amanda provided me with the galleys of MANSON: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn.  It is the latest book on the subject, and will require me to get another shelf to put it on.  I wouldn't mind that if it were worth it, but sadly it is not.

I suppose I should explain why the book utterly fails.  It fails because from the cover and the title and the introductory letter that came with it the book is supposed to be about Charlie- how a five foot two inch loser became the most dangerous man in America.  It is supposed to be Charlie's biography- that is the clear intent.  Except, not so much.

For five Chapters we get some of that.  Poor Charlie in school, in reform school, in prison.  Poor Charlie and his spousal abuse.  Poor Charlie the fucking idiot.  And then
on Page 77 Gunn commences literally four hundred pages of just rewriting.  He takes the BUG novel, the Sandy book, the Sanders book and he shakes it all up and says, "Yummy, you try it."

Any reader of this blog will find nothing new and interesting in the book.  I am overlooking the many typos and outright errors (Linda took the stand and lied to free Charlie?) because I assume the final hardcover will fix them.   And I am hoping that maybe the final book will have some nice pictures.  The back cover has a Charlie wedding photo that no one has seen before.

But ultimately all this is is a regurgitation of what we have seen before.  Now you may ask, "What do you expect from a book at this point".  And if you have to ask that, don't write the book.

This thing ships next week from Amazon, and will be in the remainder bins in six months.

If Tom O'Neill publishes his twelve year in the making book maybe he can find some original information.

In the meantime, there's nothing here.




leary7 said...

Absolutely dead on Col. I couldn't agree more. Guinn's writing style in his previous books is straightforward cause and effect analysis. The TLB tale, as we all well know, is not a straightforward story. It is a twisted tale if there ever was one. I still say it won't sell even with all the media attention it is getting.
What I have always longed for with regards to the Manson story is a book similar to "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" by Jimmy Breslin - something that tries to capture the undeniable idiocy of the Family rather than their perceived demented evilness.

Ajerseydevil said...

Agreed after waiting almost a yr for this book that's exactly what it is a rehash Guinn included a bibliography and just as the Col said all he's done is combine several books that 90% of us interested in this case have read

Marshall Terrill said...

As I am reading this book, I wonder where he is getting his information. For example, he mentions The Family opened a bar at Spahn Ranch for a few months called Helter Skelter. He also states Melcher had far more interaction to Charlie than we have ever been led to believe. True or bullshit?

Ajerseydevil said...

They did run a nightclub at Spahn ranch for a very short period of time not a bar remember Charlie didn't dig alcohol it was quickly shut down though local law enforcement found out about underage kids hanging out there If I remember correctly George Spahn was fined for this nightclub