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Download Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives behind the Legend Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives behind the Legend, by Paul Schneider Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (130 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Schneider Narrator: Patrick Lawlo Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In Paul Schneider’s hands, the legend behind the daring movie that revolutionized Hollywood becomes the true story of Bonnie and Clyde. Told in the lovers’ own voices, it offers verisimilitude and drama to match Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

Strictly nonfiction—no dialogue or other material has been made up—and set in the dirt-poor Texas landscape that spawned the star-crossed outlaws, the brilliantly researched and dramatically crafted tale opens with a murderous jail break and ends with the ambush and shoot-out that consigned their bullet-riddled bodies to the front seat of a hopped-up getaway car.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s relationship was, at the core, a toxic combination of infatuation blended with an instinct for going too far too fast. The poetry-writing, petite Bonnie and her gun-crazy lover drove lawmen wild, slipping the noose every single time. That is, until their infamy caught up with them in the famous ambush that literally blasted away their four years of live-action rampage in seconds.

Without glamorizing the killers or vilifying the cops, this book, alive with action and high-level entertainment, provides a complete picture of America’s most famous outlaw couple and the culture that created them.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Schneider, in particular, emphasizes the social climate of the era, as encountered especially by Clyde—oddly, the book is composed in the second person, as addressed empathetically to Clyde himself, leading the author into language that is impressionistic and somewhat disconcerting to encounter in sourced nonfiction. Although Schneider does not justify the criminal lives of the Barrows, his aim may be to show that their story is relevant today, when members of modern street gangs sometimes view a life of crime as their best way out of poverty.”

    Library Journal

  • "[A] fast-paced account… Schneider does a righteous job of understanding Bonnie and Clyde, and if they’re not wholly sympathetic—they did kill folks, after all—they’re not wholly monstrous either. Thanks to Penn’s film, there are plenty of people who have some sense of how they lived and died—spectacularly, and without much regard for the messes they left behind. Schneider shows how oddly accurate the film got at least those final moments, all rat-a-tat machine guns and chirping cicadas. A pleasure for true-crime buffs.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Bonnie Parker wrote her own legend in poetry as she and lover Clyde Barrow eluded authorities throughout their robbery and murder spree during the Great Depression. Her poems are just one of the entry points to this story for author Paul Schneider and narrator Patrick Lawlor. From time to time, Lawlor shifts into a portrayal of their thoughts, including their consciences, complete with the drawls of their native Texas. He also delivers the “rat-a-tat” gunfire that is so much a part of their lives. More conventional devices—news reports, police logs, and the words of friends and witnesses—are also used to convey the escalation of their crimes. Some might be put off by the story’s shifting point of view, but the technique draws listeners in.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Debbie | 12/19/2013

    " What a way to live! and none of this dialouge was made up. This was a fascinating look at what on the lam really means,(hope I spelled lam correctly).They were definitely criminals, but I came to care for them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kath | 11/13/2013

    " I did not finish this audiobook because the narrator, Patrick Lawlor, was unpleasant to listen to. I did not enjoy his performance of the material, which was fascinating but ruined for me by the narrator. Will get a print copy and read it myself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Clif Smith | 10/25/2013

    " An unusual treatment in that the author continually speaks to Bonnie and Clyde as if he were with them through their criminal lives. It is based on very solid research and is an eye-opener if all you know is the Beatty-Dunaway movie! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kathy | 4/10/2013

    " Guess I.m on a "true historical crime" kick...Here we go with another one. Hoping for a good ride here. "

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About the Author
Author Paul Schneider

Paul Schneider is the author of the critically acclaimed Brutal Journey; The Enduring Shore; and The Adirondacks, named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book.