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Extended Audio Sample Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, by Jeff Guinn Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeff Guinn Narrator: Jim Frangione Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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More than forty years ago ,Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson Family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person on the property where the murders occurred was spared.

Manson puts the killer in the context of his times, the turbulent late sixties, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege. Guinn shows us how Manson created and refined his message to fit the times, persuading confused young women and a few men that he had the solutions to their problems. At the same time, he used them to pursue his long-standing musical ambitions, relocating to Los Angeles in search of a recording contract. His frustrated ambitions, combined with his bizarre race-war obsession, would have lethal consequences as he convinced his followers to commit heinous murders on successive nights.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “From the first page to the last, I could hardly put it down. Hang on, reader. This is a rip-roaring ride you won't forget.”

    James Lee Burke, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The best book about Manson that I’ve read…and I think I’ve read them all.”

    Jeffrey Deaver, New York Times bestselling author

  • "[A] riveting, almost Dickensian narrative…four stars.”

    People

  • Manson by Jeff Guinn knocked me down…Mr. Guinn has become a truly great writer of nonfiction Americana.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “[A] brawny, deep-digging biography that’s much more riveting than might be expected…Mr. Guinn is fascinating in his use of hindsight, and it allows him a more probing view of his subject than earlier biographers had…Steadily surprising.”

    New York Times

  • “[A] tour de force of a biography…Vincent Bugliosi’s book Helter Skelter led me to believe there was nothing more to learn…I was wrong…[Manson] stands as a definitive work: important for students of criminology, human behavior, popular culture, music, psychopathology and sociopathology, and compulsively readable.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Guinn has managed against all odds to offer a fresh take and a worthy complement to the first-hand immediacy of Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter…Offers new insight to those who lived through that turbulent era and provides essential context to those who didn’t. What emerges is a grim but highly compelling portrait of a ‘lifelong social predator’ who was ‘always the wrong man in the right place at the right time.’"

    Washington Post

  • “What’s left to be said about Charles Manson? Quite a bit, it turns out. With Manson, Jeff Guinn delves deep into Manson’s ‘origin story’ to reconstruct the wicked combination of events and circumstance that helped make the monster. In prose that’s both economical and compelling—almost hard-boiled—Guinn recounts a troubled upbringing of neglectful, criminal parents and juvenile delinquency, compelling the narrative into the increasingly bizarre landscapes of late-1960s Southern California—a context that turned out to be the perfect accelerant to Manson’s narcissistic delusions. By the time of Helter Skelter and the infamous Manson Family killings, Guinn has aligned the tumblers of Manson’s story and opened a vault of secrets regarding one of the most violent and strange episodes of modern American history.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Biographer Jeff Guinn spent years on this book and it shows…Manson will remain the definitive biography of this ‘true life criminal.’"

    Huffington Post

  • “Splendid, comprehensively researched…[Guinn] has given us an American nightmare from which we have not yet fully awoken.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Manson is a book impossible to put down, the details so palpable that the sense of being a part of each scene is almost overwhelming…Guinn manages something much more than a true-crime book. Filled with the trampled hopes and broken dreams of those who gave their lives to a sociopath, Manson is an American tragedy.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Author Jeff Guinn likes to dive into stories we think we know and give us much more… Manson is a well-told, well-researched story that explains much about the murderer, his followers, and his times.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “Guinn argues that while Manson spouted incoherent race-war rhetoric, the killings were in fact related to his failed ambitions to be a rock star. Many readers will be interested in grappling with the psyche behind the 1969 killings, a signal event in American cultural history; bound to get the considerable attention the 100,000-copy first printing anticipates.”

    Library Journal

  • “Sometimes a book is so good that the reviewer does not know where to begin. It doesn’t happen often, but this is one of those times…Jeff Guinn has produced not only the best biography of Charles Manson but the best study of American true crime since Victoria Lincoln’s A Private Disgrace: Lizzie Borden by Daylight…[A] consistently superb book…Flawless.”

    National Review

  • “Riveting…The author’s richly detailed but well-paced narrative fleshes out the demented logic behind the crimes…Guinn’s portrait is an absorbing true-crime saga and a searching exploration of the anomie, broken homes, and crazed hopes that led lost souls to mistake Manson for the answer to their prayers.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A compulsively readable account of a murderer who continues to fascinate.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Guinn indulges in no psychological or sociological analysis but makes like Sergeant Joe Friday, relaying just the facts, though those include, besides the firmly established ones, many that are just most likely. In Guinn’s hands, the story of a lifelong loser who yet succeeded in gaining what he may have wanted most—fame—because he was also a world-class user of others retains both all its creepy fascination and a full measure of mystery. Well, Guinn asserts at one point, Charlie had charisma, if anyone ever did. Evidently. A fine, plain historical, true-crime book.”

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • One of the New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for 2013
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
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