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Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde
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Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  2,108 Ratings  ·  310 Reviews
Forget everything you think you know about Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. Previous books and films, including the brilliant 1967 movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, have emphasized the supposed glamour of America's most notorious criminal couple, thus contributing to ongoing mythology. The real story is completely different -- and far more fascinating.

In Go D
ebook, 368 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Simon Schuster (first published March 10th 2008)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 26, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, gangsters
”We're going down, down in an earlier round
And Sugar, we're going down swinging
I'll be your number one with a bullet
A loaded god complex, cock it and pull it

We're going down, down (down, down)
Down, down (down, down)
We're going down, down (down, down)
A loaded god complex, cock it and pull it.”

---Sugar, We are Going Down by Fall Out Boy

 photo bonnie-and-clyde201967_zpsadv8m2vy.jpg
The first time I met Bonnie and Clyde, they looked like this. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty 1967.

John Dillinger has always been my favorite Depression Era gang
♥ Marlene♥
Nov 01, 2014 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Weirdly enough I have never been much interested in the story of Bonnie and Clyde. I think many decades ago I did watch the movie but it did not make me want to know more apparently.

That was until now. While I was reading this book over the last few days I could not help going online to look at all the images. The famous image of her,Bonnie pointing a gun to him, Clyde. I love his little laugh and can see on this photo why she fell in love with him.

This book has made me want to know all about th
The companion piece to Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34. Bonnie & Clyde are also covered in Burroughs's book, but he got a few details wrong and his primary focus was Dillinger. A few years after Burroughs's book was published Jeff Guin set out to write a comprehensive book looking at the two outlaws lives and deaths. The result is a thoroughly researched and imminently readable biography of the two famous outlaws whose legend is greater than th ...more
Matt Kuhns
Nov 29, 2012 Matt Kuhns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely fantastic work, rich in absorbing detail.

I’m far from being an expert on Bonnie & Clyde, so I can’t evaluate this against any other works on the pair. But it certainly seems like Guinn did a lot of research, and used it to very good effect. Unsurprisingly, there’s no Hollywood glamour in the story; yet for a tale of two largely inept, ineffective small-time criminals, it’s a remarkably dramatic and even moving story.

The element of inevitable doom in Bonnie & Clyde’s tale p
I have always been fascinated by the legend of Bonnie and Clyde. During the process of reading this book, I did get to watch that 1967 Bonnie and Clyde movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway…and that was absolutely ridiculous! Probably a more accurate and much better version would be the 2013 Bonnie and Clyde movie starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger. But in Go Down Together, author Jeff Guinn attempts to cut through all the “Hollywood Glamour” of the infamous crime couple, and de ...more
Benjamin Thomas
As an aficionado of crime fiction, I thought I would dip my toe into the non-fiction world of real life crime. Like many people, I had heard bits and pieces about various criminal celebrities of the 1930s, like Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker, and Bonnie and Clyde. Part of my brain realized their real life stories were probably far from what has been depicted in the movies, TV, etc. so at the recommendation of a good friend who studies this era of crime, I chose to read this book about Bo ...more
Mar 12, 2017 Fishface rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, biography
I can't recommend this one highly enough. I can hardly imagine how much research must have gone into this immense, blow-by-blow record of the Barrow Gang's crime spree. The author makes constant efforts to separate myth from fact, his entire goal being apparently to show us why Clyde, Bonnie, Buck and their retinue did what they did. This story is all about family ties and unbreakable bonds of loyalty. Not a "sob sister" treatment of their crimes, Guinn holds every wrongdoer responsible and make ...more
Mar 23, 2011 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never really knew anything about Bonnie and Clyde beyond the fact that they were Depression-Era bank robbers, they died in a bullet-riddled ambush and they were played by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in the film. That was literally the sum total of my knowledge, so this book was a real revelation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I couldn't put it down.

There's always been a certain glamour attached to the celebrity criminals of this era - Bonnie and Clyde themselves, John Dillinger, Pret
Jill Hutchinson
Mr.Guinn has done an amazing amount of research to bring the real story of Bonnie and Clyde to light. The film, which has become a classic, paints the couple as romantic, glamorous and skilled criminals. In reality, they were basically bumblers, who stole paltry amounts of money, numerous cars and seemed to kill impulsively. They caught the fancy of the news media of the day and became cult figures.
The author graphically depicts the grinding poverty of the 20s and 30s which drove many to petty c
carl  theaker
Mar 31, 2014 carl theaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history

A recent History Channel movie on Bonnie and Clyde
re-piqued my interest in 'what really happened'.
The infamous couple sparked a media sensation in the
early 1930s and every few years since there is some
type of new show or book focusing on a particular
aspect of their short, bloody, flamboyant criminal

The challenge with a sensational story is that it
generates sensational coverage. It's easy for
someone to make a buck with a headline. I think
the official title for the popular 1968
Warren Beat
Dierdra Byrd
I have always been interested in Bonnie and Clyde and I love True Crime books so when I seen this I really wanted to read it.
Any reader of True Crime knows that some True Crime books will read a lot like fiction and some are more if not all fact based. This book is all fact based. It list a lot of dates, times, places etc.. so it can take a little longer to read. The Kindle edition at least is 366 pages long then there is about 40% or so of the book that is all source information. I read the boo
Jul 02, 2009 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written, well-researched book. There has been a lot of hype about Bonnie & Clyde, not least the infamous movie. This book will set a lot of that straight.

The only problem is, it's Bonnie and Clyde. Essentially, these were two small-time crooks who were incapable of robbing anything more sophisticated than a gas station or a food store. Clyde, the leader, was a poor planner, when he planned at all, and put everyone around him at risk countless times, while Bonnie went along for
Charlie Newfell
Jul 16, 2012 Charlie Newfell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding. Well-researched book on the lives of Clyde and Bonnie (wouldn't become the other way around until the 1967 movie). Two poor 20/21 year olds from West Dallas spend a couple of years holding up gas stations and general stores for $40 or $50, living off the road in the woods or farm fields, eating canned food. What about the glamour of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in the famous movie? Learning about B&C from that film is like understanding WWII POW camps from Hogan's Heroes. This ...more
Oct 24, 2015 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great biography on Bonnie and Clyde. The author paints a vivid and realistic picture of these two young fugitives that keeps the reader hanging on until the last page. I am partial to biographies, and this is one of my favorites. While it is vividly clear that these two chose the wrong path, you also can't help but sympathize with them while reading this one. A well balanced story that makes you think about how the circumstances of life - even those over which you have no control - can change yo ...more
Bob Schnell
Jeff Guinn's "Go Down Together" is a well researched story and an exciting read, a very rare combination. It covers the true tale of Clyde & Bonnie in a way that is biographical, historical, sociological and procedural yet immensely entertaining. Though the truth of the story is not for the squeamish or those who romanticize criminal lovers on the run, it is a necessary book to counteract the glamorous myth the duo has become. After reading it, very few people would consider a life of crime ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Apr 15, 2009 Bookmarks Magazine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-june-2009

All those who read Guinn's account of Bonnie and Clyde were impressed by the unprecedented level of detail he brings to the story. But a few seemed to think that all of Guinn's data got in the way of the chase. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel admitted that the level of detail posed the book's "only problem," while acknowledging that "the legend still stands under its own power." Indeed, reviewers were generally pleased by Guinn's ability to add new layers to Bonnie and Clyde's brief, hardscrabble

Jan C
Thoroughly researched. Including interviews with surviving family members and people other family members had worked with in creating books about Bonnie and Clyde, most of which never saw the light of day. I'm still trying to decide whether to read Blanche Barrow's book.

Quite a bit different from the movie. But, as Jeff Guinn notes, see the movie as entertainment not history or biography.

I think when I started this book I wasn't that sure about it but I got really engaged in Guinn's writing. I
Aug 25, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subtitle is no joke, this biography is thorough with a capital T. There's a fondness for Clyde & Bonnie in this historical record noting that many of the other material written about them was grossly exaggerated which is not surprising considering that stuff sells. I got a feel for them and their families and what brought a lot of people to a life of crime before and during the Depression. Hard times may make criminals of us all.

In the end their demise was foreseen by even them but it w
David Quinn
Nov 28, 2015 David Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much like Guinn’s book about Charles Manson this is well researched, paced and written. In fact I thought the book got better and better as it built to its climax. (Speaking of Manson there were (are?) many similarities between him (he?) and Clyde Barrow.)

I liked that the author portrayed Bonnie and Clyde as multi-faceted individuals rather than as the one-dimensional crime figures of popular American crime lore. Although Sheriff Smoot Schmid (I did not make that up) gets the keystone cops dunce
May 09, 2011 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
An interesting and absorbing book that neither sensationalizes nor sugarcoats the actions of Bonnie and Clyde (mostly Clyde--Bonnie was an enabler but never actually shot anyone), and how forces of history, fate, and personal choice drove them to committ a series of crimes across the Southern states.

I commend the author for taking a wider view at times (how they sparked public attention and interest, influencing movies and fiction) but would also zoom into the effects of their victims and famil
Jun 01, 2010 Stew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this will go down as the final word on Bonnie and Clyde.
I see that some have criticized it here for including too many details. That didn't bother me. If you set out to write the most thorough account of their lives, that's what you must do. Unless some new information is uncovered, I don't think this one will be topped.
Sep 03, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read in a while. Jeff Guinn portrays Clyde and Bonnie as real people caught up in the crime life. Although I knew how the book was going to end I found myself hoping that Clyde and Bonnie would make it through one more day. Recommend read for any history fan.
May 19, 2017 Meredith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
This is an amazingly researched and utterly fascinating book. You think you know the real story of Bonnie and Clyde? You almost certainly don't. But you might want to educate yourself with this book. I was especially impressed with Jeff Guinn's treatment of Clyde and Bonnie. He clearly has a great affection for them, but he also recognizes and doesn't excuse their faults. I found myself dreading their inevitable tragic end, even as I hoped they would get caught before they could murder any more ...more
David Brown
Jul 18, 2012 David Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to Bonnie and Clyde I will admit my initial knowledge before reading this book was very limited. I knew that they were a gun toting couple that had a brief but famous crime spree in America before the law eventually ambushed and killed them in the 1930s. Jeff Guinn’s book promised to set the record straight on previous depictions of this infamous couple and the result is a gripping story full of amazing events.

The book begins with Clyde’s origins, his birth in 1910 in the farming
Feb 08, 2013 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I guess this is the story of what happens to reasonably intelligent people who grow up in extreme rural poverty, and come of age during a financial meltdown. Clyde met Bonnie after a stint in prison for stealing cars. Unlike most first offenders, he was sent to work under the most brutal overseers with the most hardened career criminals. The reason for such a harsh sentence remains unclear; though, prior to prison, Clyde and his older brother Buck were well-known to police even if they could not ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Sterling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs, Bonnie & Clyde fans, people who like a good story
Sixteen seconds.

This is the time, by best accounts, between the first and final shots fired by the posse of lawmen at the Ford V-8 driven by Clyde Barrow with his partner Bonnie Parker in the passenger seat on the morning of May 23rd 1934.

We all know how the story ends, I knew going in how the story was going to end, but that small fact, that miniscule span of time still hit me like a punch to the chest. People have criticized Jeff Guinn for adding too many details to the book, making it more a
I think the single revelation I came away with was that Bonnie and Clyde were some of the most inept criminals to have ever gained fame.

Clyde’s ill-planned robberies netted precious little funds, barely enough to cover gas, food, clothing and board. He flitted from one crappy non-lucrative, ill-planned robbery to the next. Knocking over a gas station here, an general store there, maybe a small bank, always dreaming of scoring big and instead coming home with in some cases pennies for his risk a
Aug 24, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mention of Bonnie and Clyde stirs images of glamorous gunslingers mocking the law through jailbreaks and bank robberies. Jeff Guinn’s new book Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clydeshatters that portrayal by providing a real, demystified account of the couple’s ultimately tragic lives.

Guinn tells of Clyde Barrow’s and Bonnie Parker’s childhoods in the poverty-stricken slums of West Dallas. Clyde hoped to be a professional musician, and Bonnie dreamt of being a famous a
Sep 20, 2012 Jessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I wouldn't post a review for a book club book until everyone else was done reading it for fear of spoilers...but I think everyone knows how this story ends. I'm actually rating this one star higher than my gut instinct. It was well-written, well-researched, and made two criminals very sympathetic. I found his tracking of the mythology fascinating as well. In the end though, I think I don't care and I didn't feel like that should take away from everything I liked about this book. We comp ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Jeannie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
I grew up fascinated with Bonnie and Clyde in main due to my parents who lived in Missouri during this era and told me stories about them. When the movie came out I begged and pleaded to go see it but being so young my parents resisted my urgings before finally giving in and allowing me to go with my older brothers. It was an experience I'll never forget and even then I felt the allure of "Bonnie and Clyde". Needless to say that movie made quite an impression on my young mind so I found myself t ...more
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Emporia Public Li...: Go Down Together - Reviewed by Katie Mulik 1 6 May 23, 2016 10:40AM  
  • My Life with Bonnie and Clyde
  • Dillinger's Wild Ride: The Year That Made America's Public Enemy Number One
  • Capone: The Life and World of Al Capone
  • Mr. Capone
  • Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34
  • The St. Valentine's Day Massacre: The Untold Story of the Gangland Bloodbath That Brought Down Al Capone
  • Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend
  • Murder, Inc.: The Story Of The Syndicate
  • For the Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of a Mob Life
  • John Dillinger: The Life and Death of America's First Celebrity Criminal
  • The Outfit: The Role of Chicago's Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America
  • For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Chicago
  • Hot Toddy: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Sensational Murder
  • Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster
  • Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression
  • The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia
  • Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life
  • The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders
Jeff Guinn is the author of MANSON: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, THE LAST GUNFIGHT: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral And How It Changed the American West, and GO DOWN TOGETHER: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde, which was a finalist for an Edgar Award in 2010. He was a longtime journalist who has won national, regional and state awards for investigative reporti ...more
More about Jeff Guinn...

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“must know the mental habits of the outlaw, how he thinks, and how he will react in different situations.” 1 likes
“In those few seconds Bonnie screamed, a high shrill wail that haunted the men about to kill her for the rest of their lives.” 1 likes
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