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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

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,413 ratings  ·  251 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
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ebook, 368 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published March 10th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan
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
Matt Kuhns
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
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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
Caroline
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
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carl  theaker


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
carrer.

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
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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
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Bookmarks Magazine

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

...more
Nick
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
...more
Charlie Newfell
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
Colleen
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
...more
Matt
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.
David Brown
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
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Jessie
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
Sterling
Jan 28, 2011 Sterling rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Katie
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
...more
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
...more
Jennifer
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
...more
Janet
This book is a well-researched depiction of the lives of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The portrait painted by author Jeff Guinn is far different than the movie with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. The tone of the book illuminates the desperate lives of two depression era young adults yearning for a better life. Clyde Barrow resorted to stealing cars, petty theft, grand theft and murder to achieve a higher standard of living (snappy clothes, high-powered automobiles; generous gifts for family ...more
Kim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick
Nov 24, 2014 Patrick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: true crime readers
Shelves: history, true-crime
I enjoy reading true crime books. Small books about small crimes, abusers and stalkers don't interest me as much as the iconic crimes that are ingrained in our popular culture. I just finished a book about Charlie Manson. I love it. I noticed that there was a book about Bonnie & Clyde by the same author. This is the book I'm reviewing here.
The author takes us on a real page-turning adventure of two people on their way to certain self-distruction. There is enough back-story to enable you to g
...more
Chris Young
I have reviewed several books here. As I stated when I began reviewing they were audio books because I was a truck driver. Recently I came off the road and this is the first book I have got to read with my eyes in quite awhile. I admit my perspective was tainted as a child when I saw the movie "Bonnie and Clyde". I loved this movie and still do. I was sure being a bank robber was the way to go when I grew up. It had the same affect pirate stories had on me. I think I just now realized my Hero's ...more
Margaret Sankey
Gets to be draggy when recounting every single one-horse town they ever robbed, but does a good job contextualizing fundamentalist share croppers and bootleggers in dust bowl West Dallas, 1930s notions of law and order and the American appetite for lurid tabloid stuff. Includes details like how mesmerized they were to blow loot on renting an apartment with a flush toilet and Clyde's need to rob in approximately a circle around the dry cleaner until his shirts were ready and he could leave town
Alison
Kudos to the author for great research and for so many details. At times, these details bog the story down and made it feel a little tedious following Bonnie and Clyde's every step. However, the book gave a great sense of what Bonnie and Clyde willingly sacrificed by choosing a life of crime and the accompanying fame. It got a little depressing reading about people with no moral compass whatsoever, no peace, no joy from doing what is right, no love or respect for fellow man and his property. But ...more
Walt
This is the real story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker that effectively dispels the glamorous depictions of them in the famous Beatty/Dunaway film. In fact, after reading this book, the liberties that the filmmakers took become quite glaring. Just about every fact is documented here - what they drove, where they slept, what they ate, etc. Their routes are traced as they hopped from one Midwestern state to another, stealing cars, grocery stores, service stations and an occasional bank. Their ac ...more
Katie
I read this book while contemplating what to do for my dissertation. I enjoyed it although sometimes found it quite difficult to focus on the content. It was really interesting to learn about the trials and hardships endured by this notorious pair as they lived forever on run alongside a multitude of changing companions. My favourite 'characters' where Buck, Clyde's brother, and Blanche, Clyde's brother's wife, whose tale is very sad but one that is filled with love and affection.

This book is w
...more
Stew
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.
Jess
Four and a half stars. Glad I finally finished this one -- I started it, loved it, put it aside, and didn't pick it up for a couple of months. Well researched and easy to read. None of the movie stuff here -- this is much more accurate and believable. I will definitely read other books by Guinn.
Eddie Taylor
An excellent book on Bonnie and Clyde. I think this might be the book to read if you can only read one book about Bonnie and Clyde. The author goes into a lot of the history and background surrounding the couple, family and their associates. He brings a lot of solid information and facts to light to dispel some of the inaccuracies (more in a moment) and fiction around the couple and presents a lot of the facts (again, more in a moment).

The book was exceptionally well researched and drew from a l
...more
Gary Lawson
Riveting and eye opening

I've had a deep interest in the lives of Bonnie and Clyde ever since I was 10, and I've read many a story about the pair, mostly in crime magazines and other articles over the years This is the first book written exclusively about the crime duo that I have read, so I'm not an authority on the subject, but I must say this is a riveting, thorough piece of work that not only depicts the life and crimes of B&C, but also the devotion of their respective families and the h
...more
Monk
A fantastic listen. I knew virtually nothing about Bonnie and Clyde, but what little I knew was all wrong. This is well-written engaging history. If you have any interest in this era, I highly recommend it.
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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...
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson The Autobiography of Santa Claus The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral--And How It Changed The American West How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas The Great Santa Search

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