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Charles Manson: Coming Down Fast, Simon Wells' Chilling Biography

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Forty years after the Manson Family murders, this is the definitive account of the crimes that shocked the world.
Published April 1st 2010 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published January 1st 2009)
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Tony Phillips
I have read all the books on the Manson saga, and this clearly is the best. What I like about it, more than anything, is that Wells takes a truly dispassionate approach in de-constructing the legend of Charles Manson and his so-called "Family". True, what occurred with the Tate-LaBianca murders was nothing short of horrific, but Wells take a less sensational view on what actually produced the spark that led to the murders. Where Vincent Bugliosi successfully argued for the so-called "Helter Skel ...more
Most people have at some time or another heard of the murder of Sharon Tate, by the Charles Manson family. This book takes you inside the family and details the life of those members involved in this horrific crime of the 1960s.
It also details the social environment and politics which led to the rise of the Hippie movement in San Francisco during the 60’s and provides an insight into how disaffection and madness, enhanced by the drug culture, led to these murders.
Despite his appearance and backg
This was a very well written biography. I knew very little about Charles Manson before reading this and it gave an in-depth view on his background and how he attracted his followers as well as the murders, trail and his sentencing. It is written like an extended essay, with quotes to back-up all views. Although a horrific book to read, it was a written like a novel and was compelling.
Sean de la Rosa
I really enjoyed this! Of course most know of Charles Manson, but I don't think many have an appreciation of just how much a diabolical influence he had over "the family". The biographer remains emotionally detached and relays the facts with clear precision. The style of writing was also enjoyable.
William Marshall
I really enjoyed this book even learned a few more things about the case for the most part though it's just bits and pieces of several previous books on the case
I would however highly recommend it to anyone interested in the MANSON case who haven't read alot of other books on the subject
Obelia Modjeska
A fascinating account of Charles Manson's strange journey through life, culminating in the murders perpetrated by The Family and an autopsy on the lives of Manson and his former cohorts in (and out) or prison subsequently.

What is most intriguing about this book, to me, is its documenting of the Manson story within the wider social and cultural context of the counterculture and the 1960s. Most creepy is the story of his "friendship" with Beach Boys member Wilson.

One ultimately comes away strange
Currently reading this, it's a good book and interesting to learn more about Manson's history. My only complaint would be the amount of grammatical errors which are numerous. This would put me off reading this particular author again as it makes me question his skills as a competent writer. Otherwise an interesting read!
The content was highly curated and detailed, however it was not very well edited. Grammar was poor and quite a few quotes were repeated, some words were also over used. There were also a few contradictions which confuse facts, so I'm left unsure of what was true.

Quite an amazing read of one of the world's most scariest humans. The brutality of the crimes and way in which they were conducted are completely detailed. What interested me the most was how Manson brainwashed and manipulated so many p
Comes across fictional with the information logically delivered. I thought the script was well presented with good cohesion, the flow of the writing was able to spell points / situations clearly and simply which allowed me to keep up the interest and curiosity. People were presented in a non-sensational, matter of fact way, which was good.
The only bug bear I had with the writing was the interchange of names i.e. Charles Watson was continually referred to as Tex, Charles Watson, Watson etc. this
Eric Rautenbach
This is a good true crime book to read. As someone who only roughly knew the story of Charles Manson, I certainly learned a lot about this infamous man, and those that surrounded him. What I found most fascinating was that people can be so easily influenced as to do what Manson ordered them to do. If this was not a true story it probably would not have been a very convincing fictional tale as it al seems a bit too far-out!
Generally I felt it was a good book and well researched. For true crime f
Once upon a time I could read the most grisly stories about true crime and it wouldn't affect me but that all changed after I had children.

Once upon a time I would have been able to read this book with fascination and enthusiasm, now not so much.

I started reading this book and soon gave it up, I just found it so hard to get into. I did give it another chance as it was a borrowed book and I wanted to return it.

As hard as it was to read, I gave it 3 stars because it was informative. Whilst it wasn
Wells' incisive account of the macabre events coloring modern Manson folklore offers a deeply unsettling glimpse into the mysticism and psychedelia intrinsic to the Family's raison d'tre. Owing concomitantly to speculation and factual encounter, Coming Down Fast is a vaporizing admixture of dark character and narcotic reflex - Wells' position is refreshingly perspectivist, which allows his prose to strike subtly and without the subdued dilettantism of other Manson writers. Organic and responsive ...more
After reading the below review regarding this book,it put me off a bit reading it, as it is apparently full of factual and spelling mistakes. I read it anyway, as I'd already bought it, and I thought it was a fascinating story regardless. As someone who has not read Helter Skelter or other Manson bios, I am none the wiser to any factual mistakes, and just took it as a damn compelling story. I picked up on a couple of spelling and grammatical mistakes, although this didn't faze me. I found this b ...more
May 09, 2010 Michaela rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True crime buffs
This book offers a fantastic insight into the life and times of Charles Manson. It was the type of book that I wanted to both finish and keep reading forever.

It is a "don't read when you're alone" book if ever I read one. The Tate and LaBianca murders are so descriptive that I felt like I was a fly on the wall on those fatal nights. This, of course, may not appeal to everyone but if you're a crime buff then this book is for you.
John Hardin
The best bio on Manson I've ever read. It goes much further than "Helter Skelter" and offers the reader a more in-depth portrait of Charles Manson and the Family. It doesn't go into a lot of detail about the trials, but I believe enough has been written about them that most people know about them anyway. A must-read for anyone who wants to know more about this man.
John Hardin
The best bio on Manson I've ever read. It goes much further than "Helter Skelter" and offers the reader a more in-depth portrait of Charles Manson and the Family. It doesn't go into a lot of detail about the trials, but I believe enough has been written about them that most people know about them anyway. A must-read for anyone who wants to know more about this man.
Jonny Dolan
When I rate it as amazing, I mean it had a profound effect on me by the way I realised how the way the mind of such a human being works. Apart from the obvious psychotic nature of the man, he was a very interesting person. This book will place you right among the "Family" but leave you feeling numb through one of the most famous murders in history.
Same old, same old.

I've come to realize if you've read one Charles Manson book, you've read them all. Helter Skelter will continue to be the definitive Manson book and no further delving into his background or philosophy makes him any more interesting.
An interesting book, and not as hysterical as some volumes on this subject - but I'm not even sure it was actually proof-read before publication, which made it an irritating read.
Pretty heavy going but a very balanced and level-headed account of what was an extremely chaotic and tragic situation. Time for something a bit lighter, I think.
Found it very difficult to read, both emotionally & critically. I'm not fond of this type of work, which picks over horrible crime. I didn't finish.
very boring to read in a lot of parts......this book could of been a lot shorter to tell the story.
Carsten Scholz
Extremely interesting book. I would love to see more footage of the court hearings.
Lucy Smith
absolutely obsessed with this guy..what a hypnotic chap!
Katherine Crawford
Fantastic book, very disturbing but informative
Taco is currently reading it
May 14, 2015
Kali marked it as to-read
May 12, 2015
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