Manson is sick and twisted. Yet he is very complex and I felt Jeff Guinn excelled in exhibiting the life and times of Charles Manson.
The first thingManson is sick and twisted. Yet he is very complex and I felt Jeff Guinn excelled in exhibiting the life and times of Charles Manson.
The first thing that comes to people's minds with Charles Manson is the LaBianca/Tate murders. This biography explains how the makings of this came to pass beginning with his childhood. With reminisces from family members and persons who knew him as a young man the reader is given a vivid portrait of who he was and not who he became.
I would love to say that Charles Manson wasn't always a rotten apple as he did try to turn over a new leave several times by getting married and holding a job, all the things acquainted with a normal life. Unfortunately, he could never stay on the straight and narrow. By understanding Manson's surroundings and how his environment may have shaped his perversions Jeff Guinn does an excellent job.
Unavoidably, we creep up the timeline of Manson's obsessive nature of becoming a leader and musical star. The question I always ask myself is how he was able to recruit persons into his family. Guinn describes that due to a novel read in prison, How To Win Friends and Influence People he learned how to pursue the weak and vulnerable, convincing them that they could lead a better life under his guidance. All this with pure charisma. This makes me think of what an unusual person Charles Manson really is and from a psychological stand point a very interesting study.
I consistently had to take breaks while reading Manson, it is a very heavy novel and while an interesting read, it is a lot to take in. While I enjoyed the novel as a whole I was most intrigued by how he expanded his family and was able to influence them into such heinous actions. Another thing was that Jeff Guinn focused more on the trial rather than the Tate/LaBianca murders as it gave a full picture of the crime at hand.
As I have stated throughout this review, Manson was an eye-opening look at the man so many consider a monster and because of the disturbing subject matter I'm not sure if I would recommend it to everyone, but is a must for a fan of true of crime.
On a last note, Manson's creepy crawl had me up late into the night both from fear and the need to read one more page....more