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The Old Man and the Gun: And Other Tales of True Crime

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  508 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Now a major motion picture starring Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek, from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Killers of the Flower Moon, The Old Man and the Gun is here joined by two other riveting true crime tales.

"The Old Man and the Gun," is the story of a man who idolized the likes of Pretty Boy Floyd and, as a result, fashions himself into a notorious bank
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Paperback, 136 pages
Published November 15th 2018 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published September 14th 2018)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  508 ratings  ·  80 reviews


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♥ Sandi ❣
3.75 stars

My search for the story of The Old Man and the Gun lead me to two separate books. This one and also The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. Both books are short stories analogies.

The Old Man and the Gun has just been released as a Robert Redford movie, said to be his last. After reading the story, I find it a fitting way for Redford to end his acting career.

Based on a true story, Forest Tucker ended his life of crime the way he started it years before, robbing a bank. He was a bank robber and
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Rod Brown
I enjoyed the Robert Redford film, so I was happy to see this move tie-in collecting the original New Yorker article on the shelf at the library. In addition to the story about bank robber and escape artist Forrest Tucker, the book includes two additional true-crime tales about Krystian Bala, who was fingered for a murder because he seemed to write a confessional novel of the crime, and Frederic Bourdin, a French professional imposter who went too far when he pretended to be a missing boy from ...more
Elizabeth☮
I picked this up because I loved Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. This isn't quite on the same scope. It's three true crime stories, but each one is condensed down considerably. I found myself intrigued by the criminals, but I wanted to know more. That meant I ended up looking up more details on each of the men mentioned in the book.
Jonathan Maas
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three quick tales from the master of True Crime, David Grann

Three quick tales, three tales that are now movies.

All of them incredible. I hope to write a full review soon.
JZ
I found all three stories fascinating, not because they were new to me, (none were) but because of the amount of detail that they covered.

It's difficult to hit a happy medium between the briefness of a story designed for consumption by young adults, something longer for busy people who like the facts, and those who have all the time in the world to pursue every fact ever found about a criminal, a la Ann Rule's books.

I personally don't want a list of every band that Forrest Tucker robbed, or
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Mike
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I have read some of the author's previous longer works. This one provided the reader with three vignettes on true crimes. I vaguely remembered the stories. Grann provides a factual look at the crimes with interviews with the perpetrators. I was looking for a light read and found a very short, well written book. It was exactly what I was looking for at the time.

This book is a great book for fans of quirky true crime. It is not an in depth look, but it is much deeper
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Realini
The Old Man & the Gun, written and directed by David Lowery
Seven out of 10


It is tempting to dismiss this motion picture and this will probably happen in this note in spite of a cast that includes Robert Redford, such a legend that we need not insist, Sissy Spacek, another giant, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and the recent winner of the Academy Award but controversial nevertheless Casey Affleck.

Now for the disadvantages:

The subject is more than familiar.
All the angles of bank robbery have been
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Trixie Fontaine
Entertaining & interesting. I read it because my wife wants to see the movie. Realized partway in that the middle story is one we started watching / knew a little bit about from a true crime tv show.
Ann
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book consists of a handful of articles about true crime. A bank robber with a talent for escaping from prisons (usually only for a very short time), a French man who made a career out of pretending to be an abandoned teen in order to receive services from child-care departments in various countries, a Polish writer-wannabe-philosopher, whose only published work seems to corroborate the circumstantial evidence linking him to the murder of a businessman, those are the themes. The topics are ...more
Dean Jobb
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Granns thorough reporting and immersive storytelling make this collection of true crime stories of murder, robbery, prison breaks and confidence tricks - all previously published in The New Yorker - an engrossing read. ...more
Marina Kahn
Frankly I needed a very short book to read so that I could make my goal of reading 40 books by December 31, 2018 and the first story was used to create the movie The Old Man and the Gun with Robert Redford so I wanted to read the book before seeing the film. Overall, the book was ok, it was like a newspaper report really no depth or imagery. All three stories seemed to lack continuity and ended rather shortly, the stories just hung there. I realize that these are stories about true crime so ...more
Tothg20hsnet.Ahsd.Org
In just 133 pages, David Grann unveiled three criminals and their honest criminal histories. The Old Man and the Gun and Other Tales of True Crime includes three stories written in the perspective of a reporter. The first story is the main focus of the books title, telling the life of a man named Forrest Tucker. The story is only told in a brief 36 pages of the book, but David Granns is able to indulge the reader in the fast pace format and fully develop the character of Tucker as well as ...more
Jane
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never read true crime book's. This author was recommend by a friend, so I decided to give it a try. Three different tales are in this book, and each one interesting. I read this book in one day, it is not a thick book, at about 130 pages. I enjoyed each of the stories, and was enthralled by the lives and choices of the three criminals. I don't know if I will ever become a true crime fan, I prefer to comfort myself that a terrible story is just a story, but I enjoyed this book and gladly ...more
Ellison
Features three stories, the first on the cover about a guy that stole a care at age fifteen and continued a life of rime, his favorite being bank robbery. Upon capture he resorted to being an escape artist. Shattered lives. Final capture at age...SEVENTY EIGHT!

Second story is about a POLISH policeman who studies a cold case and determines that the author of a violent book may have done a murder and then wrote abut it in a book. Swearing.

Final story is about a pathetic little Frenchman who has
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Christina Lewis
Oct 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Its hardly a book. Its a couple articles that are no more interesting than any article in any newspaper or magazine. ...more
Kyle
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I moderately enjoyed the David Lowery/Robert Redford 2018 film version of ,The Old Man and the Gun, I found myself hoping for more of a psychological deep dive of Forrest Tucker's psyche; low and behold, I stumbled upon the narrative novel upon which the film adapts itself, with the bonus of being attached to two other "true crime" stories, all with the thematic tie of Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night: We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Like all ...more
Mark
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is just a collection of three odd real life stories by the great writer David Grann. The first story, "The Old Man and the Gun", is a tale about an old man named Forrest Tucker. Throughout his life Forrest has always had run-ins with the law. Later in life he has perfected robbing banks and breaking out of prison. It's a fun little story that also doesn't delve too deep into any of the underlying issues mentioned or not, i.e. mass incarceration or Mr. Tucker causing serious trauma to those ...more
thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
Three fascinating true crime tales told by one of the best non-fiction writers - David Grann!

The first story - "The Old Man and The Gun" - is now being adapted into a movie with the same title, starring Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek and said to be Redford's last movie before he retires. It tells the story of Forrest Tucker, the legendary stickup man, who even in his seventies is still active committing crimes.

The second story - "True Crime" - surrounds the investigative work on a homicide
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Aaron
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like others, I read this because of having read David Grann before, and for needing a quick book to get caught up in my reading challenge. I would say this is a 3.5. Killers of the Flower Moon is like a good documentary that gets you involved as if it were a page turning novel. The Old Man and the Gun is more like watching 3 Dateline episodes. Sure, they're all good and interesting, but not the deepest thing you've ever seen (or read), it might leave out some details you'd be interested in ...more
Jo Cameron-Symes
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was only after opening this book that I realised I'd read it before, as it contains three nonfiction stories about strange true crime events that were previously published in another book by the author called The Devil & Sherlock Holmes. These stories were also previously published as articles in The New Yorker magazine. David Grann is an excellent writer and where these stories lack the depth of one of his longer accounts (such as the excellent Killers of The Flower Moon) they are ...more
Kartik Dadwal
The book leaves the stories hanging without a touch of a smooth ending. Out of the three stories that the book contains I read the first two. They didn't leave me begging for more from the author or from the book. I didn't get a thrill out of the two stories I read. The first one, whose name is the book title is based on, ended abruptly with a feeling of incompleteness, well, so did the second story. These are accounts of true stories so there is little to no embellishment that author should do, ...more
Henry Fosdike
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short read comprising three essays that David Grann had previously published in the New Yorker, with each tale focusing on crime. The first is the titular story of a gentleman back robber who consistently failed to give up the gun, the second looks at an arrogant author who may have confessed to a killing in his 'fictional' book and the third is about an impostor whose story has since been documented in, err, The Imposter.

All make for a fascinating read but don't go into too much detail,
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Papaphilly
An enjoyable collection of three articles David Grann. His detail is remarkable and I enjoyed the writing style very much. The Old Man and the Gun: And Other Tales of True Crime is on the short side and that is a shame because the stories were well done.
Mariah
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three strange-but-true stories of unusual criminals. The Old Man and the Gun had more of a romantic flair to it than the other two stories, but dont expect it to resemble the Redford movie. Grann doesnt write to glorify such ways of life or make an existential metaphor of the sum or its parts. The story about the twisted Polish author was vulgar and held little surprise. The story about the impersonator did have an interesting plot twist. I especially liked this book because almost 2/3 of it ...more
Rosalie
A collection of three stories involving bizarre but true criminals.
I liked The Old Man and the Gun best probably because the main character is quite likeable and sad as he seems to be a product of the American justice system after being jailed as a juvenile. In all of the stories the characters appear to have real mental health issues that "allow" them to offend repeatedly and because they can - whether it is robbing banks (the Old Man and the gun) , escaping from confinement or impersonating
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Janet
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nonfiction collection by David Grann of several true crime perpetrators. Each is individual is a study in criminal motivation. The first is Forest Tucker, a man who is so deep into his criminal identity that he just can't quit. The next is about a murderer who commits a crime and then recounts it in his novel. The third is about a chameleon of a man who passes himself off as a teenage child. All very interesting case studies.
Guyada
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems I read most of the stories already in The Devil & Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness & Obsession but I still like it.
Ian Allan
It's fine. Fun quick read. I thought all three stories were interesting and well presented. In each case, the author traveled the world to interview some of the key figures involved.

But it's not really a book. David Grann is a staff writer for The New Yorker. Here (I think) he took three features that he wrote for magazines and re-packaged them in book format.
Greg
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up and bought this book primarily on a passing interest in the Robert Redford movie and the background of the real-life character, Forrest Tucker (not the actor from F Troop!) ... while I enjoyed the coverage of Tucker and his life and crimes, I reckon the opening story is overshadowed by the second (True Crime) and definitely by the third (The Chameleon).
Sheri S.
Some very interesting crimes are described in this book! The criminals in this book were creative, conniving and, like most criminals, didn't think about how their actions would impact others. They were involved in their crimes for selfish reasons and put a great deal of effort into being successful (at least for a time) at what they did.
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David Grann has written about everything from New York Citys antiquated water tunnels to the hunt for the giant squid to the presidential campaign. His stories have appeared in several anthologies, including What We Saw: The Events of September 11, 2001; The Best American Crime Writing, of both 2004 and 2005; and The Best American Sports Writing, of 2003 and 2006. A 2004 finalist for the Michael ...more

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