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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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  3,333 ratings  ·  437 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.

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Hardcover, 468 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published March 10th 2008)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  3,333 ratings  ·  437 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Turns out that a lot of things I thought I knew about Bonnie and Clyde were not true. They were not a tall and handsome couple like Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. They were also not very smart-both of them spent some in jail and for Clyde that was some hard time. I guess that old adage is right: crime does not pay.

I started to list here all the things I learned from this book, but then I realized that would be spoiling things for everyone else. I decided I'm just going to stick to the main
♥ Marlene♥
Nov 01, 2014 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
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 ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
What a wild and gripping ride! Jeff Guinn is SO good at presenting minute details while keeping you utterly and completely rapt. The Barrow Gang was a truly awful rotating group of criminals, and yet, you almost find yourself pulling for them. Its an odd sensation. I knew only the obvious points going in. This was a fascinating read.

I highly recommend the audio; superb narration.
Matt Kuhns
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
An absolutely fantastic work, rich in absorbing detail.

Im far from being an expert on Bonnie & Clyde, so I cant 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, theres no Hollywood glamour in the story; yet for a tale of two largely inept, ineffective small-time criminals, its a remarkably dramatic and even moving story.

The element of inevitable doom in Bonnie & Clydes tale
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Youve read the story of Jesse James-Of how he lived and died; If youre still in need of something to read, heres the story of Bonnie and Clyde...Some day theyll go down together; And theyll bury them side by side. To a few itll be grief-To the law a relief- But its death for Bonnie and Clyde.

This is from a poem written by Bonnie Parker, shortly before the fatal ambush on her and Clyde Barrow in May of 1934. Bonnie wrote many poems during her time spent with Clyde. Most of them weren't very good
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 Dunawayand 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 ...more
carl  theaker
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jill Hutchinson
May 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
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
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Robert Vanneste
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.0 - 4.5 . A solid read . I liked that the author included their family and the hard scrabble life they were brought up in. I had always assumed that Bonnie was more involved in the robbery and murders than she was , as it turns out it was a lot of bs to sell papers . Recommended.
5 🌟

Nice to get the true story of Bonnie and Clyde. Interesting how they were able to commit all those crimes. Would want to be able to re-read some time.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Story - 4.0 Stars
Narration - 4.4 Stars

This really kept my interest up to about 60%, but as things started going downhill for Bonnie and Clyde, so did my interest in this book. But that may just be me.
Benjamin Thomas
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mar 23, 2011 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,
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, crime
I remember seeing a double feature, in the early 70s, that included Bonnie and Clyde and Bullitt. I liked Bullitt, especially the famous car chase but I fell hard for Bonnie and Clyde. Truly one of the great American films. I had always wanted to read more about them, but never did, outside of an occasional true crime anthology. Once I heard about Go Down Together, I knew I had to read it and it turned out to be an excellent biography.
However, fantastic the 1967 film was, it romanticized the
Valerity (Val)
I've read a few books on this topic, and remember watching the old 1967 movie with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and I'd been wanting this book for a while. So I finally got it and was pleased with it.

I found it to be true to life, showing and telling us how the outlaws were not so slick all the time, and it cost them dearly at times. Not the super criminals some folks made them out to be, but just learning as they went, and screwing up their fair share of the time. Their so-called glamorous
Dierdra McGill
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
K.A. Krisko
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A remarkably well-researched and well-organized historical crime chronicle. This, in my opinion, is how historical true crime should be done. Easy to follow, detailed, referencing primary sources, some new, Go Down Together brings you in close to the main characters without glorifying their actions. Clyde Barrow remains, for the most part, an unsympathetic criminal, despite Guinn's detailed descriptions of the situations and events that led to his path; Bonnie Parker is significantly more ...more
Charlie Newfell
Jul 16, 2012 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
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
review of
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - June 14-28, 2019

For the full review go here:

I, like many people, might've 1st heard tell of Bonnie & Clyde when the Arthur Penn movie about them came out in 1967. It's unlikely that I witnessed this movie in a theater at the time because I was 13 most of that yr & had very limited access to theaters. There were none w/in walking
Jul 02, 2009 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
BAM The Bibliomaniac
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Audio #51

Book opens up with the exploits and highlights of Bonnie and Clyde 's teenage years before they met and were growing up in poor families during the Depression era. Eventually there is love at first sight and the worst luck of any two bank robbers I've ever heard of during this period. Clyde really didn't want to hurt anyone. I dont know if he thought police officers didn't count since they never protected him? And Bonnie was so in love she did whatever Clyde told her. She didn't leave
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Shoshanah Marohn
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I only knew about Bonnie and Clyde from the movie with Faye Dunnaway, which turns out to be mostly made up. The truth is so much more interesting. Its shocking how bad the laws (as Bonnie and Clyde called the police) were at catching car thieving, cop murdering bank robbers, back in the day. This book is well researched and well written. Highly recommended! ...more
Go Down Together was bought immediately after I read and loved Jeff Guinns The Road to Jonestown, and was no disappointment. Prior to reading this, I knew the very basics about the pair Depression era gangsters and snappy dressers, who went down together in a hail of bullets. After reading this, I feel I know the pair rather intimately and was rather surprised to have some of the more popular myths about them demolished.

Both hailing from incredibly poverty stricken backgrounds the Barrows
Bob Schnell
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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

David Quinn
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much like Guinns 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
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Jeff Guinn is a former longtime journalist, who has won national, regional and state awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, and literary criticism.

Guinn is also the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including, but not limited to: Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde (which was a finalist for an Edgar Award in 2010); The Last

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“A big surprise for W.D. was discovering that Clyde and Bonnie both prayed frequently. The religious faith ingrained in them by their mothers hadn’t been entirely abandoned.” 0 likes
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