Years ago I read Helter Skelter. It was interesting but sketchy of believable information. Because it was authored by the Manson prosecutor, it seemed to have a narrow perspective with obvious exaggeration so as to boast about himself. I am a fan of Jeff Guinn. (I read "Going Down Together" Bonnie & Clyde which hooked me on Guinn.) His research is very thorough. This audiobook has a lot of Mason's background, unknown to me before reading it. Guinn puts the story in the right place for history and culture. Most of all, Guinn did not attempt to make Mason a god, devil, or magician. He stayed with the facts. Mason's history was plenty colorful without need for exaggeration. I will read it again.
It was factual, not sensationalized, and was supported by research.
The story is a human tragedy. Manson victimized many people. He also was a victim. While it is hard to balance the different victims and types of victimizations, I clearly saw Manson's manipulations and his sociopath.
I hate that Manson feels rewarded and glorified by continuing publicity. However, it is important this story be told.
In comparison to the cost of this book, the material is lacking. I felt the book was hardly more than headlines to the underlying story.
Maybe but I would never pay this much for another book by him. He is a dadgum long way from having my admiration but his style was worthy.
He was okay; not impressionable, only mediocre.
Yes to hopefully watch the plot develop on a Paul Harvey standard, i.e., "the rest of the story."
I wouldn't recommend the book. There are some interesting facts which were previously unknown to me but overall, it was substantially boring.
I read the criticisms by prior reviewers about the legal detail but discounted them because in part, I am attracted to that type information. However, those criticisms are accurate. The endless maize is dotted with mispronunciation, misunderstanding, and inaccuracies. I couldn't wait for the end of the book and the narrator to shut the ef up.
Get a different author. Terminate (however you want to take that notion!) the narrator. Burn the book. The author, and I'm being generous using that word, does not have a handle on his subject matter. A riveting example of his legal ignorance about even the most basic trial concept is illustrated by his idea of an Order In Limine (which his wingman mispronounced). Contrary to the author's description, the In Limine Order merely requires counsel to get the Judge's permission (during trial, outside the Jury's presence) before disclosing specific information the Judge previously determined might or might not qualify as evidence. It's an easy, simple, ordinary step in any trial. Unlike the author's interpretation, the Order acts like is a gate which the Judge may swing open at any point during trial and permit the jury to learn about the previously safeguarded information. It is not an Order prohibiting information into evidence. Equally as bad as the author's futile grasp on the legal arena is his total inability to define the goal of his script before, during, or at the end of his writing. Throughout the reading I thought, "So, what IS your point?" I don't believe he understood his subject matter enough to even form a goal to his story. If my conclusion is correct, then the author should consider a different profession.
I would rather listen to 14 hours of fingernails screeching against a chalkboard. OMG! He made me want to bang my head on the wall, pull my hair out by the roots, fall to my knees and beg, "Please, please stop!" If there is a worse narrator, I hope I never encounter him/her. So, to answer the question, this guy set the standard so low that casting a baby bawling non-stop would be a monumental improvement.
In it's current form, it does not have redeeming qualities. The actual facts of the true event are fascinating. So, the potential for an outstanding book is excellent. Here though, the author's core level blindness about the necessary legal procedures that are imposed by the convoluted factual situation is not only misleading, it robs the reader of the value of them in the American Justice system. Big opportunity lost. That's a shame.
DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY. This book is a lousy reading experience. Either search for a better book or donate the money you would spend on this book to your favorite charity.
A controversial jewel.
James Arnold Ross aka Dad, who was a shrewd and determined self-made millionaire. The author set out so precisely Dad's tenderness in guiding his child, who was driven by humanitarian idea, through an unfriendly environment.
Mr. Gardener brought all the characters to life-- everyone of them. He was fabulous.
I am particularly drawn to this era of time. That period, and this book, illustrates with distinction the "have's" and "have not's." Here, when Dad learned a worker had lost his life on a rig, I initially was angered he did not provide a stipend for the widow. I mean, he was making money hand over fist so he wouldn't have missed it. It took just a few minutes to realize that even though Dad did not do that-- did not even consider it as a matter of fact, he had acted as a responsible employer by providing insurance that paid her $5,000. (Pennies compared to his millions but responsible according to economics of the period.)
I want to point out that the book and the movie aren't akin. I thought the movie was tacky and portrayed Dad in a horrible light. This book places Dad in a more realistic perspective, i.e. business man vs. family man. It's a good read.
I would be hard pressed to recommend this book to anyone, especially a friend. While the story line holds promise in the beginning, it quickly loses it's pazazz.
Probably not. With a little bit of tweeking, this book would have been interesting. It just doesn't make the cut in its published form. Close but no cigar.
Boatman performed fine. So, I don't have any suggestion for improvement.
I'm not a lazy reader so this book held minimal value for me. By that I mean, there is no challenge to the story. It's supposed to be a mystery and it starts off well, then the writer wanders off course and never recaptures the reader. So, I couldn't stand to sit through anymore gibberish in a follow-up book.
The story line is the best part and the reason I purchased the book. It's not like a new read. There have been hundreds of publications and movies generated in whole or in part from Capone's life or legacy. I don't know what the addictive element is but I never tire of the Capone like and era stories. There was a little bit of additional information in this book but overall, it was another recycle of already recycled material.
I didn't have a reaction to the ending because, after all, we all know how it ends before we begin Chapter 1.
I did not care for the narrator. All the characters had almost the same tone, sound, and it was almost monotone. At times, the narration made me feel as though I was dredging mud. I would just as soon have been, too. Actually, I think maybe I might have groaned out loud a couple of times because of how the narrator droned.
There are better books and movies already published about Capone. I would not go see a movie based on this book and have a hard time imaging it as a blockbuster.
While the book was not a waste of time, it was not a good investment. I have only so much time set aside for pleasure reading so I want the books I choose to have value and impact. Capone fell way short of that expectation. I wouldn't buy it again if I could undo my purchase nor would I read it again if I could undo my reading of Capone.
Probably not. The information was boring. The author beat a dead horse about unimportant details but provided no substance. I learned more from newspaper articles. I have read quite a bit about J. Edgar who was fascinating to say the least. I was hoping to discover additional information when I purchased this book. Oh, boy. Surprise, surprise, surprise! The author totally missed the mark. Boring. The narration was also poorly performed.
Of course not. However, I will try to be more thorough with my vetting before I invest my hard earned coins again. One bad book doesn't poison the whole batch.
The narrator was terrible but to be fair, the material was pretty worthless. So, I don't know. Maybe Little Lulu would be a good candidate?
Chapter 1 through the end.
Just don't waste your time or money. This book should not qualify to be called a book. Pretty dadgum bad.
It certainly ranks in the top third. It is one of the most intensive books, audio or otherwise, that I've ever read. It is hard to put down but also tough to stay with it, almost dreading the next event.
Oh, this is a hard question. I liked, even admired, the unwavering strength of the main character, Sanford. I might add there was very little to like in this story and much more to dislike.
Flacco did superbly bringing home the personality of Uncle Gordon Stewart. There were times that I could almost see expressions and gestures based on Flacco's reading. He was good. Very good.
Yes, I had an extreme reaction. Reactions. It never made me cry. My skin crawled. I had to take breaks from reading because it was so heavy. I sometimes felt outraged; other times, downright ill. There were a couple of light moments. Once or twice I laughed out loud.
This is an amazing story of the most basic survivorship by a young boy, who was nothing more than a throw-away kid except to his precious sister Jessie. When she was able to operate independently, she pulled Sanford from the sure jaws of prolonged death. Jessie was exceptionally brave, smart, and persistent. She changed the course of many lives; no one could possibly know how many people she saved from Uncle Steward and his cruel mother (Sanford's maternal grandmother) . It is awesome that the horror of Sanford's life is shared by his son Jerry. In spite of huge defects within Sanford's family tree, there are gems too. I could go on. There is much to say about this book. Overall, it is a book well worth the read and reinforces hope in humanity but does so by comparing life to extreme depravity. I mean, extreme. I mean depravity, too. Excellent writing; excellent voice performance. Buy it.
This book was spellbinding from beginning to end. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will re-read it. It's not the best book I've read but it ranks right there at the top. It was worth the investment of money and time.
I like the focused energy that Hetti illustrated. She was way ahead of her time.
Hetti, of course. She over shadowed every other character.
By reading this book, I felt like I intimately came to know the real Hetti Green: a cool, detached, cutthroat, money grabber. At times, I was sickened by her stinginess and she never was able to redeem herself with me. There were glimpses of what may have been an underlying care for others but I was always a bit suspicious that Hetti's motivation was money driven, not altruistic. Still, I greatly admired her aggressiveness, creativity, and competitiveness.
For the most part, I enjoyed Eastlake's narration. Kantra spins a good story but the outdated stereotyping is disturbing. I would like to see Kantra author something based on real life expectations. She's clearly talented but her works appear to be the product of a lazy writer.
All of the memorable moments in this book series are pretty much the same. Man meets woman. Woman, who is way less worthy and smart than Man, needs saving. Man obliges. Happily ever after. Blah, blah, blah.
Consistent. Warm. Easy.
This is the third book of a three-book series. By now, I had heard almost every line somewhere in the two prior books. The author's templates have worn me thin at this point. There is nothing in the story line unpredictable. It's pablum. How 'bout a good murder mystery instead of another wedding? Enough with the fantasy!
Not much. It was the same 'ole, same 'ole. Good guy cop (who all the women lust over) saves the damsel in distress. Yawn.
Some reality sprinkled into the fantasy would have given the story some teeth.
I read all of the books in the series. The series has a good story line but would have been very burdensome if I had been unable to fast forwarded through the downright silliness of "save me's" and juvenile mentality of sexual encounters (we're talking 7th grade, here). The "save me" component of every main female character conjured up cartoons of Snidely Whiplash tying women to railroad tracks, only to be saved by Dudley Do-Right. (And I thought perception of women had progressed in the last 50 years-- especially by other women.) I became frustrated with the template used throughout the book series about the (exceptionally wonderful, spectacular, amazing, sensational, miraculous!) smell of shampooed hair. Ugh. The narration was disappointing in that every male character sounds exactly the same (stereotypical tough, but good, guy), as does each female character (help me! help me!). By that I refer to both the phraseologies used, as well as voice tones and inflictions. I could only tolerate these type issues in exchange for an overall good story line and setting. Otherwise? I would have dumped the first book and certainly not have purchased the remaining books in the series.
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