- Hardcover: 412 pages
- Publisher: Dutton; 1st edition (1971)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525103007
- ISBN-13: 978-0525103004
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion Hardcover – 1971
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Top Customer Reviews
Ed Sanders is able to convey the incredulity of these crimes through his descriptions ("Susan Atkins walked by the bedroom and waved at Abigail Folger. Folger waved back. 'Hi, death.'")
His descriptions of the murder scenarios are terse and almost callous at times ("all was chop"), but are somehow suitable.
Some of the information is incorrect; for example, he gets some of the Family nicknames mismatched with their real names, but overall, an incisive, thought-provoking look at the Tate-LaBianca murders, with a lot of detail left out of other published accounts.
For my money, I'd rather read Sanders' insider perspective. As a founding member of post-beatnik, New York art weirdo musical/performance troupe The Fugs, Sanders has had one foot (or both) firmly planted in the underground far longer than most reviewers on this site have been alive. Speaking anthropologically, his recounting of the social milieu within which the Manson Family was born is unparalleled, going into great detail about the cultic dangers faced by the young hippie in the days just after the Summer of Love - Manson being just one of them.
As such, I found 'The Family' to be the superior, borderline definitive work on the Mansonites. Far more engrossing, and thus more real - as well as far, far more frightening for all its reality.
Slang used in the book, of which I've read numerous criticisms, is neither forced nor artificial - it's the result of a freak writing primarily for other freaks. It is accurate and of the period. The world was different then, in a great many ways. Get over it.
Is it a perfect book? No. I'd rather give it four stars but, as said in this review's title, this is written largely as a reaction to the rather less than useful one-star review posted earlier this year. Still, highly recommended - and that VW/Pop Art dust jacket is amazing!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read the condensed paperback of this book back in the 90's I think. 2 reasons for buying this edition, larger print for my aging eyes and Its extra chaper's that was taken out... Read morePublished on July 3, 2014 by R. Barnes
Great book..very in depth about the characters in this. You become intimate with people like susan, gypsy, kitty, ouish, etc. it really goes into the psyche of charles manson.. Read morePublished on June 23, 2014 by Melissa Mcclafferty
Absolutely the best book about the Manson family. Ed Saunders, being in touch with different and , many times, better sources (beacuse of who he is) has authored the superior book... Read morePublished on December 1, 2013 by Dave C
Or at least one with the publisher's disclaimer about the lawsuit involving "The Process (Church of the final judgement)". Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by gtoman67
Ed Sanders, hippietastic leader of the Timothy Leary- obsessed acid adventure does it again with this (admittedly) well meaning but painfully boring work. Read morePublished on April 28, 2012 by Styxhexenhammer
First of all, this was the only book that linked the Family to animal sacrifices and the drinking of Dog's blood. Read morePublished on September 27, 2010 by J. Cook