**(out of four stars)
I just finished reading Charles Manson Now by Marlin Marynick. I thought this book was gonna be another "Manson type" money maker, discussing only the murders and bringing nothing new to the plate. There are tons and tons of books about what happened on August 9th 1969. This read is slightly different.
Marlin Marynick is a psychiatric nurse who obviously deals with many who suffer from different disorders. Marlin considers himself an outsider and is more intrigued with the darker side of life. He gives us insight into his early life, including his mother commiting suicide when he was a young boy. But the first link to his fascination with Manson came when he was ten years old. While playing one afternoon, Marlin found a copy of Helter Skelter lying in an abandoned house. How could you not be fascinated? Remember all those interviews with Manson, all wide-eyed and crazy, making weird noises and abnormal faces. Who wouldn't be fascinated with another human being like that? Although you mustn't condone what the man is about, it's highly unlikely that you'll turn that dial when he's on the tube.
Marynick embarks on a journey that eventually ends with his first face-to-face interview with Charles Manson. Along the way, he meets and corresponds with some of Manson's dearest friends inside and outside the walls of Corcoran Prison in California. One friend in particular is Stanton LeVay, the grandson of Satanic church founder, Anton LeVay. Stanton claims that the Tate murders were actually ordered by the Church of Satan. Tex Watson, Susan Atkins and Charles Manson were said to be former members.
The book is littered with Manson's own writings. We get a glimpse of a different kind of individual that we're used too. In fact, this book sheds an entirely different light on "The Most Hated Man in America". Marynick portrays Manson more as a human being rather than the monster that the media has painted for us the past few decades. We're introduced to ATWA (Air, Trees, Water, and Animals). This is a group, or plan designed by Charles Manson to save the planet from dying. Manson seems to be quite the activist from behind his cell. The murders are discussed, yet Manson continues to maintain his innocence, as he has since the summer of 1969.
And although this book is about Charles Manson, it's more about the adventures of Marlin Marynick as he approaches his meeting with Manson. Ultimately, Marynick is more interested in his friendship than that of the hype and hysterial that follows Manson's existence.
All in all it's a compelling read, although I would've had this book edited a little better before being printed.
Written by: Marlin Marynick
Published by Cogito Media Group