“Splendid stuff. It's hard for me to imagine a more precise, fascinating, or better written examination of this critical era in American history. Recommended for ages 16+ (Violence, some strong language)”see full review » see other reviews »
As of page 107 of the book “Public Enemies” by Bryan Burrough, I have a mainly negative outlook of the story. Mostly, the story has been revolving about the characters of Baby Face Nelson, the Parker gang, Bonnie and Clyde, and the most out of all of them, John Dillinger. so far, not much has happened concerning the main storyline, which even though is based off true events, only the main storyline follows any timeline of reality. The reason I don’t find this book very appealing is because that there has been almost no character development as of yet. With so many characters that play a crucial role in the story of J. Edgar Hoover, it is hard for the writer to place significant connections or deep character development into any of them. Even the main character, Hoover, is lacking depth. From these hundred or so pages read, all of them have been spent trying to build a foundation and background of the characters, something that has caused the book to slow down tremendously. With roughly 600 pages in the book, and having not being even close to finishing the character’s backgrounds, I strongly believe that Bryan Burrough misinterpreted the time needed to start the novel, which might lead to a less satisfying plot and conclusion.”
“A fascinating but long read, easy to do in short bursts when I have time. This book follows the major crime figures of the 1930s (more than just John Dillinger), whose exploits spurred the growth of the FBI. Interesting to read of the many Midwest exploits of some of the FBI's most wanted. ”Tim Simmons wrote this review Friday, March 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Terrific book. Great narrative on the U.S. crime wave in the '30s.”Scott Goginsky wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Splendid stuff. It's hard for me to imagine a more precise, fascinating, or better written examination of this critical era in American history. Recommended for ages 16+ (Violence, some strong language)”the Ink Slinger wrote this review Friday, August 31, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“audio”Queentrump wrote this review Sunday, April 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Tenia F said: 4 stars
Unlike the movie, which focused on Dillanger, the book dealt with the majority of gangsters. I discovered alot about Baby Face Nelson, Dillanger, and others that I was not aware of. One of the more interesting things was about Bonnie and Clyde, but I'm not going to spoil it.
Isabelle S said: 4 stars
Oh my goodness, it feels like I've been listening to this forever. The book covers the years 1933 - 34 and Hoover's War on Crime, which was also the birth of the modern FBI. The story focuses on six "public enemies" - The Barker/Karpis gang, Baby Face Nelson, John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie & Clyde. Thanks to years of intensive research and recently released FBI files, Burrough is able to recreate a play by play of kidnappings, bank robberies, stakeouts, ambushes, killings and apprehensions.
Several things surprised me, first how interconnected most of these groups were, at least tangentially. Second, how inept they were, succeeding mostly through sheer audacity. Getaway cars that drove away or only had a gallon of gas or broke down; money bags that turned out to contain mail - many of the capers were a comedy of errors, but with lethal Tommy guns. Even worse were the FBI agents set to stop the crime spree. Mostly lawyers just out of college who'd never held a gun. They'd set surveillants who couldn't recognize the target, organize stakeouts with no chase cars, or remember the cars but neglect to set roadblocks. Leads were filed away or discarded; signals were forgotten, ignored or never given. It's amazing they caught anyone and that more people didn't die. Also interesting is the role of the media in creating legends and heroes on the spot, facts be damned.
Going chronologically, Burrough has to end with the Barkers and Karpis, which is unfortunate since the efforts to track down Dillinger and Nelson were the most interesting of the book (and Nelson by far the scariest criminal). By the end you can see the modern FBI taking shape.
Richard Davidson reads the unabridged audio, giving it his best Efrem Zimbalist Jr. imitation (and really getting into the spirit of things on some of the death scenes with gasped out final words). 22 cds, but it only feels like 18 ;-)”
“Public Enemies Bryan Burrough (EBook)
Unlike the movie, which focused on Dillanger, the book dealt with the majority of gangsters. I discovered alot about Baby Face Nelson, Dillanger, and others that I was not aware of. One of the more interesting things was about Bonnie and Clyde, but I'm not going to spoil it.”
“I think this book looks amazing i saw the movie preview for it and ive wanted to see it and read it ever since.”Henry ledman wrote this review Friday, April 1, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A history of the formation of the FBI and the criminals of the 1930s. I highly receommend it to anyone with a feigning interest in the FBI, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Melvin Purvis, etc. Don't waste your time with the movie. It does not do justice to the book.”Greg wrote this review Thursday, March 10, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No