Squeaky: The Life and Times Of Lynette Alice Fromme

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9780312156633: Squeaky: The Life and Times Of Lynette Alice Fromme

A look at the life and times of the infamous Lynette ""Squeaky"" Fromme takes the reader back to her suburban childhood, her fascination and involvement with the Los Angeles counter-culture and Charles Manson, and her attempt to kill President Ford. 50,000 first printing."

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From Kirkus Reviews:

This biography of Lynette ``Squeaky'' Fromme--would-be assassin of President Ford--leaves large portions of her life unexplored, focusing in full only on her years in the Manson Family and her attempt to shoot the president. Among Fromme's many associates interviewed by former New York Times reporter Bravin is Phil Hartman, a high school acquaintance of Fromme's who later became famous on NBC's Saturday Night Live. His recollections of Fromme are bittersweet and provide some of the more compelling material here. However, large lapses remain, not the least of which is the suggestion, never resolved, of incest involving Fromme and her authoritarian father. And Bravin glosses over the two decades since Fromme's conviction in a mere ten pages. Perhaps there are so many loose ends here because Fromme would not agree to be interviewed. She might have, had she known that she would receive such delicate treatment from Bravin. While he pulls no punches concerning Fromme's devotion to Charles Manson, her political views concerning the environment, which she used as an excuse for her crime, are presented virtually unedited, no doubt thanks to Bravin's thorough study of the court transcripts and Fromme's own writings. Bravin seems to want his readers to conclude that Fromme had a good cause, after all. The problem is that she stated her cause--that we are killing ourselves by killing our environment--by saying, in essence, ``Stop killing yourself slowly, or I will kill you quickly.'' Bravin tries hard to make her somewhat sympathetic, but ultimately the reader concludes that Fromme is where she belongs--serving out a life sentence in prison in Marianna, Fla. Bravin's research on the crucial years is admirable, but his final product is incomplete and only intermittently interesting. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to Buzz magazine; author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Would-be presidential assassin, erstwhile groupie, eco-activist, keeper of the Manson Family faith during Charlie's imprisonment, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme rubbed elbows with fame and the famous. Bravin not only connects with the Manson Family, including its involvement with certain of the late '60s entertainment glitterati, better than anyone since Ed Sanders in The Family, but he also goes beyond it to consider details as small as the reasoning behind Fromme's apparel when she went to shoot Gerald Ford: her "red ceremonial gown, to wear when she went about her work cleaning the earth. That's what she was on today, a cleaning mission." Yet so powerful was Manson's influence on her and so durable her commitment to Charlie's revealed truth that the Manson Family experience remains the core of her story. Bravin's disturbing but fascinating effort is significant for its new perspective on the Manson phenomenon. As either cautionary tale or gruesome pleasure reading, it should satisfy thrill seekers, Manson obsessives, and other portions of the true-crime audience. Mike Tribby

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