Charles Manson: Coming Down Fast, by Simon Wells



And here it is! We set up this edition some three years ago, so it’s been a while coming, but all agree it was worth the wait.

Written by Simon Wells and narrated by Peter Curran, Charles Manson: Coming Down Fast is now available on audiobook – from all the usual audible and amazon sites. Simon has been a long time Manson sleuth and observer and Coming Down Fast is the often mind-boggling result of that. Peter interviews Simon at the beginning of the recording about his fascination with the whole insidious nature of cults and self-appointed gurus, and that sets the whole thing up nicely…


I took this pic of Peter and Simon (right) last year on a baking hot day during the recording sessions at the cool and excellent studio where all the Talking Music audiobooks are created. Many of us of course remember Peter’s wonderful BBC GLR radio shows from a few years back, and these days he is still heavily involved with the BBC, including the popular and entertaining Bunk Bed series he’s done with Patrick Marber. So, with his familiar voice, he’s made a brilliant narrator for Simon’s book, which can be sampled here.

The print and Kindle editions of Coming Down Fast are, meanwhile, published by Hodder and Stoughton.


Charles Manson: Coming Down Fast, by Simon Wells

The London recording sessions for the audio book of Simon Wells’ terrific Charles Manson: Coming Down Fast start next week, and we’ll be in the studio when it all gets going. The book is of course already available on Kindle and paperback (Hodder and Stoughton) but we all love the idea of having this story on audio for the first time.

Simon’s fascination with 1960’s counterculture has produced various wonderful projects, such as Butterfly On A Wheel (his intriguing book about the Redlands bust), and his official book on Quadrophenia, and his various projects surrounding cult TV series The Prisoner, and so on.

For a little taster, here’s Simon at Breaking Convention talking about Manson…


Charles Manson: Coming Down Fast by Simon Wells


Forty years after the Manson Family murders, this is Simon Wells’ scrupulous account of the crimes that were alleged to have ground the idealism of the Sixties to a halt.

‘Simon Wells does a good job of wrapping all the facts together, debunking some of the myths and in a non-hysterical style, telling the gruesome story that enthralls 40 years on. The book conjures the feeling of the innocence of the 60s being blown away.’ (Manchester Evening News)

‘Coming Down Fast is a sprawling, fast-paced account of Manson’s life. . . (and) describes Manson’s disrupted life in telling detail.’ (The Times)

‘The real reason for reading this unexpectedly fascinating book is for the overview on the whole Manson saga, reverberating from President Nixon downwards.’ (Daily Mail)

About the Author
Simon Wells has written on film and music for numerous magazines and newspapers including the Guardian; The Times and The Independent. He is a regular contributor to Record Collector, Hotdog, TV Zone, Watch, Total Film, and the Beatles’ Book; the group’s official magazine. In addition to his writing credits, Simon has researched numerous projects for the likes of the BBC, Channel Four and Virgin, as well as broadcasting live on LBC, ITN and BBC on film and music.

In 2001, Simon co-wrote “Your Face Here- British Cult Movies Since the 1960′ which was published by Fourth Estate/Harper-Collins. The book was a critical success, entering the BBC’s “Top Ten Film Books of the Year” list. During the summer of 2003, Simon was asked to curate a month-long season of classic 1960’s cult movies at the National Film Theatre in London. Simon is the author of the hugely successful “The Beatles: 365 Days” published by Abrams/Time Warner, which to date has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. Simon has also written “The Beatles in Japan,” published by Tascam in June 2006, and “The Rolling Stones: 365 Days” published in November 2006. In July 2007, Simon wrote the screenplay for the documentary “Don’t Knock Yourself Out”, a visual history of “The Prisoner” television series. 2009 saw the release of “Coming Down Fast”, an exhaustive account of the Charles Manson “Family” saga-published by Hodder & Stoughton. Simon’s new book is “Butterfly On A Wheel” an account of the arrest and trial of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1967.

Simon is also a musician and has his first album out on 208 records entitled, “Sometimes In The Morning”. Available from 208records at

Interviews relating to Charles Manson: Coming Down Fast. Here….

Simon’s blogs are below