This is the definitive biography of the most enduring icon in popular culture. Beautiful, damaged, the ultimate sex symbol, publicly celebrated, privately unhappy - Marilyn Monroe's tumultuous life and untimely death continue to fascinate us. When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or ...Read MoreThis is the definitive biography of the most enduring icon in popular culture. Beautiful, damaged, the ultimate sex symbol, publicly celebrated, privately unhappy - Marilyn Monroe's tumultuous life and untimely death continue to fascinate us. When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never been told - until now. In this groundbreaking book, Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress' life, including her mother, her foster mother and her legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn's father and the half-brother she never knew, and new information about her relationship with the Kennedys - Bobby, Jack and Pat Lawford Kennedy. Explosive, revelatory and surprisingly moving, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the twentieth century.Read Less
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I have read many things about Marilyn's mental state over the years. Reading this book has given me some insight about her mental condition, pill taking and her relationship with her mother. It is interesting to know about that side of her life and how she was trying to deal with it. I enjoyed the book. Great price too! Keep up the good work!
Mar 26, 2010
Not the Final Word
This is an obviously carefully-researched biography, with some new material about its subject?s family background and personal life. Unfortunately, it is sometimes made almost unreadable by a sentimental, syrupy and romantic style of writing.
Taraborrelli also has a cringe-worthy habit of ending chapters with lines that seem more suited to a bad Mills & Boon than a serious study of one of the 20th century?s most prominent women. Eg:
?It was when Norma Jeane returned to California from this trip that her entire world was changed by a fluke moment, in a dramatic way that neither she nor anyone in her life could ever have imagined.?
?This tactic worked ? for a while, anyway.?
?In the instant she extended her hand to shake his, a major shift took place in her world ? and things would never again be the same.?
?However, the sudden warmth for and pull toward this new fellow, Joe DiMaggio, felt different, unlike anything she?d ever experienced with any other man. Indeed, with this one, it would definitely be ? different.?
If you can stomach this mushy, twaddlish writing without laughing or groaning, by all means, read this book. It?s slow-moving at times, but still readable. But don?t expect any real analysis of the much-debated circumstances of Monroe?s death ? the author virtually ignores the whole matter, just abruptly ending the book with her death, and suggesting that she might have accidentally overdosed, or done so on purpose and meant to be saved. There is no reference to the cyanosis that books such as Crypt 33 and Donald Wolfe?s The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe claim her corpse displayed ? supposedly only the result of a sudden death from massive overdose, and impossible through slow death by ingestion. No mention of Donald Wolfe?s toxicology analysis. No mention of the coroner?s report, and the tissue samples that he claimed were destroyed instead of analysed, or of the bruising he found and of which he said, ?There is no explanation for it, and it is a sign of violence?. No epilogue. Just a sentimental, romantic fizzling out.
The back cover claims that this book is ?the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the twentieth century?. Don?t believe it.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-09-28 Robert Petkoff's diligence as a narrator matches Taraborrelli's accomplishments in generating a fresh analysis of the iconic Marilyn Monroe. With Petkoff's Midas touch, the cast of characters comes to life with crisp clarity and attention to nuance. While there are too many good vocal characterizations to allow for a complete listing, some of the standouts include the mercurial husbands Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio as well as such Rat Pack figures as Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra. Petkoff's delivery of DiMaggio and Sinatra's ill-fated attempt to spy on Monroe and her romantic companions creates palpable dramatic tension. And as Monroe herself, Petkoff creates a sublime breathy persona that shifts effectively from the girl-next-door Norma Jean to the glamorous Marilyn. Bonus features include a downloadable photo slide show. A Grand Central hardcover. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2009-04-20 After half a century of Marilyn Monroe books, beginning with Maurice Zolotow's interviews of her for his 1960 biography, it's hard to imagine any revelations about the actress, but Taraborrelli--who's written bios of Grace Kelly, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra--tackles that problem with what he refers to as "fresh research." For instance, thanks to files released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act, Taraborrelli details the "truly extraordinary" three-page document in which an unnamed FBI agent described the "romance and sex affair" between Monroe and RFK. Rather than the usual bibliographic listings, Taraborrelli cites only a few key books. Instead, he itemizes 30 pages of interviews explaining how he contacted sources close to the subject (e.g., approaching Dean Martin in a restaurant; talking with the historians he calls "the true experts"). In addition to interviews with everyone from Janet Leigh to Secret Service agents, Taraborrelli read the unpublished notes and interviews of reporters from the 1950s. As Taraborrelli brushes away cobwebs of myth and rumor, his remarkable research and fluid writing captures Marilyn's ?lan, sensitivity, desperation and despair with a haunting intimacy. (Aug. 25) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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