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My Week With Marilyn Hardcover – 6 Mar 2000


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (6 Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002571277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002571272
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 548,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘My favourite book of the year’ Joan Collins

‘This book is sheer delight…wonderfully funny…by the end of this short but richly packed chronicle, Colin Clark seems like an old friend…he is blessed with a sharp eye and an even sharper pen’ Sunday Telegraph

‘The marvellous traumas and stampings of feet of the stars are recorded through the eyes of a star struck youngster whose bedside prose is so sharp and polished’ The Times

‘The immediacy and charm of Clark’s recollections are possibly more illuminating than the millions of words and pictures pumped out to expose or dish the dirt on the Monroe legend’ Helen Osborne, Sunday Times

‘Delightful: so observant and pleasing, and such enjoyable asides’ Alan Clark (letter to Colin Clark)

‘Beguiling, touching and compassionate’ Melanie McGrath, Evening Standard

‘An extraordinary story’ Frank Johnson, Spectator

‘It’s the funniest account of life in the booby-hatch that’s a film studio known to me…It’s not that I await [his next] diaries eagerly, but I’m planning to sneak into Clark’s house and read them right this minute’ Spectator

‘Revealing, moving and deliciously funny’ Daily Telegraph

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

In this delightfully comic and touchingly romantic book Colin Clark describes – for the first time – what happened between Maryilyn Monroe and himself during the "missing" week from his celebrated diary for 1956, published in 1995 as 'The Prince, the Showgirl and Me'.

In 1956, fresh from Eton and Oxford, the twenty-three-year-old Colin Clark was employed as a humble "gofer" on the set of The Prince, and the Showgirl, the film that was intended to unite the talents of sir Laurence Olivier, England's pre-eminent classical actor, and Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood's greatest star. From the outset the production was bedevilled by problems, and the clashes between Monroe and Olivier, who was both directing and co-starring, have entered film legend.

Nearly forty years later, Colin Clark's wonderfully entertaining diary of that time was chosen as their book of the year by Jilly Cooper, Joan Collins and many others. But – one week was missing from the middle of the book. Here, at last, is the story of that week: a delicious idyll in which Clark came to know an unhappy Monroe desperate to escape the pressures of working with Olivier and an often hostile cast and crew, from the crowd of hangers-on who continually surrounded her, and from the burden of stardom itself. Her new husband, Arthur Miller, was away, and the coast was clear for Colin to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life. How he unexpectedly ended up sharing a bed is a story readers will have to discover for themselves.

There have been many books about Marilyn Monroe, but few have shed such a compassionate light on her troubled character. 'My Week with Marilyn' is as much a revelation of the oppressive nature of fame as it is an account of a singular week in the life of one of the twentieth century's greatest icons.

From the reviews of 'The Prince, the Showgirl and Me:'

"Extraordinarily compulsive reading…a fascinating document"
NIGEL WILLIAMS, 'Mail on Sunday'

"There are many books on film-making more weighty than this, but few as entertaining"
LYNN BARBER, 'The Times'

"Quite wondrously and toe-curlingly frank"
JOANNA PITMAN, 'The Times'

"Sheer delight…a diarist who is as sharp, funny and irreverent as his older brother Alan
CHARLES SPENCER, 'The Sunday Telegraph'

"The funniest account of life in the booby-hatch that's a film studio known to me"
ROGER LEWIS, 'The Spectator'

"My favourite book of the year"
JOAN COLLINS

From the reviews of 'Younger Brother, Younger Son:'

"Hilarious anecdotes and sharp portraits abound…generous, reflective, witty and elegant"
CHRISTOPHER SILVESTER, 'The Times'

"Such a wonderful revenge on the Lord Snooty ethos of his family that the reader is bound to send up a cheer"
LYNNE TRUSS, Independent

"Unremittingly fresh, amusing and understated"
FREDERIC RAPHAEL, 'Times Literary Supplement'


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bookwoman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're reading this you've probably seen and enjoyed the recent film, as I did, so there's no need to tell you what it's all about. But is it worth investing in the book?
Well, yes and no.
If you're a movie fan who likes to read about how famous films were made, then you'll probably enjoy the first part, The Prince, The Showgirl and Me, which is the diary that Colin Clark kept while he worked on The Prince and The Showgirl [DVD] [1957]. There's not a lot left to say about Marilyn, of course, but this first-hand, day by day account of her notorious encounter with Olivier, and how it all went wrong, is new, funny and fascinating. And it's not just backstage gossip, he also talks about how the film was put together and financed, and the jobs that everyone did behind the scenes, so you learn a lot too.
However, you might find that the real Colin Clark isn't quite the sweet and awkward young man you saw and liked in the film. He can be pushy, snobby and sexist, and he milks his upper class charm and connections for all they're worth - although, in his defence, it was a different world in the fifties, and he was very young.
But there's no excuse for the second part of the book, My Week With Marilyn, written two years before Clark's death in 2002. He himself calls it a fairy tale or a miracle, but one that was real ... I'm still not sure what that's supposed to mean.
Have you ever re-lived a scene in your head over the years, and wished that you could re-write it with all the things you should have said and done? Because that's what seems to be happening here.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Nov 2003
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading Mr. Clark's book while he worked on the set of the "Prince and the Showgirl", with its stars, Sir Lawrence Olivier and the memorable Marilyn Monroe. It was interesting to find the many problems and personal situations that sprang up during its production / filming. What I found of interest was the very private and emotional side of Miss Monroe, that many biographers fail to write about. Mr. Clark's previous book entitled, "The Prince, The Showgirl and Me", an equally interesting read, did not include of course the missing 9 days from his personal diary that he left unchecked for over 40 years. Through careful review of those notes that he set aside all those years he was able to reanimate a long gone era of a memorable time and a most memorable and lovely persona that was Monroe. I've been a avid fan of Miss Monroe for many years, and am still very fascinated by this wonderfully beautiful woman of the 20th Century who has become a true "Icon" of that era, that to this day, as we live in the 21st Century, has very few if any peers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian De Wasy on 13 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There wasn't much in this book I actually believed. Yes, I believed the parts where the author pulls rank on various colleagues by suddenly announcing he's actually a member of the aristocracy whose father owns a castle. And I believed the bits about Marilyn being impossibly difficult to work with. But the chapter in the book where Marilyn sneaks out on an escapade with the author and pours out her heart to him is beyond ridiculous. Furthermore the tone of the book was snobby and sneering - Colin finds it amusing to treat women in the most unkind way - he delights in telling us how unintelligent the 'little wardrobe girl' is. However, some of the 'diary' is written in a fairly lively style so I'll give it a couple of stars - just to be kind.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Barbar TOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
I am not a Marilyn aficionado: I simply like a good biography. This looked intriguing. To be honest, I was just expecting Clark to have had a cup of tea and a cake with Marilyn off set but the relationship is markedly more intimate than that, to say the least and won't disappoint the reader. I was interested to read other reviews comments that they doubted the veracity of the work. From my point of view, I never doubted its credibility for a moment. Clark does not employ hyperbole or melodrama. There is certainly scope for embroidery in his account which he appears to resist. In fact, the action is very understated. I did not get the impression, like some reviewers, that Clark set out to denigrate Marilyn. If anything, he seemed rather reverence her. Neither does he imbue himself with charms aplenty, indeed he comes across as a gauche, ingénue, scared and out of his depth. This is one of the things which makes the read so compelling. Any one of us could imagine ourselves there. What would we have done? How would we have reacted? Possibly Clark comes across a little too levelheaded for a lad in his early 20s but that is my only criticism. And as for hindsight playing a apart: I believe it would be extremely difficult to write anything of this nature setting aside hindsight completely. Another plus for this book is that it is beautifully and poetically written. All in all I very much enjoyed the read. I would recommend it to people interested in general biography and also to aficionados of Munroe. Whether you believe the account or not, it still makes interesting reading. As for what Marilyn would have felt: I should imagine that all these years on, in the 21st-century she would be delighted that we still write about and read about her with such interest and affection. The quest continues to find out who Norma Jeane really was.
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