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My Week With Marilyn [Paperback]

Colin Clark
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Oct 2011

Now a major film, starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh. This edition combines Colin Clark’s acclaimed The Prince, the Showgirl and Me and My Week with Marilyn.

In 1956, fresh from Oxford, the 23-year-old Colin Clark (brother of maverick Tory MP and diarist Alan) worked as a humble ‘gofer’ on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, the film that disastrously united Laurence Olivier with Marilyn Monroe.

This is the story of when Clark escorted a Monroe desperate to escape from the pressures of stardom. How he ended up sharing her bed is a tale too rich to summarise!

Clark’s extraordinary experiences on and off set have now been turned into a major film starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Kenneth Branagh and Dominic Cooper.

• Includes an exclusive introduction from Simon Curtis, director of ‘My Week with Marilyn’.

• Includes an exclusive interview with screenplay writer, Adrian Hodges.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress; Film tie-in edition edition (27 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007431589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007431588
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,094 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

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'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The diaries are good, but forget the rest 16 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're reading this you've probably seen and enjoyed the recent film, My Week With Marilyn, 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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Week with Marilyn 20 Nov 2003
By A Customer
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing snapshot 24 Nov 2011
By uncle barbar TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revealing look behind the scenes 18 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback
The book is in two parts, the first is the diary of Colin Clark, a 23 year-old wannabe filmmaker, and 3rd Assistant Director on The Prince and the Showgirl. This part was published in 1995 as The Prince, the Showgirl and Me and gives a lot of insight into the personalities and problems behind the making of the film. The second, eponymous part (first published in 2000) is about a week that he spent as friend and confidante to Marilyn Munroe, the most famous woman in the world. The film version cut quite a lot and swapped some parts around, but it was fairly faithful to the book. It is the diary of an upper class Englishman from a bohemian (for 1950s Britain) background getting his first glimpse of the film industry.
What I did not expect, and therefore found interesting, was what I learned about the 1950s. Nowadays it is a decade much referred to, but often in terms of austerity and restraint. Being a personal diary there were various intimate details and it felt odd to be reading stuff like that recorded so frankly.
It was also a glimpse of the kind of things that were common enough behind closed doors, but don't represent the modern idea of the 1950s. Not only sexual stuff, though there was some of that, but also swearing, drug taking, and the commonness of marital infidelity. It was also interesting to see the culture clash between the American movie-makers and the British film industry, which had strong links to the theatre (especially this production which was based on a play and involved any stage actors). The world of film is obviously apart from everyday life and not anywhere near as glamorous as the industry would have us believe, then or now.
The differences in tone between the two parts was very striking.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
A fascinating glimpse into Marilyn's life and the egos of the 1950s film industry well and credibly written by Colin Clark.
Published 3 months ago by Christopher Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I have read plenty of Monroe books and this was a good addition to the ones I've read before but from a different slant and as well as a good insight into film production,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pebblesbambam
2.0 out of 5 stars Diary or Fantasy?
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... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sebastian De Wasy
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational
Brilliant book. Superbly written and well documented. Easy to read as written as a diary. Can't wait to see the film.
Published 15 months ago by Alison Cooke
5.0 out of 5 stars great
MM my daughter is crazy about her her room is a shrine to this lady and the book with others takes pride of place in her room
Published 16 months ago by I always tell the truth
5.0 out of 5 stars My Week with Marilyn
My week with Marilyn. Fabulous book, so well written, I thought I was there. It gave us a wonderful insight into people's lives way beyond our touch.
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Diaries of the other Clark brother
I bought this on the back of seeing the film and wasn't disappointed. The behind the scenes tensions are brought to the fore along with the characters and insecurities of Marilyn... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Oh Fat Tony!
3.0 out of 5 stars how the other half live
The first section of this book is a fascinating and beguiling insight into the life of a wealthy and well connected young man. Read more
Published 21 months ago by thetruthshallsetyefree
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read!
When i first brought this book i was dubious as to how authentic the story really was, especially as it tied in very nicely with the film, but as soon as i began to read it i could... Read more
Published on 18 April 2012 by Natasha Kikas
4.0 out of 5 stars My Week With Marilyn is a 'smiley' read!
If you are interested in people, apart from Marylin Monroe, and film making, then you will probably enjoy this as much as I did. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by tessa st john
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