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4.7 out of 5 stars43
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 24 April 2012
'Metamorphosis' is a very beautiful - and big! - coffee-table type of book about Marilyn Monroe. The photographs are chronologically divided into sections so we get to follow her "transformation" from Norma Jeane to Marilyn Monroe. It is packed with full page pictures aswell as some quotes about her, made by various people who were connected to her in one way or another.

I don't think hardcore fans of Monroe will find much new info in this book, but the pictures are very enjoyable anyways. If you expect rare photos and new information, you'll probably have to look elsewhere, but if you just want to admire the beautiful pictures and read what some of the people around her had to say, then this is perfect!
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on 10 January 2012
As every avid Marilyn fan will know, new photo books can often be slightly disappointing, as they are generally rehashes of what's gone before, and will inevitably contain photos which have already been seen many times. - Well, this book does contain lots of photos that are already well known, but it also has quite a good number of not so well known ones, and some that I personally hadn't seen previously.

Sized at approximately 300mm x 240mm x 34mm, and weighing in at something like 2.1kg, this is a substantial volume.

Where the book immediately scores very highly, is the sheer quality. It is a superbly made book. The pages are of heavyweight paper, the front and back covers are very substantial thick hard fabric faced board, and the binding is excellent.

Where the book scores highest though, is in the print quality of the photographs. Many of these photos will be familiar, but in this volume, they are printed to their absolute best. Yes, the book may be somewhat light on text - but it is clearly not meant to be a story book - It is a photo book, and it is one of the very best Marilyn photo books to come along in a very long time.

In my opinion, a book that should be in the collection of every Marilyn fan.
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on 11 January 2012
Firstly this a beautifully presented book of the highest quality. The book is packed with photographs, some unseen before, some iconic and some just beautiful. There is little text, but it does state this is a photographic journey through Monroes life.

The pictures are presented chronolocically, and shows the 'metamorphosis' from a pretty teenager to a world known star. It presents all the key moments personal and professional, it does skim some areas such as 'Lets Make Love' giving only two images and none of the Bert Stern sittings!

Most of the pictures have been seen many times before. I would like to have seen more alternative shots of the famous ones we all know.

There are similar books, most of which i have and tell the same story. Where other books have failed is with the quality of the photo reproductions, this book does not fail here.

A very good book but not very fresh.
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on 15 May 2012
This is a great book, heavy, sturdy, well made and good quality paper, but the photos themselves are fantastic. Many of the shots, particularly the Norma Jeane ones, are like looking at her close-up in HD, they're that clear and vivid. Of course, with Marilyn as the subject, the photos are visually stunning, some vibrant and joyful, some relaxed and unposed, most just heartbreakingly beautiful and touching. I've been an avid fan of this lady for 30 years now and this book contains a good handful of pictures I'd never seen before. Some text at the beginning, a reproduced interview with Marilyn at the end, and the odd page of quotes from friends, colleagues and contemporaries scattered throughout. That's all it needs though, this is a chronological collection of images of her career and it's one of the best out there, a must for MM fans!
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The book title accurately describes the reason for this book's existence. It shows the gradual progression in pictures of the teen-aged, brunette and unknown Norma Jean Baker into the blonde and very familiar Marilyn Monroe. However, some of the photographers whose images have been used seem either to be inexperienced or overwhelmed as their imagery is often not of the highest quality. For example, Andre de Diennes who photographed the infamous calendar session with the young Norma Jean made his reputation on that one session but the quality falls short of what it should have been.

Although there is a very extensive and varied collection of photographs on its pages, some of which will be very familiar to most of a certain age, there is one very apparent and important omission; namely, not a single image from the famous three-day final session with Bert Stern just a few weeks prior to her death is included. Stern used many rolls of film and took well in excess of 1000 black and white photographs plus hundreds more colour slides of Monroe, some of them reminiscent of the calendar session many years previously. Monroe was allowed editing rights on the images and took that role too seriously and actually destroyed many of the slides. Stern was angry at the time and more angry later when he learned of her death and the irrecoverable loss of many precious images. Whatever the reasons for the exclusion of a single image from that session, if the reader is familiar with any of its images, its closure to the story will be much missed. This was not the only occasion on which Stern would have photographed Monroe and I don't think a single image of his is included anywhere.

One of the consequences of the final Stern sessions was that Monroe was then to be seen as ageing. Her face was less tight and defined, her figure was losing definition and there other evident adverse signs. Her recent life on drink and drugs may well have taken their toll on the person whose face and figure were her fame and fortune; if both were to go, then what? Stern admitted that his demands for those sessions may have been extreme and excessive and he was pleasantly surprised that she agreed, whatever her thinking. Although intended as a feature article, rather few of the images were published following her unexpected death just as the magazine was going to press, although they have since appeared in several books.

The book is not solely filled with imagery; the story is largely repeated in words. However, on a quick initial browse, I was quite pleased with the book but after a second look I was much less pleased. I seriously question the selection of images as rather too many are really quite indifferent. They appear to be in chronological order, or certainly very close to it, and there may have been a desire by its editors to include as many as possible, regardless. There are some good ones but their presence is diluted by being surrounded by too many that are less good. Consequently, this is one for the out and out Monroe fan.
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on 6 May 2012
As a massive Marilyn Monroe fan I enjoy collecting and reading the books about her life and career. Her popularity has resulted in a vast amount of books being published with some being a lot better than others. With over 20 books on Marilyn Monroe on my book shelf I can tell you that this is my absolute favourite. The quality of the book and photographs inside amaze me every time I read it and the accompanying notes are well written and have the utmost respect for Marilyn. This is an absolute must have for any Marilyn Monroe fan and is a book that you will cherish as the sheer quality makes it one of the best out there. The price is brilliant and I promise - if you are a fan of the most beautiful woman in the world - you will not regret your purchase one little bit!
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on 5 February 2012
As other customers have reported here before, it just cannot be said enough, this book is by far the highest quality collection of photographs of this never to be forgotten remarkable exceptional woman. She would have taken pride herself if she saw the fantastic sharp detailed prints of her pictures in this very well wrapped-together book. Indeed a must-have for real Marilyn junkies ;o)
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on 22 February 2012
A gorgeous, heavy 'coffee-table book' packed with beautiful photographs of Marilyn, from her early days as a model through to her last films (when she was getting older but still utterly radiant). Strongly recommended as a gift for Marilyn fans.
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on 9 March 2012
Never before have I seen a Marilyn book so complete and beautifully presented. The quality of the paper and the images are both outstanding and superb, tracking Marilyn' life from a little town girl to the big screen to the later years. This book wonderfully captures her livelihood and trademark smiles and is a pleasure to curl up on the sofa and read. It sits on the bookshelf very nicely along side my Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits, which is another fabulous photobook of historically famous Hollywood stars.
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on 21 November 2012
I am a serious Marilyn Monroe fanatic and have a number of books about her, and this is by far my new favourite! It's visual eye candy, with brilliant photographs of Marilyn, some I hadn't seen before and very high quality. There are quotes from various people remembering Marilyn throughout the book which are beautiful little accompaniments for the lush photos. If you're looking for a book that captures the sheer magic of Marilyn, this is definitely for you!
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