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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn's swan song, 15 Aug 2007
By 
F. A. Penney "Fraser Penney" (Edinburgh, Scotland UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is one of the most amazing books on Marilyn Monroe and tells the story of her life as she told it to George Barris just a few weeks before her death. Marilyn was by now at a crossroads in her life and this was her reflection on her life so far. She had been through a lot of turmoil during the last two years of her life but had kept going and was coming out the other side... you can't help wondering why Fox had treated her so shabily during those final months when making, Something's Got To Give. They must have known how vulnerable and emotionally fragile she was and yet instead of trying to help her they fired her...
How awful for Marilyn, to be abandoned once more, she must have felt like the young Norma Jeane being hauled unwillingly into the orphanage. But she had her supporters this time and one of them was George Barris.
Marilyn opens her heart in this book and we see her as a very human character, raw and very tender from her recent ordeals. She is very honest and perhaps reveals to us a Marilyn we have never seen before, the private side which only a very few would have been privileged to see up 'til then.
These photographs are magnificent, a study in photographing people in general and women particularly, and technically astounding. The color images, almost certainly shot on the Kodachrome of the vintage, and thirty-some years old when the book was prepared for litho, have a lovely vintage tonality. A great model, a great photographer, great cameras and films, and some beautiful scenery in Southern California all add up to photos that would be worthwhile even if Marilyn had never been famous and were still alive baking cookies in Ohio.
The photos are unlike any that were taken before, in total contrast to the recent shoot with Bert Stern, these photos reveal a more natural side, often with very little make-up and hair undone. I think they're very poignant to Marilyn's state of mind, she looks so open, ready for the world, older but wiser than before: "As far as I'm concerned, the happiest time of my life is now. There's a future, and I can't wait to get to it. It should be interesting."
It almost seems unbelieveable that time was running out for Marilyn, there was so much promise left, a great actress was emerging and one can only surmise what she would have become had she survived that fateful night in August.
A truly outstanding book and one I would highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book for all Marilyn fans., 10 Sep 2010
This review is from: Marilyn (Paperback)
Famed photographer and reporter George Barris had long wanted to work on a book with his friend, the legendary Marilyn Monroe. They met up again in June 1962 and with Marilyn temporary out of contract with Fox Studios, the timing could not have been more appropriate. Away from the pressures of film studios, Marilyn was relaxed and able to devote herself to her exciting new project, her biography. She told George Barris her story and "not to believe anything else".
"Marilyn - Her life in her own words" is an outstanding book. Published many years after her tragic and untimely death, it's a remarkable twofold combination - on one part is Marilyn's direct emotional input of her timeline whilst on the other, is George Barris's simultaneous detailed accounts and recollections, at times gripping. This gives an immense insight to the reader. The highlight of the book are the amazing and timeless beach session photos which reveal a ravishing, natural-looking Marilyn (with little make-up and hair undone) as never seen before. As a long time fan, I have seen many MM pictures but Barris's photos are truly unique as they manage to capture something quite beyond the beauty. They perhaps closely reflect Marilyn's 'life assessment' phase which she was going through at the time. This is evident in many of the 150 photos of this book which also show a relaxed yet pensive MM in a northern Hollywood house. Moreover, apart from the undisputed combination of talents of Barris's photo taking and MM's radiant photogenic appeal, lies the fact that these haunting pictures were taken at the peak yet sadly so close to the end of Marilyn's fascinating short life. Dated June to around mid July of 1962, (just weeks before that tragic night in August which shocked the world), George Barris's photo shoot was one of the last ever taken of Marilyn. It seems surreal when looking at these vibrant photos, that time was running out fast for her and this adds on to the many emotions of this book.
Marilyn Monroe was and remains indeed one of the world's most beautiful and talented actresses of all time and her everlasting fame, as we close in to nearly half a century from her passing away, just proves it. This book truly manages to bring her back for one last emotional farewell.
It's such a pity we lost her all too soon !
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn's Mystiqie, 21 Feb 2006
As a marilyn fan i have always been a keen collector of these books. How ever exspecting it to be yet another photo book of marilyn I was blown away. In it Barris discribes his love for marilyn with many of the most dazzleing pictures ever taken of Marilyn, and heart warmth words that will bring a tear to any readers eye. Its a shame to just store in a book self makes a great coffee table book. A must have for any fan of Marilyn's and photography.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 6 Aug 2004
When i first read this book i couldnt put it down, for such a glamourous woman, her life is absolutely facinating, from the desertion of her father at a young age to the incredibly hot romance affair with the kennedy brothers! i could not put this book down for a second, my eyes would hurt for not blinking for hours! with pictures included, the words would come to life and you could imagine how she would walk or do a certain thing, its shocking, romantic and at times, funny. This book has definately given me a bigger look at her point of view at life and her dramas. I definately recommend this book to anyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have, 1 Oct 2011
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Brilliant book fantastic read once you start you cant put down,if you love Marilyn or would like to know more about this lady you will love this book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words (Kindle Edition)
Loved it, great job by the author. It's quite humbling knowing that the pictures within this book was Marilyn's last. She's always been an icon of mine.
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