Customer Review

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EVEN MORE ABOUT MARILYN, 4 Sept. 2009
This review is from: The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (Hardcover)
One would think that of all the billions of words written about Marilyn Monroe everything had been made public - at least twice. Not so we discover in The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe. Celebrity biographer Taraborrelli who is known for digging deeper than most for collecting data about his subjects really went over the top with this one. He interviewed innumerable sources, all documented in his itemized 30 pages of interviews; everyone from James Dougherty, Marilyn's first husband, to Arthur Miller, whom he found "Maddeningly difficult and not at all open, to Peter Lawford to Mitzi Gaynor.

Perhaps some of the most revelatory information found in this book comes from the files released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act. The author details a "truly extraordinary" 3-page document containing information by an FBI agent describing the relationship between Marilyn and Robert Kennedy.

This volume (and it is a volume - 560 pages with previously unpublished photographs) will probably stand as the ultimate word on the ill-fated star. Unfortunately, it is a sad story, sadder than many of us knew. Gladys Baker, her mother who was denied in many publicity releases, was mentally ill suffering from severe paranoid schizophrenia. Marilyn's early years were spent at the Los Angeles Orphans' Home. To come from those circumstances to become one of the most famous movie stars in the world is quite a feat. Regrettably, it seems to have taken a dreadful toll as Marilyn began to deteriorate mentally.

For those who want the definitive story of the woman called the world's greatest sex symbol, here it is, filled with details and minutia from the day she was born until the hour of her untimely death. Taraborrelli has completed a yeoman's task in presenting the story of Marilyn Monroe. One only wishes it could have had a happy ending.

- Gail Cooke
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 May 2010 11:30:26 BDT
Movie Buff says:
I can't help thinking that it says a lot for Arthur Miller that he was 'maddeningly difficult and not at all open'. Why on earth should he want to discuss his late ex-wife's private life with a stranger? Why do we think we're entitled to know all these things about people? What Miller says about Marilyn in his autobiography is interesting, sympathetic and warm, and what more should he have been?
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Gail Cooke
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: TX, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 519