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Marilyn Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Warner Books> C/o Little Br
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446718505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446718509
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,017,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read this book many years ago. In fact, it was the first book on Marilyn Monroe, that I ever read. I've given it 5 stars because at the time of my reading it, I enjoyed it very much. Like other reviewers, I loved the photos and the general layout of the book, but I wouldn't say this is a reliable biography of Marilyn. In fact, much of the information in this book has been proven over the years to be nonfactual, or unsubstantiated, and of course controversial. Nevertheless, it's entertaining if you treat it as a fictional novel (based on fact) rather than a true full account. Even though it was entertaining and the photos are breathtaking, I can't recommend this book to the reader who is interested in a factual narrative of her life. If you're still keen, then get it for the photography and take the rest of it with a grain of salt - unless of course if you're able to swallow the conspiracy theories that Marilyn's death involved the FBI and CIA or believe that sleazy Slatzer guy was once her lover.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9837bdb0) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a1c5ca8) out of 5 stars Not all true, but still... 19 Jun. 2010
By MsCindyBooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read this book many years ago. In fact, it was the first book on Marilyn Monroe, that I ever read. I've given it 5 stars because at the time of my reading it, I enjoyed it very much. Like other reviewers, I loved the photos and the general layout of the book, but I wouldn't say this is a reliable biography of Marilyn. In fact, much of the information in this book has been proven over the years to be nonfactual, or unsubstantiated, and of course controversial. Nevertheless, it's entertaining if you treat it as a fictional novel (based on fact) rather than a true full account. Even though it was entertaining and the photos are breathtaking, I can't recommend this book to the reader who is interested in a factual narrative of her life. If you're still keen, then get it for the photography and take the rest of it with a grain of salt - unless of course if you're able to swallow the conspiracy theories that Marilyn's death involved the FBI and CIA or believe that sleazy Slatzer guy was once her lover.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a1c5cfc) out of 5 stars Ultimate Marilyn 21 July 2013
By Scott Coblio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Norman Mailer's "novel biography" of Marilyn Monroe remains a classic and--to my mind--one of the only "must have" bios on the star. Worth the price of admission for the gorgeous photos alone (most of them exclusive to this book and not to be seen elsewhere), it's just the most literary and artful examination of its subject yet to be found. Even today, with literally hundreds of books on Marilyn available (many of them beautifully illustrated and well-written), Mailer's prose--literary and poetic--leaves his competitors in the dust, their bios encyclopedic by comparison. What's different about Norman's approach is his attempt to get inside her mind, and to try and trace the problems that plagued her as an adult back to their origins in her childhood. He practically creates a language of his own for her psychic interior world that literally changed the way I think about speaking, writing and critical analysis. Some of his phrases are so striking that I remember them by heart. (Ex: "A void in one's sense of identity is equal to a mental swamp where insane growths begin.")

Indeed, his use of language is so artful that even when he wanders off on tangents or revels too much in his own lust for his subject, the spell never wavers. "Marilyn" remains compelling throughout.

The original, pre-Taschen edition featured photographs by many artists including Richard Avedon, Bert Stern, Andre de Dienes, Milton Greene, Sam Shaw and others. There is also a full-page shot of one of her nude calendar poses. I'm not sure whether it was the grade of paper they used, the printing dyes or what, but the printing quality of this book is the best I've ever seen. Razor sharp images, lushly saturated and incredibly dimensional in some cases (Andre de Dienes' early shots in particular) are literally breath-taking. You could cut out any page, frame it, and it would look like a professional art print.

Mailer went back to the Monroe well twice more, with the slightly bizarre book "Of Women and Their Elegance," (in which he literally writes AS Monroe), and the off-Broadway play "Strawhead", in which his own daughter played the star (the title is derived from a quote from Daryl Zanuck: "Who told that Strawhead she was an actress?"). One might say the otherwise macho Mailer carried a lifelong torch for Marilyn. Obviously entranced by her, he manages in "Marilyn" to similarly enchant the reader into a surreal dreamscape, orbiting, examining, and otherwise trying to find a troubled, but ultimately magical, woman.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98924354) out of 5 stars GREAT PICTURES...`interesting biography 8 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book contains some of the best and last images ever taken of Marilyn. There are also quiet a lot of pictures taking on various movie sets, mainly "The Misfits". As highly as i recommend this book for the photography alone, i can not totally endorse the written part by famous writer Norman Mailer. He borrows heavily here from another biography and touches on the theory that Marilyn was murdered..all without any proof. One get's the feeling that the text borrows also a lot from the Authors imagination rather than fact. I would ordinarily give this book 5 Stars for the pictures and the oversized format. Also..GREAT COVER!
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a1c5f54) out of 5 stars THE MISFIT 22 Aug. 2007
By Alfred Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been re-reading Norman Mailer's Marilyn- his take on the life of the legendary screen star Marilyn Monroe at a time when I have just viewed the American Masters documentary on the musical career of the singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. And although there is no obvious connection between the lives or the talents of the two women there is a tale of two generations hidden here. Marilyn represented for my parent's generation, the generation that survived the Great Depression and fought World War II, the epitome of blond glamour, sex and talent. To my more `sedate' generation long straight-haired blond Joni represented the introspective, searching quiet beauty that we sought to represent our longings for understanding of a seemingly baffling world that we had not made. As the this book and the Mitchell documentary points out however they `represented' our fantasies they also shared a common vulnerability attempting to be independent women in worlds dominated by men. Such is the life of the great creative talents.

Mailer traces Monroe rise from poverty, the struggle to find herself, through to the rocky and some times sleazy road to stardom. As always with Mailer one gets his take on what the symbol of Marilyn meant to my parents' generation, and, let us face it, especially men. His portrayal does not evoke his preferred hipster, beat personality but its counterpoint in the 1950's the heyday of Marilyn's fame. Mailer also goes through Marilyn various affairs with men particularly the doomed marriage to the playwright Arthur Miller. Finally he gives some very interesting details on the behind the scenes drama in the creation of many of her well-known films. Marilyn, while she was alive, never drew my eye for the reasons that Joni Mitchell did. But much later, having seen the classic The Misfits in a film revival theater, I will say just one thing about her looks and performance in that film. Wow. The marriage to Miller may have not worked out but she did right by him and herself with that performance. Yes, indeed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9906d150) out of 5 stars It's still one of the great classic biographies of Marilyn 8 Feb. 2016
By Joseph A. Admire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was probably the first hardcover biography of Marilyn Monroe that I ever read and obtained for my own library, some 30 years ago. It's still one of the great classic biographies of Marilyn, even though some of its speculations and conclusions are questionable (particularly Mailer's conspiracy-tinged account of Marilyn's death; I personally think Donald Spoto's account is closest to what actually happened). The photos chosen for the book are still some of the finest ever published of her, and well worth getting the book for on that account alone.
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