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on 16 January 2012
If you're reading this you've probably seen and enjoyed the recent film, 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. Clark just goes through the whole thing again, but with the benefits of hindsight and a more modern outlook: Marilyn confides her innermost secrets, he tells her where she's going wrong. I found it very hard to believe in places, and critics have pointed out how inaccurate he is about the details of her miscarriage, for instance. And that dialogue ('I love you like the wind, or the waves ... You're a beautiful force of nature, Marilyn') doesn't exactly help.
The book includes a letter he wrote to a friend at the time, re-telling the story yet again and milking it absolutely dry. There's also a couple of contributions from the makers of the new film, which are mildly interesting.
So it's the sort of book that's been cobbled together to cash in on a film release, and it's a bit of a mess. But four stars for the diary and the photographs (it's fascinating to compare those taken at the time with stills from the new film). Only one star for the other parts, but I'll average it out with a generous three.
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on 12 February 2017
This book is the diary of a young man on his first job in the film industry. He was unfortunate that the film was an absolute duck that couldn't be saved by its leading actors, Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Munroe. His account of the day to day problems and dramas of making a film when one star was superior and knew it and the other was brilliant bit didn't believe it, make very interesting reading. The tragedy that was waiting in the wings for MM hangs over the pages like a dark shadow, but I truly believe that those who fed her the uppers & downers had a lot to answer for. She is endlessly fascinating, of course, there's so much we don't know about her, & paradoxically she's more famous now than she was when she died. Just like Princess Diana & Elvis, she also died too soon when there was so much more to give. I enjoyed the book, but hope that soon she'll be left to rest in peace.
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on 28 March 2016
I’m not going to lie to you; I read My Week with Marilyn purely because I wanted to watch the film. Why did I want to watch the film? I wanted to watch it because I have a growing crush on Eddie Redmayne. Yes, I am a slave to the mentality of watching a pretty actor perform on screen and since I have a “books before I looks” rule, I purchased the novel.

It is good.

Like most people I have been charmed by the enigma that is Marilyn Monroe. I can even admit that this is based on legend and not on her acting ability (I have only watched one of her movies) but the story My Week with Marilyn gave me a different perspective on Marilyn Monroe. A perspective not tarnished by the booze and drugs and the tragic end to her short life but one where the make-up has been scrubbed away and you get a glimpse of the insecure mess that she was. I take no pleasure in that fact but it does show you that even the most desirable woman in the world had flaws; something we would all do well to remember.

How much of the story is true? Well that is up to history to decide. All I know is that for nearly 400 pages I was completely charmed by this simple Cinderella story were a regular boy was charmed by the world’s most famous lady.

My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark is available now.
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on 23 June 2015
I really enjoyed reading this book. For me, it comes across as a true story; I feel, if it were a work of fiction, it would probably be more sensationalised. I learnt a lot about the film industry and, in particular, Marilyn Monroe.

I don't feel as though Colin Clark uses the book to name drop as some other reviewers have said. Although he is at the very bottom of the pecking order within the film industry, he belongs to a family with a lot of connections to famous people which gains him influence. This, I believe, helps to makes this book so very good — a very capable, intelligent young man who is considered insignificant to everyone else within the film production team.

What makes this book particularly interesting is the sensitive details of Marilyn's character — sadly a very tragic figure.
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on 13 October 2013
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 aristocracy whose father owns a castle. And I believed the bits about Marilyn being impossibly difficult to work with. But the chapter in the book where Marilyn sneaks out on an escapade with the author and pours out her heart to him is beyond ridiculous. Furthermore the tone of the book was snobby and sneering - Colin finds it amusing to treat women in the most unkind way - he delights in telling us how unintelligent the 'little wardrobe girl' is. However, some of the 'diary' is written in a fairly lively style so I'll give it a couple of stars - just to be kind.
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2016
This is a film history buffs dream. The inside story of the relationship between a young third assistant director Colin Clark and a screen icon , Marilyn Monroe. It is truly engaging, fascinating and heart warming. It is captivating from start to finish. Brilliant !
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on 8 December 2011
What comes across through the eyes of a not particularly likeable, very junior member of a film production company is how ghastly
the Brits were to a luminous American film star. MM could be a nightmare to deal with and full of never
ending insecurities but it appears she was never once made to feel secure or treasured for the very
obvious film talents she had. And, she was ultimately the boss as she not only acted in the motion picture but
produced it as well. MM was manipulated and manipulating to the end but ultimately a victim. Olivier comes over as an establishment stuffed shirt and probably deserved the marriage he was in. However the author is
quite candid in his storytelling which makes it all the more interesting - if it is all to be believed.
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on 9 March 2012
If you are interested in people, apart from Marylin Monroe, and film making, then you will probably enjoy this as much as I did. Colin Clark is the younger brother of Alan Clark the rather notorious ex-MP who wrote and published his own outspoken diaries, but Colin is a softer gentler character who writes with a degree of charm and innocence about a time in his early life when he was a 'runner' on the film set of 'The Prince and the Showgirl'. It's an easy read - pleasureable, and of the period when life was slower!
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on 30 August 2015
I enjoyed the movie and this book is a great read and very well written by Mr Clark with a touch of well observed humour. Apart from going back in time to actually spend a week with Marilyn this is certainly the next best thing. I would definitely recommend this book as one to enjoy and read again and again.
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on 14 June 2015
Like others giving a review one cannot help wondering if the event did take place. No one is left alive to dispute it, and especially not the irreplaceable sui generis godess, Ms Monroe.

Nevertheless, a great insight in to film making and the personalities who were involved in the film The Prince and the a Showgirl.
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