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1. Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes,
2. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
3. My Story: Illustrated Edition
4. Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words:
5. Marilyn Monroe: The Biography
6. Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last
7. Assassination of Marilyn Monroe
8. Marilyn Monroe
9. MM--Personal: From the Private
10. Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed
11. Marilyn Monroe
12. Goddess : The Secret Lives of
13. The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe
14. The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe:
15. My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of
16. Marilyn Monroe 2011 FACES Square
17. The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe
18. Marilyn Monroe: Fragments
19. Marilyn Monroe Confidential: An
20. Marilyn Monroe

1. Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters
by Marilyn Monroe
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-10-12)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$15.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374158355
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Marilyn Monroe’s image is so universal that we can’t help but believe that we know all there is to know of her. Every word and gesture made headlines and garnered controversy. Her serious gifts as an actor were sometimes eclipsed by her notoriety—and the way the camera fell helplessly in love with her.

But what of the other Marilyn? Beyond the headlines—and the too-familiar stories of heartbreak and desolation—was a woman far more curious, searching, and hopeful than the one the world got to know. Even as Hollywood studios tried to mold and suppress her, Marilyn never lost her insight, her passion, and her humor. To confront the mounting difficulties of her life, she wrote.

Now, for the first time, we can meet this private Marilyn and get to know her in a way we never have before. Fragments is an unprecedented collection of written artifacts—notes to herself, letters, even poems—in Marilyn’s own handwriting, never before published, along with rarely seen intimate photos.

These bits of text—jotted in notebooks, typed on paper, or written on hotel letterhead—reveal a woman who loved deeply and strove to perfect her craft. They show a Marilyn Monroe unsparing in her analysis of her own life, but also playful, funny, and impossibly charming. The easy grace and deceptive lightness that made her performances so memorable emerge on the page, as does the simmering tragedy that made her last appearances so heartbreaking.

Fragments is an event—an unforgettable book that will redefine one of the greatest stars of the twentieth century and which, nearly fifty years after her death, will definitively reveal Marilyn Monroe’s humanity.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read!!!!!
Just finished reading Marilyn Monroe's brand new autobiography "Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters". Bought is this morning and started reading it when I got off work. So great I couldn't put it down til I read every bit of it from front to back and I did! Read it all in one day.

3-0 out of 5 stars Marilyn's Musings
I'll start my review by making some personal comments first; I don't usually review books, but since this is about Marilyn Monroe and since I am also a fan of hers, I'll make an exception in this case.

One of the main reasons in purchasing `Fragments' was to read her poetry, sadly, there's not that much in my view, (Very Disappointing) and as a poet myself I would have liked more, (perhaps her complete collection-as yet as I understand it, there is no book that has her complete poetry, 'My Sex is Ice Cream:The Marilyn Monroe Poems' by Nellie McClung, comes to mind, but as I don't know if this has all of Marilyn's poetry, I can't really comment, but if there is a book out there, please let me know) searching the Internet you can found some of Marilyn's poetry which isn't in this book; although I did recognise two of Marilyn's poems within 'Fragments', but overall the book only offered (extended) glimpses. If Marilyn had lived, I think she would have produced a book of poetry, with great success, in my mind.

As for the rest of `Fragments', I am in two minds, at first I was very excited about reading Marilyn's thoughts, as this would give me an insight into her world so I could understand her and not just as an actress, but as a person.

Marilyn was a woman of deep reflection, not just about herself, her doubts, her being and her reason for living, but about her world around her and the people she came into contact with, `Fragments' shows Marilyn's intellect (a dumb blonde she is not); she tried so hard to comprehend her world, to prove to others, she was more than the 1950s icon, which we now associate.

No one really gave her a chance to prove her worth in Hollywood, so Marilyn rebelled to only way she could. In the end, the system in which she was apart, became too much, and took its toll, thus she passed away on that day in 1962.

In all honesty, if `Fragments' was not about Marilyn, the book would not be in publication-why? It's simple, we in society have this mystique about a woman that the media has hounded in her lifetime to get inside her head-they couldn't leave her alone. `Fragments' in my mind is an invasion of a woman's emotional, private, personal thoughts; do we have the right to read those thoughts now that Marilyn has passed away? Would she approve of this book if Marilyn were still alive today? I personally believe that Marilyn would not approve of `Fragments', they were her private thoughts for a private person, who needed to write down her `Meaning of Life', so she could make sense of it all and put herself and the world in perspective.

So I have to ask why publish it? Well, I have an answer to this too, to preserve written history about a woman we know so little about, the mystique is a little less mysterious when we read about how Marilyn thought about her world. We begin to respect her point of view, and more importantly respect Marilyn as a decent human being, with emotional feelings she tried to understand within herself.

`Fragments' is a personal journey, full of emotions about a woman's understanding in herself, in her career as an actress, and in her personal relationships with people that have influenced her until her death. It is a fascinating look into a person's mind, a piece of personal history about a woman we just can't get enough of.

I would like to give this book 5 stars, but I can't, I am still in two minds about it, and sitting on the fence trying to decide which way to go. This book is a personal journey and I feel, I am invading Marilyn's world without her permission-but I do it out of respect. When I read `Fragments', I feel I am holding a piece of her mind-if not herself; and strange as it may seem, Marilyn's presence is also felt when I read what she wrote. Is Marilyn seeking my voice of approval in her private thoughts? Or perhaps her understanding, in expressing what she felt through her tortured (too harsh?) years?

If you are a Marilyn fan and or collector then `Fragments' is a worthy addition to your library, (But there are still holes-and rightly so). But remember, purchase this book with respect, not because you want it or need it, but because you want to remember about a woman who gave you her memories, not just in movies but in the written word.

We have here a unique physical representation of Marilyn, showing various emotional abilities. A woman seeking as are we, the meaning of ourselves.

`Fragments' is a book that reveals a different Marilyn, a side of which we must understand, if we are to understand her and her world (1950s).

A very personal journey.

Perhaps the following poem by Marilyn may reflect her and her fragmented persona (the last line may refer to physical energy) trying to be one with herself.

O, Time
Be Kind
Help this weary being
To forget what is sad to remember
Lose my loneliness,
Ease my mind,
While you eat my flesh.

Rest in Peace....Dear Marilyn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insight
I love everything about Marilyn and this book was such an eye opener. You really get to know the real her behind the blonde and the sexuality. After reading My Story and Fragments I almost feel like I knew her personaly. I reccommend this to everyone that has intrest in her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Any Fan Will Love It
A wonderful look into the mind of the tortured goddess. I couldn't read it all in one sitting, as there is so much to read, and also because it is so sad at times. Marilyn wrote on the top of one paper, "I am alone, always alone no matter what."
The book has her papers on one side and the editors' "translation" on the other. (Some of the writing is hard to read).
It makes her the more tragic. She seemed to have it all but was lonely, misunderstood, and needed more help than she received.
Contains her jots and poems from notebooks and journals and notes to herself also. A short list at the end of her favorite books is included. Plus there are some beautiful photos. Any fan needs this for their collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marilyn, The Woman She Really Was.
If you are looking for a book about Marilyn's life and dramatic details about being an orphan, foster child, and struggling in Hollywood, this isn't the book for you.

This book is for the people that truly cared about Marilyn the person, and want to learn about her true self. This is a book with her thoughts, feelings. There are poems, personal letters, and written thoughts throughout the book.

A high quality scanned picture of the actual page that she wrote things on is placed side by side with an easy-to-read transcription on the other page. The pictures included might not be new to some fans, but there are many beautiful pictures included.

Although the book is 230 something pages in length, it's actually half of that because of the scanned pictures, which contain the exact content of the transcripted pages. I also doubt this is the only content there is available of Marilyn's writings.

Overall, a book for anybody that would appreciate an insight into the woman that truly was Marilyn. A woman who loved, doubted herself, and fought interpersonally.

After reading this, her short life will be sincerely tragic, and you will see Marilyn in a new way, as a person, and not an object or another 50s actress, life most people do.

Marilyn Monroe was so much more than an actress or sex symbol, as proven in this book. She was a genuine human being. ... Read more

2. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
by J. Randy Taraborrelli
Hardcover: 976 Pages (2009-08-25)
list price: US$28.99 -- used & new: US$11.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0041T4PSY
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Beautiful, damaged, the ultimate sex symbol, publicly celebrated, privately unhappy - Marilyn Monroe's tumultuous life and untimely death continue to fascinate us. When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never been told - until now. In this groundbreaking book Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress' life, including her mother, her foster mother and her legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn's father and the half-brother she never knew, and new information about her relationship with the Kennedys - Bobby, Jack and Pat Lawford Kennedy. Explosive, revelatory and surprisingly moving, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the twentieth century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Person Who Nobody Will Ever Know
Fantasy has always played a part in the fixation people have when they deal with the subject of Marilyn Monroe.This overfed fixation we have with the woman has basically kept her alive - vividly so - for fifty years. This, when you consider that the woman's screen career barely covered 15 years, is quite a feat. What is more astonishing is that even after five decades, there seems to be no stopping the eerily charismatic attraction Marilyn Monroe holds over the world.
Her movie roles were varied and, looking at them clinically, a bit on the sorry side. Yes, of course there was her compelling portrayal of a common girl with too-big aspirations in BUS STOP and nobody can deny the hypnotic power of her nameless character in THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH. Even in a minor role as she parlayed in SOME LIKE IT HOT, the Monroe magnetism was strong - so much so that it overpowered everything else. But her acting was shaky and, because of her larger-than-life persona, without good material, Ms. Monroe's explosive presence served to undermine her; without a solid story, she overshadowed the script causing the audience to see the weaknesses in both the film and her own stilted, although enjoyable, performances. Even when presented with a solid piece of work like THE MISFITS, the amateurish attempts at acting (this time not delegated solely to Marilyn Monroe but to the entire cast) turn what should have been a deeply emotional tale into a curiosity.
THE SECRET LIFE OF MARILYN MONROE by J. Randy Taraborrelli strangely reflects the imperfections in the machinery that made Marilyn Monroe both a star and an enigma. To his credit, Mr. Taraborrelli retells the Monroe legend in a surprisingly fresh way. As Marilyn is one of the most popular subject matters in non-fiction literature, that is quite a feat and the author neatly sidesteps all the mawkish traps others have fallen prey to . . . but, again like in Marilyn Monroe's habit of turning her positives into negative, this works against the author and the retelling of the story.
The pleasure in reading THE SECRET LIFE OF MARILYN MONROE is that the reader so wants Marilyn Monroe to be the sweet victim and Mr. Taraborrelli fulfills this wish. Others have cited her as a simple woman who tried vainly to rise above her means or as just a glamorous adornment that started out as a fad but mysteriously became ingrained into society. How the author accomplishes this is by portraying her as a vulnerable and easily overwhelmed character in her own life. Marilyn Monroe comes off as a savory but muddled persona who only thinks she knows what she wants. Her vulnerability, which supposedly Marilyn Monroe played to the hilt and Mr. Taraborrelli uses as his trump card, takes the hard edge off her indecisive behavior and feebly explains how she ultimately set out to foil her own career (constant lateness, continual absences from the set). Instead of seeing a person filled with vices, as well as virtues, the author is a bit too enamored with his subject matter to see the unexplained flaws. His way of dealing with this is by gilding the lily, so to speak: without much proof, he creates (as opposed to recreates) conversations and thoughts that the subject (and those surrounding her) had at any given critical point in her life. In doing so, Mr. Taraborrelli makes Marilyn Monroe seem a bit too godly to be appreciated but you are suppose to accept her as a sweet, albeit confused, woman. However, as it is doubtful if there is any way he can get inside the minds of people who have been dead for decades and it is a certainty that nobody stopped to write down, "and the thought that crossed my mind was" or what Marilyn thought when she saw her mother or step-sister, the entire hook that the book is based upon quickly crumbles.
So, this is entertaining reading and you put the book down with a new, and refreshed, appreciation of the screen legend. But how much of it is on point? I doubt if anybody will ever know the entire story leading up to the death of Marilyn Monroe so, until then, this is as good a filler as any.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yet another side to Marilyn Monroe
I've read many books on Marilyn Monroe, being a fan of hers. This book provides another facet to Monroe. Other biographers never talked about her mental illnesses in such depth as this book does. Monroe was manic-depressive and took Thorazine near the end of her life. It's still kind of hard to imagine a world famous beautiful movie star having paranoid episodes, and thinking she saw people climbing up her bedroom windows (more than once) but indeed she did. This must have been an aspect of her life she wanted to hide, because it was never mentioned in the newspapers of the time. It is well known, however, that she feared mental illness immensely within her own family, and most people thought she was worried about nothing; but it seems, she did have a lot to worry about.
Another nice thing about this book is, it speaks of her relationship with her mother, which was quite heart breaking. Never did Marilyn ever truly make a bond with her mother, as her mother was VERY far gone in her mental illness, by the time Norma Jean was even 10 years old. This book keeps you up to date with Marilyn's relationship with her mother when Marilyn was 10, 18, 24, and even up to Marilyn's death.
Also, it actually made me mad, to hear Stanley Gifford's son STILL insist they were not related to Marilyn Monroe. BTW, Gifford was (is passed away now) Marilyn's biological father. Never did he speak to Marilyn, the several times she called him. She claims that all she wanted was to be able to call him, "father." But he denied her this, even up until the end. Quite sad, and by the pictures when Marilyn was "Norma Jean", it is obvious they were father-daughter.
Monroe may have summed it up best, why the world (continues to this day) to love her: "I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else."

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money or time.
Inaccurate information based on uncorroborated information. I checked some of his sources and they proved to be nonexistant.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
I thought I knew it all till I read this book, It was truly amazing and worth the buy. The author did a fantastic job showing us inbetween the lines of what we may not of known or even if you do know it all about Ms. Monroe you will still want to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marilyn Monroe
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is a fascinating look into the life of one of Americas most famous actress.I thought this was a wonderful book about the Actress, Marilyn Monroe the woman I came to know as a shy, lonely little girl, who never felt loved and was fearful (rightly so) of inheriting the same mental illness that plagued her families past. ... Read more

3. My Story: Illustrated Edition
by Marilyn Monroe
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2006-11-25)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1589793161
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Little known and long unavailable, this autobiography, written by actress and starlet Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), describes her early adolescence, her rise in the film industry from bit player to celebrity, and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. In this personal account of a very public life, she tells of her first (non-consensual) sexual experience, her romance with the Yankee Clipper, and her prescient vision of herself as the kind of girl they found dead in the hall bedroom with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hand. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I loved hearing about Marilyn from Marilyn herself! As a Marilyn fan, I was very curious to see how she talked and what she wanted people to know about her. The pictures were great, and I'm glad I bought the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish it never ended..:(
the book is absolutely great,u can see marilyn for who she truly is, i was really sad when i finished it.
i wanted to read more of marilyn's own words describing her life and everything about the struggles of becoming a star,getting married, and so on..
this is my favorite book,and i wish there was a sequel to it... :(

5-0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener...
This book has been such an eye opener. Gently written almost like her and I could be sharing our life stories with each other over coffee. It's a very smooth read.
I'm not disappointed in the least that I bought this book. I have always seen her as glamorous and beautiful. This book with the way it has been written just makes her so much so. If you're a fan of Marilyn Monroe, definitely a book to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Alright
I was just slightly disappointed. This book was given to me as a gift so I didn't really know what I was going to be reading. I never really knew anything about Marilyn Monroe, but I was hoping I'd learn more than what I did. Though, I did find this a good book. And the pictures are outstanding.

I was hoping for more of a story about her life and reading the last page made me want to read more. This book only gave me pieces. I definitely will be looking for a (longer) book that will teach me about her life, from earlier on, up until her death and what lead to it. Hopefully there is one. And I'm sure there is.

I recommend this book, but I'd buy it used.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not for Germans
Those who are interested in the Milton Greene photographs should better look out for "Milton's Marilyn", which is much more elegant than this book. Those who are interested in Monroe's life should read Donald Spoto or Barbara Leaming. Those who are interested in the source of Monroe's legend should read this little book. What makes this edition readable is the foreword by Joshua Greene. Marilyn Monroe never agreed to the book's publication. Maybe she was not really happy with the result. ... Read more

4. Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words: Marilyn Monroe's Revealing Last Words and Photographs
by George Barris
Paperback: 176 Pages (2001-04-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806531231
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In 1962 until her death in August of the same year, George Barris worked with Marilyn Monroe on collecting information for a biography. After thirty years, the conversations and the photographs taken during the last months of her life are published for the first time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Barris is good
She was such a beautiful talented person and Barris shows that,this is a beautiful book hat will enlighten you into her life with beautiful pictures.

5-0 out of 5 stars It Was Hollywood that Murdered Marilyn
I love this book and I think that anyone can relate to it. Also, I would rather get books from one of her friends who actually knew her, than someone who doesn't. This is perfect for anyone who loves to collect Marilyn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good
I bought this for a student who happens to be both fascinated with Marilyn and a budding photographer.She loved this book and wanted to copy some of the composition and such from the pictures.I thought that was a great idea.

4-0 out of 5 stars About Marilyn
Good Morning! I'm from Argentina, the Maradona and Messi's Country, I'm very happy when I receive my books by post! It's interesting for learning english.
Well about the book of Marilyn I received it in a good time and I think is a good book, I haven't read yet but I feel it's ok because has good photographs and very warm and emotional phrases from her. I recommend buys books in english to learn the language.

Thanks a lot!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars If you Love her, buy this!!
This is NOT the Marilyn that Hollywood wanted you to "know". But it IS the woman that we all wish we had known!!More than any other "work", this book takes you straight to HER!!Read, re-read, and enjoy!!A true American tragedy!!! ... Read more

5. Marilyn Monroe: The Biography
by Donald Spoto
Paperback: 752 Pages (2001-09-25)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815411839
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Relying on over 150 interviews as well as Marilyn's letters and diaries, this work by best-selling biographer Spoto casts new light on every aspect of the actress's tempestuous life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars finally an author with no ax to grind
By far the best biography on Monroe ever written, with the author having no ax to grind against its subject. I find some male authors on Monroe disliking her based on what I think is disapproval of her interactions with men through out her life. I feel her sexuality is threatening to many straight men, I particularly noticed this with Anthony Summers in The Goddess. This book is incredible on many levels, but the area it outshines all others is the likely cause of her death. Spoto accurately writes that she had a one night stand with President Kennedy (and thats it). She wanted more I believe and Im guessing that her ego took a hugeblow when she couldnt develop that contact into something much more. On a personal level, internally, I believe this added greatly to her depression the final summer. Throughout her life what Marilyn Monroe wanted Marilyn Monroe got. President Kennedy wasnt going to happen for her.

As to Robert Kennedy, she told her close friend Ralph Roberts that the rumors about Bobby Kennedy werent true, and I believe her, she describes him as puny.Truman Capote commented in print onrumors about Robert Kennedy s anatomy with...... Im surprised he was able to father 13 children...........referring to a certain part of Bobby s anatomy that was apparently also puny........Distasteful to comment on, probably,but with Marilyns track record with Sinatra andDimaggio, etc, that obscure detail may be carry a lot of weight and I would be very surprised if she would have been invoved with him for that reason alone.

As to supposed press conferences she would have called, had she not died, to reveal her affairs with the Kennedys......never would have happened in a million years...........Marilyn Monroe was the bigest star in the world and she wanted to remain the biggest.....no way would she EVER have done that!

As to the actual death, Spoto tries to detail for the reader the medical/scientific facts and the science around the autopsy. The discoloration of the colon in the autopsy simply cant be overlooked. The absence of pill residue...........the drug levels were huge and enema seems probable. Murray and Greenson were the ones on the scene that nite and I believe an incorrect final dose thru enema was the culprit. Marilyn contributed to this horrible situation by taking nembutal thru out the day and I believe poor medical supervison combined with Marilyn s carelessness created the fatal cocktail. It really is too bad more time and attention at the time of death did not investigate the circumstances more carefully, lousy police work. At the very least Greenson should have lost his medical license if found negligent..........Excellent book, a must read..............

2-0 out of 5 stars well written, but of questionable accuracy
Overall, this book was well written.It provides exhaustive detail about many aspects of Marilyn Monroe's life.The author's conclusions about her death are plausible, even convincing.

On the other hand, it is well known that Marilyn Monroe converted to Judaism prior to her marraige to Arthur Miller.Surprisingly there is no mention of this anywhere in the book.Considering the fact that many pages are devoted to tangential aspects of her life, this ommission calls into question the accuracy of the entire work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography!
Donald Spoto's biography of Marilyn Monroe is not only captivating, but insightful and throughly researched.Tracing the distressed Norma Jean's early life to her evolvement into "The Monroe," to her troubled adulthood and final days, Spoto presents the facts that surrounded her life in great honesty and detail.Spoto strings together his research with a narrative that is both truthful and sympathetic, leaving the reader with a very humanisticand touching portrait of one of the most legendary icons in American culture.

This biography is the most throughly researched biography of Marilyn that I have read, research being the most crucial element of any biographical work to the speculative reader.Spoto even includes an afterword in which he details how much of the public has been unwittingly and unfoundedly enticed to believe that Marilyn's death was directly related to the Kennedy family.For any Monroe fan or researcher, Spoto's denouncement of the Kennedy-Monroe conspiracy--and moreover--his proof and research that support this denouncement, is a crucial and unique aspect of this biography, one that seperates it from many of the other biographies about Marilyn Monroe.

While I also recommend Barbara Leaming's biography Marilyn Monroe as it contains some information which Spoto's does not (and his like-wise discloses information hers does not), I would recommend Spoto's as a first choice due to the amount of research and sources on which the text is based.

If you are looking for pictures of Marilyn, then look for a pictoral instead.The pictures inluded in this biography are relevant to the text, but are some of the most commonly seen black and white photos of Monroe.

Don't believe everything that Spoto writes. Instead, most definitely read anything by Robert Slatzer, also "The Marilyn Conspiracy" by Milo Speriglio {I think it is out of print so do look in Amazon,Alibris or Ebay for used copies}. Also, "Crypt 33" is a very compelling book, one of the best aside from the authors I have just mentioned. Slatzer was an INSIDER. Unlike Spoto, who was NOT an insider.There will forever be people who just want a cover-up. The Kennedy's did not have to be right there, leaning right over Marilyn when she died in order to have been involved in her death. Although Robert Kennedy was around, way too close to the time of her death and just read the books I have mentioned. Marilyn had been romantically and sexually invloved with both Kennedy's and when she got dumped by first JFK and then Robert, she was pretty angry. Marilyn was going to do a press conference and "spill the beans" about her involvement with the Kennedys and the day before the press conference she was dead. What does that tell you ? Marilyn had also been keeping a diary about her talks with both Kennedy brothers. Imagine how dangerous that had to have been.
If you read Slatzer and Speriglio's books, you will find out that Marilyn's house was wired and bugged like nobody's business. Between what she knew about the Kennedy's, and the mafia's interest in what was going on,only an idiot would say she killed herself.What people with their head in the sand don't know is, murders like this happen a lot more than you'd be comfortable knowing about. Spoto is known for writing slanted books, and is probably quite close to the Kennedy family and partial to wanting to help them distance themselves from Msrilyn.
Read widely, do not grab a book like this and assume you know the final word.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very detailed biography
This book has a ton of information on MM.A great book to start out a new fan.Seems to be very thorough.I've read a bunch of books on Marilyn and this seems to give many more details than most.I just have to wonder if it was designed to help clear the Kennedy name in her death.Seems to set out to do so.Either way an informative read.Never a dull moment, much like that of Monroe's life I'm sure. ... Read more

6. Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting
by Bert Stern
Hardcover: 463 Pages (2006-07-31)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$75.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3888141915
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Bert Stern / Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting

Bert Stern, the famous commercial and fashion photographer of the 60s, was the last to be granted a sitting by Marilyn Monroe six weeks before her tragic death. The three-day session yielded nearly 2,600 pictures—fashion, portrait, and nude studies—ofindescribable sensual and human vibrancy, of which no more than 20 were published. And yet these few photographs ineradicably shaped our image of Marilyn Monroe.This book presents the complete set of 2,571 photos. The monumental body of work by the master photographer and the Hollywood actress marks a climax in the history of star photography, both in quantity and quality. It is a unique affirmation of the erotic dimension of photography and the eroticism of taking photos, and it is the world’s finest and largest tribute to Marilyn Monroe.

Text by Bert Stern ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Marilyn Monroe:The Complete Last Sitting
This is a fabulous book and worth every penny.Although I don't care for the few photos with Marilyn wearing a brunette wig, the rest of this book is excellent.If you are a Marilyn collector, you must have this book.It is loaded with photos.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting by Bert Stern, Annie Gottlieb
great photos, quality is fantastic and as a family who love Marilyn this book is excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Near the goddess
These photographs offer the last intense look on the film goddess. It is impossible to come much closer to Monroe's personality. She is vivid and she is sad. In these thousands of photographs she shows all the faces she can show, sometimes she is the young girl and sometimes the older lady. She poses nude, and some of the pictures were crossed out by her, which gives them a very interesting character.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-have for any fan...
This enormous volume is a must for any fan of Marilyn's. There are over 400 pages of beautiful, high-quality photographs and photographer notes. Known as 'The Complete Last Sitting' (although it wasn't her last), the photographs are among the most stunning and haunting of the screen legend. Taken by photographer Bert Stern for Vogue, the session was a milestone for Marilyn. After winning her battle with Fox and being rehired for Something's Got to Give, the shoot was in many ways a celebration. At 36, Marilyn is luminous. Prior to the days of plastic surgery, she is as real as it gets. She doesn't try to hide her flaws. Scars, wrinkles, and smile lines are not hidden. The orange 'X's you see are where Marilyn scratched out the negatives, unhappy with anything but perfection from herself. They also serve as a sad reflection; that the most beautiful creature on earth thought she was anything but. These priceless pictures tell countless stories, frozen in the camera lens. The book is worth buying if only to view an actress who was so totally in control that she could convey a thousand different feelings with the arch of an eyebrow, the curve of a lip, or the slightest posture change. She is brilliant.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely Marilyn
I love Miss Marilyn... This was a very interesting book! Beautiful pictures...as was the woman. I would say my only complaint was the fact that it was very obvious Marilyn did not want to have some of the pictures every published. But all in all the book is beautiful...and amust for MM fans. ... Read more

7. Assassination of Marilyn Monroe
by Donald H. Wolfe
Paperback: 671 Pages (1999-08-05)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0751526525
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This book is the fully documented story of Marilyn Monroe's death - a heart-stopping account of the events that led to the circumstances of 4th August 1962. To this day the Los Angeles police and the District Attorney's office have perpetuated a cover-up that was generated over 30 years ago. For the first time in 80 books and acres of newsprint, the complete story of her demise is revealed. It includes the reasons why so many joined the conspiracy of silence. Marilyn's universe is where the glitzy world of Hollywood, the sinister one of the Mafia and the secret one of Washington DC meet. Wolfe uses newly released FBI files and the information of insiders who have broken their silence to give us the resolution of one of this century's most enduring mysteries.From the opening description of the lifeless body to the moment-by- moment account of her final days and hours, THE ASSASSINATION OF MARILYN MONROE explodes every myth concerning her remarkable life and tragic death - as is attested by the generous acclaim of her rival biographers (see 'Reviews'). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Marilyn Monroe
It appears no matter how much you read about Marilyn it is like the Kennedy assaniation...we will never know for sure what happened.

2-0 out of 5 stars have YOU read the fbi files?
Id just like to say that the FBI files are open now and we can get many of them to read for ourselves. THAT to me is a better read.
I havent read this book yet but Im not seeing anyone mentioning that she was in love with a man in mexico at the time that she was taken from us by someone.. that always gets me suspicious.
Marilyn was in love and had many plans, her home was being decorated with things that she bought in mexico, see the photos. She didnt commit suicide and her death has ALWAYS been said to be unknown by all autopsies.. but there has been a 2nd autopsy now. Hugh Heffner god bless him had it done and now we know a lot more. We dont know WHO did these things to her, but we do know marilyn couldnt have done it to herself.
I think making more ideas and fantasies about what happened just makes things more confusing and worse. Lets stick to the facts. What love child? Marilyn couldnt have children anymore. The kennedies? Gods sake the fbi files arent wrong about her being in love with someone else, and its not the brothers. The man that she was in love with however was the son of a man who WAS definately not welcome in the usa. You can gather ALL of this from the files.
Marilyn was hardheaded about whom she chose to be friends with and whom she loved. I dont blame her. But because of that, we may never know who got to her that night.. maybe it was a fan, maybe it was a professional, no one knows. Not yet.
Again i havent read the book yet but be careful of things that tell you about a lovechild and again introduce the kennedys.
Can we look at the NEW facts we have someday?

5-0 out of 5 stars EXTREMELY pleased!
Item arrived in NEW condition! Very pleased! Was a great Xmas gift for Family member! This was a hard item to find and I greatly appreciate the care taken in packaging and shipment! Thanks so much!

5-0 out of 5 stars An eye opener
A thorough look at the life of MM and her tragedy.Murky biz here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Justice For Marilyn!
I have read many biographys on Marilyn and this is hands down the best one ever written.Very well researched with plenty of facts to back upstatements. Wolfe's writing will give you a very detailed description of what it was like to be there the morning of her death and of the investigation.Also a very good biography of her life.Not justanother Marilyn Monroe biography. A definite must have for any Marilyn fan!
... Read more

8. Marilyn Monroe
by Barbara Leaming
Paperback: 480 Pages (2000-02-29)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609805533
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Barbara Leaming's Marilyn Monroe is a complex, sympathetic portrait that will forever change the way we view the most enduring icon of America sexuality. To those who think they have heard all there is to hear about Marilyn Monroe, think again. Leaming's book tells a brand-new tale of sexual, psychological, and political intrigue of the highest order. Told for the first time in all its complexity, this is a compelling portrait of a woman at the center of a drama with immensely high stakes, a drama in which the other players are some of the most fascinating characters from the worlds of movies, theater, and politics. It is a book that shines a bright light on one of the most tumultuous, frightening, and exciting periods in American culture.

Basing her research on new interviews and on thousands of primary documents--including revealing letters by Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, John Huston, Laurence Olivier, Tennessee Williams, Darryl Zanuck, Marilyn's psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson, and many others--Leaming has reconstructed the tangle of betrayal in Marilyn's life. For the first time, a master storyteller has put together all of the pieces and told Marilyn's story with the intensity and drama it so richly deserves.

At the heart of this book is a sexual triangle and a riveting story that has never been told before. You will come away filled with new respect for Marilyn's incredible courage, dignity, and loyalty, and an overwhelming sense of tragedy after witnessing Marilyn, powerless to overcome her demons, move inexorably to her own final, terrible betrayal of herself.
Marilyn Monroe is a book that will make you think--and will break your heart.Amazon.com Review
This extraordinarily thoughtful book by Barbara Leaming, aliterary star among movie-star biographers, offers the last thingyou'd expect in a book on Marilyn Monroe: new information fromverifiable sources. Sure, lots of the tragedy is familiar: an abused,confused girl from an orphanage with a mother in a madhouse rises fromsexual party favor for homely showbiz men to the movie superstar whopushes them around, until she crashes, a victim of self-loathing anddrug addiction.

The thing about a tragedy is that its heroine isn't a victim--she'sresponsible for her fate. Leaming does scholarly spadework, digging up hardfacts from sources like UCLA's 20th Century Fox collection and thediary-like first drafts of Arthur Miller's semiautobiographical work, andshe makes sense of Monroe's motives. She even apparently solves Monroe'ssuicide with clues from the star's psychiatrist's letters in the Anna Freudcollection. Her last overdose may have happened just because her shrinkwent to dinner with his wife and she felt abandoned.

But until pills killed her, Monroe wasn't a candle in the wind. Sheburned with ambition and knew how to craft a persona and play powergames--with moguls and with the commie-busters hounding her husbandMiller. Leaming plausibly analyzes the Miller-Monroe-Elia Kazanlove/hate triangle, sizes up the Kennedy connection, busts her actingcoach Lee Strasberg as "chillingly mercenary," and deftly shows justhow her life entangled her art, film by film.

This book has a woman's touch: it's a work of sharp intellect andemotional insight unclouded by lust or star worship. --TimAppelo ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Arthur Miller Story - But Marilyn on the Cover Sells the Book
I'm so conflicted about this book.On one hand, I must say that Barbara Leaming is an excellent writer.She is thoughtful and intelligent, and is able to construct narrative in a way that draws me in and keeps me reading.She uses primary sources for her research whenever possible, rather than just reprinting what other biographers have written, and she works hard at getting her facts (at least the facts as she sees them) straight.

However, I purchased this book because I wanted to read about Marilyn Monroe.What I ended up with was a lengthy treatise on the professional and personal life of Arthur Miller, with Marilyn mentioned as she relates to him (and just enough scattered anecdotes to remind us that this is supposed to be her biography).I'm not discounting Miller's importance in Marilyn's life.Nevertheless, I do not agree that he was the only important figure upon whom she relied; that is clearly the angle that Leaming has chosen to explore in this well-written but frustrating book.

Had I wanted to read long passages about Miller's difficulties in getting productions staged, or regarding his strained relationship with Elia Kazan, I'm sure I could have found biographies that would have given me this information.What I did find interesting was how savvy Marilyn could be in working the press in order to support him during his HUAC troubles.I was also impressed with how she worked with Joe DiMaggio, Milton Greene and Feldman in order to get herself a lucrative contract.These sorts of anecdotes (i.e. information about Marilyn) are what provided the most interesting text.

Leaming makes no bones about what she believes happened at the end of Marilyn's life, and presents this information as fact, with no other possibilities presented.Jack and Bobby Kennedy are virtually ignored regarding their importance in the last years of Marilyn's life, and the evidence that she was due to return to Twentieth Century Fox to complete Something's Got to Give, though mentioned, is likewise given short shrift.Leaming gives the impression that, because Arthur Miller does not figure into this part of Marilyn's story, she has no interest in exploring it.

I have several other biographies by Barbara Leaming in my library, and I intend to give them a try.I will be on my guard however.I was disappointed to find that the story I wanted to read - the biography of Marilyn Monroe - was, largely, not to be found in these pages.

1-0 out of 5 stars I easily put this book down on more than one occasion
This book is not one of those the reader cannot put down -- I put it down on more than one occasion. One theme in the book I found truly disturbing is the manner the author seemed to support the Communist cause or was at least sympathetic. While this is America and people are supposed to be able to think freely, the Communist creed is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the American Dream. People in Communist countries flee to America to escape that form of government. Yet, Communist sympathies existed and meetings were attended in the Unites States by many in the entertainment community.
Overall, I felt the book was an Authur Miller biography rather than a Marilyn Monroe bio. Authur Miller is introduced early in the book and in fact the book ends with Authur Miller. Marilyn's death and funeral is little more of a sidebar to the play right's bio. Authur Miller is not a likeable character in the book. He comes across as a selfish individual. His first wife, Mary, failed him and his second wife, Marilyn, failed him. Even his relationship with Elia Kazan is based on selfish needs. After the Congressional hearing on Communism and Kazan's testimony, Miller dumped him. Later when Miller needs a hit play and since in the past the director had helped Miller achieve success on Broadway, then Miller is willing to renew the friendship.
I also had problems with the doctors at the end of the book. Marilyn was supposedly a mentally ill patient of Dr. Greenson - suicidal and given to consuming large quantities of pills for pain and sleeping aids. Under Dr. Greenson's orders these were taken away from Marilyn. Yet Marilyn was able to con Dr. Greenson's assistant into giving her pills and he did not bother to ask Dr. Greenson to confirm Marilyn's claims for a bottle of pills. The assistant's actions seem very sloppy to say the least. In the end the whole episode seemed to be merely passed off with the, "What if....." scenario.

I believe if someone wants to read a book about Marilyn Monroe they should look elsewhere.

3-0 out of 5 stars MM' battles with the studios, Arthur Miller, and her mother's opinion of her

First, let me tell you what this biography is NOT.
Ifyou are looking for juicy gossip, look elsewhere. This is not the book for you.

Also - and this seems to be surprisingly important for many - if you are passionately interested in the events on the night of her death, or have a definite opinion on it, this is probably not a book you would find satisfying. (More on this below.)

But first, let me tell you about my personal attitude towards MM, so you know where I am coming from.

I am not a »fan« of Marilyn Monroe. I do not rave about her, I do not idolise her.
Nor do I consider her a »bimbo« or whatever the popular stereotypes may be.
(And, which I am sure would surprise some, I find her singing delicious, because I prefer expressiveness to sheer »voice« and technique.)
In short, I do not have an emotional attachment - either positive or negative - to her image and public persona.

Through the years, I have seen most of her films, and I know many bits of trivia about her - I have for years (they are rather difficult to avoid), but I had never read a biographical work about her life.
And so, for my first book bookabout MM, I wanted a really balanced biography: a biography that would show me MM as a person, »warts and all«, if need be. (Provided the »warts« are documented, not hear-say - unless the hear-say were properly identified as such and had a specific narrative or other function.)

After having read the reviews on Amazon, and having browsed through the book, I decided I would go with this one. The fact that the author doesn't speculate much on the manner of MM's death - or even dwell on the events (her narration of MM's final night is relatively short) - only reinforced my decision.

At this point, I should probably add that I have been an avid reader (in various languages) since I was a child.
Which is why nobody could have been more baffled than myself when I found the book surprisingly difficult to read.

The author knows how to write; she writes well.
Consider the very first sentence: "On January 16, 1951, a black Lincoln convertible pulled into the driveway at 2000 Coldwater Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills."

You feel being drawn into the story from the get go, don't you?

Alas, this particular, initial story has nothing to do with MM, except tangentially. It deals with Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan; Marilyn is nowhere in the picture.

But it introduces, very aptly, one of the the author's three main perspective points of this book: Arthur Miller and his activities.

The other main »external« perspective is MM's relation with the studios - her professional life is essentially presented through her contracts and the lobbying or other activitiesleading to them.
But there is no critical analysis of - or even accounts of popular and critical reactions to - her actual work. Amazingly (to me), her »break« into films is almost indiscernible in this book. I have a very good verbal memory - and yet, even after several readings of the the book, I could not describe her actual entry into cinema (if I didn't know it from other sources, that is), or her move from being an extra to speaking roles.

Her extra-cinematic activities (»mingling« with various people from the business) are reasonablywell (and not at all salaciously) covered; however, I remember having to search the book, page by page, to find any reference at all to the »Asphalt Jungle«, for example. And there are no references to critiques of her work in those earlyfilms.

And finally, there is a third perspective point: a psychoanalytical one.
A much as I appreciate the contribution of psychology (and often use it myself), I do wish the author, having avoided speculation in other matters, would refrain from it here, too.

I am sure that the mother's attitude to Norma Jeane (and vice versa) had a major impact on the actress' life. How could it not?
But trying to actually peer into the actress' inner thoughts and feelings regarding her mother - based on a single incident that may or may NOT have happened, to boot (her mother's alleged attempt to smother her when Norma Jeane was a baby) - feels contrived.

Furthermore, the intimacy (however treacherous) of this perspective clashes with the other two viewpoints mentioned: her marriage to Arthur Miller and her involvement in his activities, and her battles with the studios.

Between these three viewpoints, I find MM as an adult, a woman, independently of her relation to Miller and/or the studio bosses, simply - missing.

Her other marriages are dealt with rather summarily; so are some (very few) of her affairs. Her coaches, Natasha Lytess and (especially) Paula Strasberg, do get a little more »air time« - but the information at times feels somehow randomly chosen. That's because we learn virtually nothing about MM's friendships, if she had any. (BTW, there are also a few errors of »continuity« if you will. I remember reading that »Like Natasha Lytess twelve years previously, she sensed something wrong«. The problem is... there is no description of that first event, twelve years earlier, to which this sentence refers.)

This is not a criticism of the author's chosen perspective. It is as valid as any, I suppose - and much more valid than many other, more»personal« (code for »gossipy«) approaches. It is certainly dignified.

I am just saying that, while I personally enjoy reading biographies that do not indulge in perpetuating gossip as if it were the gospel truth, I do like getting an insight into the person from the perspective of her interaction with other people - not just (predominantly) one husband, the studio bosses, and her publicists.

And I do find it slightly infuriating (it's an oxymoron, I know ;) that nowhere in the book is the choice of these viewpoints even explained.
To me, it is not at all self-evident why her marriage with Miller would be more relevant than her marriage to Dougherty or DiMaggio; or why a detailed look into eachone of her contracts and the machinations leading to them would give more insight into her personality than her relationships with, well - PEOPLE.

And frankly, the final verdict about her sad end, closing the circle established by the psychological point of view, sounds somewhat contrived: »Marilyn had finally given in to her mother's judgment.«

So do the last sentences in the book: MM, says the author, »promises us that sex can be fun, without dangers. That indeed may not be the truth, but it continues to be what we wish. And that is why Marilyn remains, even now, the symbol of our secret desires«.

Who are »we«? It is not at all self-evident.
Which »secret desires«? They have not been identified.
Furthermore, what is »sex without dangers«? What IS dangerous about sex, for that matter?
None of those fine-sounding premiseshas been satisfactorily explained in order to warrant such a conclusion.

Far be it from me to dissuade anyone from buying or reading this book (and I mean it)!
It is an honest and certainly dignified effort to peer into the »inner works« of the pop icon; and personally I find it refreshingly free of speculation about the circumstances of her death, or salacious hear-say.

But anyone looking for insight into the actress' personality and life as is revealed - inevitably so - through her interaction with a variety of other people, might want to read Michelle Morgan's Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed first, followed by Sarah Churchwell's The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe.

3-0 out of 5 stars Glossy Cover But Little New Information!
When I think of Marilyn Monroe, I think of her troubling death. If you believet that she committed suicide, then this book is detailed enough for you about her poor life. One cannot help but feel sorry for her despite her unstable upbringing, her mentally ill mom and relatives. She was looking for a father figure in her husbands like playwright Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio. She spent part of her childhood in an orphanage because she was shuffled around from home to home. We know her first marriage was probably better than her marriages to high profile icons like DiMaggio who loved her as Marilyn and not as Norma Jean Baker and Miller who was in love with her as his muse. Marilyn wanted more than to be a movie star. She wanted to be loved. She loved kids who returned their love back because she never talked down to them. When she was Norma Jean is when I believed that she was the happiest. She has the vulnerability in her smiles and face. She desperately wanted unconditional love. A friend of hers, Jeanne Carmen stated that she was the loneliest girl in the world despite all her superficial friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Her fans to this day love Marilyn as the icon that she was created but we do not know the fragility of Norma Jean Baker who lived as Marilyn Monroe, the ultimate character. She wanted to act desperately to escape the misery of her life. The book glosses over her relations to the Las Vegas Mafia and the possible foul play of her death. Whether Marilyn was murdered or committed suicide, this book does not answer those questions at all. It's glossed over much like the cover of the book. I think it's still worth a read for any Monroe fan. I appreciated the author's research into the theatrical background of films, television, and theater in New York City where I think she loved to be and London where she filmed a film with Lord Laurence Olivier. Despite her difficulties on set and problems, was she worth it? You damn right she was worth every moment.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but missing something
I am a Marilyn Monroe bio junkie, and this bio was good; however, I was disappointed in the ending.

I felt the author tied up Marilyn's death too quickly, simply stating that the actress committed suicide. The reason this bothered me as a reader is because there are questions as to whether Marilyn really did commit suicide.

This is a good book to learn about Marilyn's youth and her start in Hollywood, as well as her marriages; however, if you want to investigate the death of Marilyn, I recommend Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summer OR Marilyn Monroe: The Last Days by Donald H. Wolfe. Both books are thoroughly researched, and the authors inform their readers of how they obtained information. ... Read more

9. MM--Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe
by Lois Banner
 Hardcover: 336 Pages (2011-03-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810995875
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10. Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed
by Michelle Morgan
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2007-08-24)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786719583
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A comprehensive and meticulously researched treasure trove of information that brings to light the ordinary domestic details to the countless controversies of Marilyn Monroe's life. Dozens of people who knew or were related to Marilyn — from the key players in her life (family, friends, and colleagues) to casual acquaintances — cover Marilyn's foster childhood to her mysterious death. This is a candid, human portrait of a woman whose star has only become brighter with passing generations.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A classy, sensitive biography of Marilyn Monroe
Caveat emptor: if you want a Marilyn Monroe biography that details all her flings and one-night stands with every actor/director/studio executive/politician, this is not the book for you. If you want a blow-by-blow of Marilyn's contract battles with Darryl Zanuck, again, not the book for you. Michelle Morgan is the president of Marilyn's fan club in the UK and she obviously adores her subject. She doesn't shy away from Marilyn's famously self-destructive habits, but her treatment is respectful, even reverential. The biography is fairly short (about 300 pages long), and many of these pages are devoted to some stunning, truly rare photographs of Marilyn (or Norma Jeane as she was known to her closest friends her whole life).

But it's quality, not quantity, that counts. Morgan has done a magnificent job making Marilyn seem like a real person, and not an icon. Monroe in later life was not a very reliable source for her own life -- she embellished her childhood (claiming she was an orphan) and downplayed her first marriage as an arranged marriage. Morgan's account of Norma Jeane's childhood and early adult life is extremely sensitive. She's gotten people in Marilyn's life to talk about her first-hand, and her primary sources are for the most part not celebrities who'd want to exploit their connection to Monroe. Her childhood friends and foster family, her people who worked on the set with her in her movies, all spoke openly and candidly about Marilyn. The person that emerges from the book is an extremely beautiful, ambitious, occasionally cruel, self-destructive woman, but also someone who was capable of showing great kindness and remained in many ways down-to-earth and fun, even while her chronic lateness and unprofessionalism killed her career. At the height of her fame, Marilyn often went out with absolutely no makeup, and looked gorgeous anyway.

The story of Marilyn's ambition, her addiction to drugs, and her highly publicized marriages and relationships are all very well-known, and the book breaks no new ground. But on the other hand, Morgan's work has no touch of tawdriness. It touches upon the rumors of her affairs with the Kennedy brothers, but wisely does not draw any definite conclusions about how deep the affairs were. The book is filled with stunning pictures from all stages of Marilyn's life, from her days as a red-haired, gorgeous factory girl to the sad final days of her life, when she was battling severe addictions and personal problems. Marilyn was only 36 when she died but the pictures from her final days have her looking worn and haggard, with a frown permanently pasted across her face. Morgan also refrains from validating every conspiracy theory about her death. She acknowledges the rumors about a murder, but ultimately seems to lean towards the suicide/overdose theory.

So in short, this biography doesn't give you all the details of Marilyn's life, but it includes everything that is *important.* Its classy presentation and respectful approach to the subject make it the top pick of Marilyn biographies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ignore poor review..person does not understand that book is from the UK
Sorry, but I can't stand such ignorance.There are not type-os or misspellings on every page.The person who wrote that review apparently does not realize that American English is NOT the same as the English spellings of words by people from the UK.I did put in a rebuttal to her review as well.But just in case others do not understand...in American English, we would spell the following word "color" without a "u".In UK English, this word is written as "colour".

OK, on to the book itelf.Very well written, great photos and insight.Highly recommended.

2-0 out of 5 stars fascinating topic -- poorly written book
I agree with all the other reviews on this page-- this is a fascinating account of Marilyn Monroe's life.But, as a reader, I was appalled at the sloppy and error-filled writing style of Michelle Morgan, and I am quite surprised that no one else has commented on this yet.There were more grammatical and syntax errors in this book than I could keep track of-- nearly one on EVERY PAGE (and no, that is not an exaggeration.)I am not a picky reader, and I do come across occasional errors in the books that I read.But the errors were so abundant in this book that it was distracting!It was just an example of the gross negligence on the part of Ms. Morgan and her copy editor (if such a person even existed for this book!)

So, on the one hand, I would recommend this book, because it is full of fascinating information on Marilyn, but on the other hand, I do not think that people who write so poorly should be rewarded with successful book sales.Ms. Morgan-- I would encourage you to EDIT your book (if you don't know any copy editors, I can do it for you!) and come out with a 2nd edition that I can justifiably recommend to others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Nice, Pretty Book
The author has been an MM fan for years and it shows. This is a really great book, a bio but not TOO much depth or analysis. Very good photos, some I have never seen before. A necessary addition to an MM collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not A Bad Book At All......
This book is classy; it's heavy (a little burdensome though, if you're reading in bed) with very thick pages.Sometimes I think I've got 2-3 pages at a time turned, and it's only one!I like the little slim ribbon bookmarker.My book was purchased in "like new" condition at a wonderful price, and it is equal to Brand New.Great condition, tight binding, excellent photos that I've not yet seen of Marilyn.This book is a treasure to add to your library; a collector's book.

M. Morgan does a great job telling about the life of Marilyn.She seems to have the facts down, and I've read a lot of books on MM, and she has actually contradicted some things I thought were otherwise true, in other books, and she backs up her facts.She clears up the myths (in my opinion, and when you see all the references in the back, she did a lot of work!)The unseen photos are something that make this book even more desirable.Yes, I enjoyed this book! ... Read more

11. Marilyn Monroe
Hardcover: 160 Pages (2005-09-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$24.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081095933X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
More than any other pinup girl or star of the silver screen, Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) has captivated the minds of an entire generation. With her come-hither stare and womanly figure, she continues to be one of Hollywood's sexiest women. While many photographers captured Monroe's obvious sexuality, Eve Arnold, the only woman to have photographed her extensively, captured some of the most tender images ever seen of the Hollywood starlet.

Following a 1952 photo shoot for Esquire magazine, Monroe and Arnold forged a wonderful friendship. Marilyn Monroe chronicles the six photography sessions that took place over the course of their 10-year bond, including a two-month-long session while Monroe was shooting The Misfits. With almost 100 photographs-this new edition includes 48 previously unseen photographs not published in the long-out-of-print first edition-combined with Arnold's revealing text, this poignant book gives great insight into the career and personality of one of the world's most beloved icons. Perfect for fans of Hollywood's golden era and anyone intrigued by Monroe's captivating image, this book shows a sensitive side to Marilyn Monroe that is rarely seen. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT Stories and AMAZING Photos!
Purchased this book to use the images for a school project and fell in love with the content of the book itself, would recommend this book to any Marilyn or Eve Arnold Fan!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Real Appreciation!
A wonderful book to have, the stories that the author tells of Marilyn are just priceless! the photos give Marilyn new Life and any Marilyn Collector will absolutley love this new edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
My wife loves this book.Very nice photos and stories.Extremely pleased.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifu images and beautuful words
Man these are gorgeous photos. Marilyn is that rare bird that created some of the best photos ( I don't want to call them photos more like art pieces) ever! I disagree w/ the reviewer K.S. Pettry about Monroe being a sociopath, first of all a "sociopath" has no consciousso let's get our facts straight. Hey the woman, was HUMAN and complex, and to try and pin her down and label her to make ourselves feel comfortable is futile. Eve Arnold's prose is very astute and right on,and not in the least syrupy or trite. I mean everyone has their own opinion, but unless this particular reviewer knew both women, I'd hesitatebefore I'd call Ms. Arnold a hanger-on. Allin all a gorgeous book, a feast for the eyes.

3-0 out of 5 stars New photos, old text
It seems as if every maid, massuse, hair dresser, photographer, etc, who ever knew Monroe became her best life long buddy who had a special place in Monroe's heart (according to Bert Stern, Monroe all but fell in love with him during his famous shoot). This book is no exception.

The text of this book is the same tired old Monroe worship. You will read the same prose about Monroe's etheral angelic fragility, her profound effect on people, her inner and outerglow and tragic insecurities.You will read of what a student she was of the camera and of what a natural she was.Some real revelations. Why are people so afraid to admit that along withbeing the biggest, most elusive, enigmatic icon who ever lived, Monroe was a sociopath with hygiene problems. So what if she didn't like soap. So what if she was notorious for using people then shutting them out of her life.I mean, the girl wasn't perfect. It's imperfections that are the most interesting. You won't get any of that here.

There are however, some fresh photographs not published a million billion times like the Stern and Milton Greene pictures.But, Arnold thinks so much of her narratives that she doesn't have the courtesy to caption the photographs.Instead of a caption with the photographs, you get a flowery, wordy, overwrought, analysis of the circumstances surrounding the photographs prior to each section.

For the two dozen or so, fresh photos I would definitely recommend this book. There are some beautiful pictures, many in color.Aside from that, it is just another book written by a Monroe hanger on who used her for self promotion.

... Read more

12. Goddess : The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe
by Anthony Summers
Paperback: 621 Pages (2000)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$10.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575403012
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
She was born Norma Jeane but the world knew and loved her as Marilyn.Her life was one of unprecedented fame and private misery, her death a tragedy surrounded by mysteries.Drawing on first-hand interviews Anthony Summers offers both a classic biography and a shockingly revealing account of the screen goddess's relations with John and Robert Kennedy. 'The definitive story of the legend ...more convincing at every page - told with all the coldness of truth and the authority of the historian, but at the end of it we still love Marilyn' Maeve Binchy, Irish Times ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

1-0 out of 5 stars "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it"
Absolutely horrid book, rife with lies, hatred and innuendo.If this were the only Marilyn bio you ever read, you would think that MM slept her way to the top, slept her way to stay there and slept with anyone who was anyone - from discredited nobodies such as Robert Slatzer to the heads of organized crime to BOTH Kennedy brothers (I'm surprised he didn't throw in old Joe Kennedy for good measure).Summers utter disdain of Monroe is palpable throughout this poorly researched and written book.He ignores her talent, her extraordinary triumph over her background and her relentless quest for self-improvement and presents an utterly misogynistic self-serving viewpoint of a misunderstood woman.Disappointing at best.

5-0 out of 5 stars New Light
Great read, shed new light on a life I knew little about.After all the glamour, it was nice to read how she struggled like the rest of us.No matter how great you think someone's life is....she was fabulous!

2-0 out of 5 stars Goddess: bawdy and exploitive, full of contridictions
Throughout this biography Mr. Summers displaysa palpable yet subtle loathing of Norma Jeane/Marilyn. For example, (p 51 first edition)"....Marilyn used the weapon of her sexuality when she chose...."this statement reveals more about Mr. Summers' misogynistic perspective than anything about Marilyn. Female sexuality as a "weapon"? Weapons are meant to destroy enemies. Women have the right to utilize the power of their sexuality when and how they choose. (Sometimes, regrettably, to their own detriment.) That Mr. Summers even felt the need to make this and other similar statements shows his lack of respect for women and fear of women's sexuality.

The book is full of contradictions. Many times he indicates that Monroe didn't even know the power of her own sexuality; a contradictory picture of the sexually manipulative Marilyn he paints repeatedly as indicated in my first criticism.

It is a very sad fact that the casting couch exists at all. Summers provides an extensive list of Marilyn's of casting couch performances. The only support he provides for these allegations are through third & fourthpartyquotes purportedly by Marilyn! If anything, it is a horrible shame and twisted value system that required Marilyn/Norma Jeane to attend to the sexual needs of powerful men to achieve any form of success.The incomprehensible charisma she possessed and her unwavering commitment to her art form are ultimately responsible for her enduring legend/success... not "the weapon of her sexuality".

Although well researched, the book is full of hearsay. For example, (p 23 first edition) "....persistent reports from friends suggest Marilyn had numerous abortions..."The only "friend" Summers states as being "..perhaps the most reliable.." was Amy Greene, who said Marilyn had admitted to 12 abortions!Who are all these other "friends"? What was the context of the remarks, and when were they actually made? Who were these "other witnesses"? The many outrageous claims made by Summers are always predicated by "reports from friends" or "some have said", etc., followed by an example of what was said by one or two "friends" to backup his claims.

Marilyn/Norma Jeane suffered from endometriosis, anxiety disorders, depression, and a host of other debilitating conditions. It amazes me that she was able to function at all, let alone become the cultural icon she is.Another incessant theme of Mr. Summers' is that Norma Jeane/Marilyn fabricated stories of rape, sexual abuse, & molestation for attention. This is absurd. As a child, she was at the mercy of the adults entrusted with her care. It is generally undisputed that Marilyn was conflicted, confused, and disturbed to some degree. This is no doubt as a result of the conditions she endured growing up. Children lost in the system are very often assaulted, abused, neglected, and sexually molested. Any adult having survived a childhood of that nature could make similar statements, and no one would doubt the integrity of those statements. Marilyn was seeking validation and solace for the injustices she suffered as a child. Obviously, she was unable to heal these wounds or achieve any degree of real validation. Mr. Summers only attempts to invalidate the very real abuse she survived by questioning the integrity of her statements. Perhaps she needed to talk about it so much because no one wanted to believe her. To believe her would be to acknowledge that the ultimate "sex symbol" of the 20th Century was actually a victim of childhood sexual abuse. To do so would not serve society's need for such an icon. It would grant our icon a very human face. Any biographies on Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jeane should be scrutinized with great intensity. She continues to be exploited and questioned over and over again. In this book, once again, no one is listening to the woman behind the words. He treats her in death as she was treated in life, as his own little cash cow.As a society, we cannot perpetrate cruel interpretations of a real woman, a real adolescent, a real child; be it Marilyn Monroe or any other woman.

Neither DiMaggio or Miller would speak with Summers about Marilyn. These were two of the few men who perhaps came close to knowing the human behind the persona. Miller, of course, exploited Monroe in his own way. But we can respect his choice to refrain from speaking frankly about about Monroe (generally) to the countless biographers (for the most part) who made the request. DiMaggio remained faithful to and protective of her privacy. The memories of his experience with her as a woman ( and more importantly - a human being,) died with him.

Ultimately, our "Icon" so desperately needed to be treated humanely. She was met with resistance every step of the way. This book is just another step away from truly gaining an significant or new insight into the most private spaces of one of the most misunderstood figures in our collective conscious. Fascination cannot be dimmed by dissection and selfish or even unselfish interpretation of the "object" of our fascination. The human, Norma Jeane, has proven this. Ultimately, we will all draw our own conclusion. Obviously, Marilyn Monroe the icon succeeded in linking directly into our unconscious minds. It is the archetype, not the woman, we need to examine... from there, we can gain some insight into understanding how and why this one woman so greatly affected so many people in so many contradictory ways.The secret lies within ourselves, not the continual bawdy exploitative exploration of a single human life. This is not the difinitive biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars Goddess is simply the best
this is the best book written about Marilyn Monroe. It goes into great detail. Anthony Summers did a TON of research and its very evident. The only complaint I have about this book is that I DO NOT think he should have included the post autopsy photo of Marilyn. This book is a great read and will keep you interested throughout!

WOW! As an avid reader of Marilyn Monroe books I have finally stumbled across the most in-depth and personal account of this truly unique woman. I finished this book in 3 days! It's an absolute page turner and you are sure to discover many things that will shock you. By the end of the book I was emotionally attached to Marilyn. The very last chapters will leave you in desperate longing to help Marilyn, yet in utter frustration with her and everyone in her life. Why such a tragic ending for an immaculate screen goddess? The real tragedy is that she never realized the consequences of her actions. Her lifestyle- non-stop drugs & sexual promiscuity- destroyed any ounce of hope & future that was awaiting her. This book teaches many lessons and unfortunately, the most beautiful woman in the world lost her life in the process. Then there's the question of her death being a murder. - I hope that one day the truth comes out so that dignity and respect can finally be given to woman who was stripped of everything during her lifetime, but her soul. *A Hollywood drama till the very end.*

RIP NJ ... Read more

13. The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe
by Donald H. Wolfe
Hardcover: 416 Pages (1998-11-04)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$14.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688162886
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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With explosive new revelations concerning the "NationalSecurity Matter" that led to the cover-up of her murder, The LastDays of Marilyn Monroe is a page-turning account of one of themost shocking crimes of the century. Donald H. Wolfe meticulouslychronicles her final days, names the killer, documents the mode ofdeath, and identifies those who orchestrated the cover-up. The piecesof the puzzle regarding Monroe's mysterious death finally lock inplace with the testimony of the remaining two key witnesses who havecome forward for the first time.

Assistant District Attorney JohnMiner, present at the autopsy, reveals his secret interview withDr. Ralph Greenson, Monroe's psychiatrist. He also explains whyMarilyn Monroe was a homicide victim, and why he is calling for a newinvestigation and the exhumation of her body.

Newly discovered CIAand FBI files document the dark secret in Marilyn's relationship withthe Kennedys, the truth behind her break-up with the President, theshocking facts about the star's last weekend at Cal-Neva, and the manybizarre events that took place at Marilyn's home the day she died.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars Careful, Nuanced, Poetic, Superb
The author has written a carefully researched, artistically tight, nuanced, poignant, almost poetic portrait of America's only real goddess. It crackles with textured insights, beautifully written prose, hard-nosed investigative briefs, and a sensitivity for a precarious mythical life lived always just over the edge. The story of Marilyn's life is interwoven and contrasted with that of the Kennedy's making the structure a perfect counter-pose -- literary and otherwise -- and foil for America's so-called "classless society."

If there has ever been a true 20th Century waif in American society, Marilyn Monroe was one. She grew up shuttled from orphanage to orphanage, to relatives and neighbors until she was old enough to be married off. Her mother was certifiably insane and throughout her life "Norma Jean" was an insecure, frightened, rudderless boat drifting ever closer towards life's most precipitous and dangerous waterfalls.

At first it seemed that she would make it around or even over the precipice; that she would not only survive, but would also thrive and live a life that would redeem and save her from her poor, lonely and embarrassing upbringing. It seemed that her natural beauty alone would be the trump card that would set her free and turn her private nightmare into a Cinderella story for the ages. However, this was not to be. After a brief modeling career and an equally brief movie career, nature conspired with the upper class of America's "classless society" to play a cruel trick on her: She met the Kennedy clan, the brothers and others. And they used her like a "dish rag," passing her between them like a whore and then mocked her talents and her station in life. Finished with her, they then tried to toss her out, but she wasn't going for it. With few cards left to play, she chose the very one that would get her killed: She threatened to blackmail the Kennedy's. Somewhere in the haze of it all -- she was wired-tapped by both the FBI and the mob, had a "little red book," a diary of dark state secrets: Was it an overdose, an accident or murder? -- no matter, she died a pre-ordained, lonely and ignominious death.

How it happened, in retrospect, seems almost irrelevant and surely anticlimactic. The script for her life and death had already been written in the wind. It is a monumental Shakespearean tragedy, and Donald H. Wolfe has captured all of its essences perfectly. Compact, unsentimental, well-researched and sensitive, Wolfe's keen insights and sensibility matched the size of his task. And the size of this quintessentially American existential drama, were large indeed.

If a version of Marilyn's life is ever to be made into a movie, this is the version I want to see. Five Stars

5-0 out of 5 stars A Grain Of Salt
This is a pretty good bio, but it throws in every conspiracy but the kitchen sink. Why do some FBI files read like they were made up? Why have no tapes of Kennedy throwing her around surfaced? Why, since she was desperate for a child, would she have an abortion before she died? I am skeptical of the whole "Lost Weekend" claim that she was raped by Giancana and Sinatra to save the Kennedys. I'm no Kennedy fan, but as drugged up as she usually was, and as disturbed, isn't it possible she accidentally died, maybe from an enema? She was known to get drugs into her system as quickly as possible, including dumping capsules into champagne. Book relies heavily on people who have no proof of anything other than their word. I am not totally dissing the book, read it if you're interested in MM, but remember anyone can make up something to get in a book, especially when all the participants are dead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marilyn Was Murdered!
I'm so tired of people saying that Marilyn killed herself, NOT TRUE! I know she has had problems, but the facts of the events that night totally rule out any suicide! This book is a great TRUE story about what happened the night she was murdered. Buy, you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome
very good, well written and it has an amazing amount of info. I love this book!

1-0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE CRAP
Every page in this book is rediculous. Try and find a credible source for many of the claims made in this Book...i dare you to.
I have never, in all my years of researching Marilyn, read such horrible falsehoods and flights of fantasy than dished up by Donald Wolfe.
It doesn't really matter because much of what Wolfe calls "evidence" is just complete nonsense. His sources include such con-people as Robert Slatzer and Jeanne Carmen and, most laughable, Marilyn's housekeeper's former son-in-law and handy man who suddenly claims "he saw it ALL"....what ALL entails is a convoluted mess of mystery sources and second hand accounts that don't amount to a hill of beans. ... Read more

14. The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe: The Shocking True Story
by Keith Badman
Hardcover: 448 Pages (2010-09-25)
-- used & new: US$77.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1906779279
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Editorial Review

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Marilyn Monroe was a movie legend, starring in films such as The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot and, in later years, The Misfits, with Clark Gable. In 1962, this beautiful star died, legend has it from suicide. There have been many takes on the life of Marilyn Monroe but in this exceptional, highly-surprising, painstakingly researched book, Keith Badman has uncovered long-lost (or previously unseen) receipts, invoices, cuttings, files, interviews, eye-witness accounts, as well as notes that reveal the details of Marilyn Monroe's last days, and how the reality of her last two years has never fully been told.After five years of highly-meticulous research, Badman is now able to reveal the unequivocal truth about how she died and the cover-up that ensued, as well as the reality behind her rumoured 1962 remarriage to Joe DiMaggio, her final (ultimately unfinished) movie, Something's Got To Give, her jealousy of film legend, Elizabeth Taylor, her romance with the singer, Frank Sinatra, the night she sang for JFK, her deplorable July 1962 weekend at Sinatra's Cal-Neva lodge, how she was fleeced, financially by some of her supposed best-friends, her final week alive (who she saw, where she went, who she spoke to) and her well-known, "Say goodbye to the President," farewell message, as well as much, much more, including her time with John and Bobby Kennedy. Using private, previously unpublished itineraries and original eye-witness accounts, Badman is able to make public, in hard-core detail, just how deeply she was involved with them and reveal the precise date of Marilyn's very first encounter with the President, thus ending the five-decade-old mystery.Badman reveals Marilyn as never seen before; the result, a deluge of stories and facts that even some of Monroe's most die-hard fan will be unaware of. For those who think they know all about her concluding years, be prepared to think again. About the Author Keith Badman is the author of eight, highly-acclaimed biographies. Accolades for his work include...The Beatles After The Break-Up (1999): "An awesome piece of scholarship...a bible," (New Musical Express); The Beatles Off The Record (2000): "Compared with some of The Beatles' later selective and polished or faulty and fading memories, this is much nearer the truth," (The Beatles' official biographer, Hunter Davies); The Beach Boys - The Definitive Diary Of America's Greatest Band On Stage And In The Studio (2004) ...Endorsed by Beach Boys genius, Brian Wilson, "Badman's book is a fine piece of work, painstakingly researched and compiled...This is surely to become the pre-eminent guide to one of music's most influential bands...Badman's book ranks among the very best." (Website Nightmares.com). ... Read more

15. My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of Marilyn Monroe
by Mona Miracle
Paperback: 280 Pages (2003-04-23)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595276717
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Challenging sensational falsehoods, Berniece and Mona present the only authorized book about Marilyn Monroe on the shelves.

“Berniece Miracle finally opens up her family album — and translates an American legend into flesh and blood...MY SISTER MARILYN is a big hug across the decades to a sweet, talented, loving girl.”—Life Magazine

“...a highly literate, readable account.”—The Bookwatch

“MY SISTER MARILYN tells an unfamiliar story...this book is really different.”—Time Out ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS BOOK!
I love, love, LOVE this book.A must have for any Marilyn fan!A view from the only family member of Marilyn's (besides her mother).A truly unique look into her life!Also, its obvious how much Marilyn adored her sister and niece!Once again, showing how much she longed to be loved.Gives alot of background on Marilyn's parents (well at least the man listed on her birth certficate). It also includes pictures I had never seen before, espically of Norma Jean in her pre-Marilyn days. A delightful read until the very end!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended memoir for Marilyn fans
This book is a must for Marilyn Monroe fans and the truth behind the stories around Marilyn's relationship with her sister Bernice Baker Miracle. There are no "sensational" revelations in here, no juicy gossip about Marilyn's celebrity friends, instead you find a beautiful generous woman who guarded her family and their privacy fiercely.This book makes it clear - there were two Marilyn's - the one her family knew and the one she put on display for the public and her staff, and she kept them separate to retain her sanity in the whirlwind the press and the fans made around here when she was in public as her fame grew.

After reading this I more convinced than ever that Marilyn's was an accidental death, and anyone who is really interested in Marilyn should read this book. You won't learn everything there is to know about Norma Jeane/Marilyn from reading it, but you'll learn why she had genuine fears regarding her mother and where the insecurity and shyness of her youth came from. This should be an essential reference for anyone writing a biography on Marilyn and I'm glad that Bernice finally told her story in this easy to read but beautiful memoir.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short and Sincere
The picture on the cover is worth a thousand words. The two women could be fraternal twins. They look strikingly modern despite their 1950's bikinis and hair dos. Your eye goes right to Marilyn. Her head is up. She is striving to be taller, as she actually is, on a less than level beach. Marilyn looks up and right at you through the camera. Bernice tilts her head slightly down, shyly looking slightly off camera.Both are fresh and young. They appear open and naïve and represent the energy, innocence and can-do attitude of post-war America.

It took a long time for Bernice to emerge from the shadows and tell her sister's story. The Miracle family never made a secondary career or hobby off Marilyn's fame. It is true to form that Bernice chose her daughter to write this and not a highly stylized ghost writer.This seems to be the Miracle's first and only foray into that world.

Reading between the lines of this and other sources, you can see how Marilyn loved Bernice as her only living and reachable kin. Bernice has so successfully dodged the spotlight that in searching the internet, I could find no hint of whether she is still living or not.I did find Mona Rae, who seems to be enjoying her life as a school librarian.

There are no great revelations here, maybe there were in 1994 when it was written. Some of the family photos are great - I love the grandmother's hat! This is a simple telling of the Marilyn story from her sister and niece who loved her very deeply. It is an enjoyable read although it's a sad story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful item to own
I am so pleased about my purchase. The service was excellent and the book was in excellent condition. Thank you for this wonderful addition to my collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars great
This is a great book.I never knew Marilyn wrote a autobiography.I couldn't put it down!Highly recommended. ... Read more

16. Marilyn Monroe 2011 FACES Square 12X12 Wall (Multilingual Edition)
by BrownTrout Publishers Inc
Calendar: 24 Pages (2010-06-28)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$9.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1421665298
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Glamorous, gorgeous, and star-crossed, this blond bombshell is famous for her sexy walk, a distinguished acting career, and of course her tumultuous personal life. Often stealing the show, even in minor roles, Marilyn Monroe starred alongside the likes of Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Clarke Gable, who once said, "She makes a man proud to be a man." This magnificent wall calendar is a loving tribute to the incomparable Marilyn Monroe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Marilyb Monroe 2011 faces
The Marilyb Monroe Calendar has wonderful and rare photos, which is a treasure to preserve.

5-0 out of 5 stars World's most beautiful woman with monthly changes
What is there to say?

I have had a Mirilyn Monroe Claenday on my garage wall for the past 25 years. It's a shame we never met, I think I could have become endeared to her. All she ever needed was a normal guy and not the men that use her up all gone............

5-0 out of 5 stars just what I needed :)
When I realized my MM2009 calender was no longer needed I was kinda sad lol, but I found this one for an excellent price! & it goes perfectly w/ my MM theme. I'm very pleased with this purchase and would recommend it to others!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Calendar
This calendar is beautifu1 and the price great.The quality of the paper is good, the pictures are elegant and some we had not seen before.A definite best X-Mas gift!Also came well packaged and in pristine condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars My life truly sucks........
but with Marilyn at least it looks like it's going to be a great year. ... Read more

17. The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe
by Sarah Churchwell
Paperback: 384 Pages (2005-12-27)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$9.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312425651
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

There are many Marilyns: sex goddess and innocent child, crafty manipulator and dumb blonde, liberated woman and tragic loner. The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe reviews the unreliable and unverifiable--but highly significant--stories that have framed this Hollywood legend, all the while revealing the meanings behind the American myths that have made Marilyn what she is today.
In incisive and passionate prose, cultural critic Sarah Churchwell uncovers the shame, belittlement, and anxiety that we bring to the story of a woman we supposedly adore and, in the process, rescues a Marilyn Monroe who is far more complicated and credible than the one we think we know.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Smartest Dumb Blonde
First of all let me start by saying that Marilyn Monroe was NO dumb blonde. She wasn't a blonde (naturally) and she was definitely NOT dumb. Marilyn had a great skill, a unique blend of talents and a good sense of business. What she appeared as on-screen was not who Monroe REALLY was. In fact, she had almost nothing in common with the women she portrayed in her films (except in "The Misfits" as Rosalyn Taber which her third husband, Arthur Miller, wrote for her).In "The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe", which is exactly what she had, when one part of her life ended, another began and sometimes the intermingled with each other at the same time. Sarah Churchwell tells us all about Marilyn's many lives and above all she restores Marilyn's humanity, which had been stripped from her, in her life and after her death. Ms. Churchwell explains that Marilyn wasn't just one woman emotionally and spiritually, she was Norma Jean who "invented" Marilyn Monroe. But Marilyn Monroe was only one of many "lives" Norma Jean had fashioned to become glamorous, recognized, loved and admired but most of all to protect herself. Marilyn Monroe was something in which Norma Jean could hide and somehow lessen the immense pain of her childhood, as well as her adult life. Sarah Churchwell starts at the beginning of Norma Jean's life and touches on what many other books about Monroe do not- Marilyn's relationship with her mother. Gladys Pearl Monroe was her mother and she really did love Norma Jean, but she was too mentally ill to care for her, this does not mean Gladys didn't try, she did, but succumbed to severe mental disturbance when Norma Jean was nine and was taken to a sanitarium for most of the rest of her life. However, Marilyn always took care of Gladys' care and occasionally went to see her. Much is to be learned in this book about Marilyn Monroe, but most of all, there wasn't just the one Marilyn Monroe life that Marilyn Monroe lived. There were many. Maybe too many for Marilyn to grasp.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
i purchased this item & was told it was new-it was not,pages had black magic marker on them & cover was dirty & worn-very very dissappointed & definetly would not recommend & have told everyone I know & then some just the same.

3-0 out of 5 stars Perplexingbut Interesting Overview of Marylin's Life and Various Biographies
I found this book perplexing. The author attempts a 'scholarly' critique of Marilyn's life by reviewing segments of it using the various, well-known biographies of MM. If you are looking for conclusions--this really doesn't resolve much of anything about the questions of Marilyn's relationships, her life, or her passing. At times it is quite detailed, but the overall feeling I have of this book is comparing what Spoto, Leaming, Wolfe, Summer, Guiles, Mailer, Solotow, or Pepitone or (fill in the blank) ______ said about specific incidents in Marilyn's life. Whereas one author may give an account of an incident, such as the Cal-Neva weekend, another author may have a different version or dismiss it entirely. Also, the psychological evaluations by the author are interesting, but purely her own.

The overall attempt to group and classify this information is admirable, but the book bogs down in too much detail, unresolved, and an unsettling and frustrating sense of jumping back and forth somewhat in time as Marilyn's life and relationships are discussed. A book for the avid Marilyn aficionado, but if you are looking for a well rounded biography of Miss Monroe, there are several other excellent ones to choose from. I rated this 3 stars for the effort involved, but it fell short with the lack of conclusions -- even if, perhaps, that was the point of this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars I'll be sure to read all those other Marilyn biographies...
This book is awful, all she does is rehash what others have said. She is preoccupied with name dropping other (better) Marilyn biographers and it becomes obvious that you are better off reading their versions. Overall, muddled and nearly unreadable. I find it laughable that she is a literature professor- it reads just like a dry and unimaginative thesis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Norma Jeane WAS Marilyn Monroe

A book about other books may not sound like a desirable, let alone obvious, choice for someone looking for a biography of Marilyn Monroe.

And yet, surprisingly (or not), this may be one of the very best - certainly one of the most comprehensive - books on MM so far.

»Marilyn Monroe«, the icon (as the obnoxious byword goes), is largely a construct.
I think we all know that, more or less.

But just to what extent she - and not just her public persona, but also her own views of herself - was a construct, and what drove her, that is the question.

In this book, Sarah Churchwell dissects the traditional - very deceptive and largely false - dichotomy between »Norma Jeane« (the quasi-orphan, the martyr) and »Marilyn Monroe« (the glamour »icon« and, ultimately, the martyr again), and proves it to be fallacious.
She analyses the views (and ulterior constructs) of each major biographer of the »icon« - and in doing that, by identifying and thus removing, as it were, the lens that each biographer used, she inevitably presents us with flashes of the »real« Norma Jeane/Marilyn.

An icon is, by definition, an IMAGE.
And Norma Jeane/MM, as I understand her, really saw herself largely AS an image - through the eyes of others.
(One may argue that, in the absence of a healthy childhood and early adolescence, she never outgrew the self-imaging through the eyes of the others that is typical of prepubescents and a natural stage of early development. Ironically - only not really - it was precisely this dysfunctional, »iconic« view of herself what attracted the gaze of others and brought her fame.
N.B. At this point, I could include some very a propos ramblingsabout her function as an embodiment of the Jungian anima... but I know better. ;)

Which is why Norma Jeane/Marilyn knew how to exploit the emerging public image of her. She knew what the public wanted or needed to hear, in order to reinforce her image. (Personally, I think she did this on a more intuitive, almost instinctive level than as a result of some premeditated »strategy«.)
And which is why, for example, the horror stories about her childhood, including the alleged rapes, may not have been entirely true to fact.
Nor is there any evidence of the 14 (fourteen) abortions that not only Norman Mailer attributed to her (and later admitted it was his own invention), but she is claimed to have had spread the rumour herself.

For those who already have a definite opinion on MM, either positive or negative, this - as you can imagine - is probably not the most desirable of books. It does nothing to reinforce any of the stereotypical images of her.

For those who are looking for insight into the »real« Norma Jeane/Marilyn (and yes, it WAS essentially the same person, as Churchwell successfully proves), it's probably the best - certainly the safest - bet.

Sarah Churchwell is not infatuated with the subject of her book, nor has she an ax to grind. This makes her probably the perfect biographer, certainly in the eyes of a reader who is himself/herself reasonably impartial towards the subject.
And for a scholarly book, she uses a refreshingly direct and effective language, which is not the least of her merits as a writer.
(I do have a few quibbles regarding certain assertions or rhetorical questions - one such example is to be found on p. 263 - but that is because I happen to have a strong dislike for generalisation in matters where, in reality,there are no "self-evident" answers, as the questions imply. Such faults, however tiny, could have a potentially debilitating effect on the overall strength of the argument.)

In short, this is a »he said, she said« book - which, by that very virtue, succeeds in presenting credible glimpses of a humanly complex being embedded in the »icon«.

I, for one, have certainly learned more about MM from this book than from all the others combined (with the possible exception of Michelle Morgan's Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, which is an entirely different kind of work).

... Read more

18. Marilyn Monroe: Fragments
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-10-14)
-- used & new: US$23.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007395345
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Product Description
Through a series of never-before-published letters and diaries, as well as some rare photographs, Fragments explores the life and mind of an icon, Marilyn Monroe. A unique look into the private thoughts and reflections of one of Hollywood's brightest and most tragic stars.Marilyn Monroe lived the Hollywood dream. Born into a difficult family situation, subjected to foster care and claims of illegitimacy, Norma Jean Baker managed to rise from her humble upbringing to international stardom with classic comic performances in Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and many others.But the beautiful and charismatic Monroe was haunted by illness and psychological distress. After her unexpected death by overdose, Monroe has become one of the most intriguing and most beloved of Hollywood's fallen stars.Fragments offers a sensitive and personal insight into the mysterious and tragic Marilyn Monroe through never-before-seen letters and documents, revealing the woman behind the legend. ... Read more

19. Marilyn Monroe Confidential: An Intimate Personal Account
by Lena Pepitone, William Stadiem
 Hardcover: 251 Pages (1979-05-29)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$104.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067124289X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read of Marilyn
All I could say is that I have read a few books about Marilyn,but if you are a fan this is a MUSTto buy, Lena Pepitone makes you go back in time to the years she was with Marilyn living in New York and through her last years although she talks alot of when Marilyn was a starlet and her early days in Hollywood,Marilyn was a very lonely person it is a very sad book, when I got to the last page I cried, Lena gives lots of details of how Marilyn lived,all she wanted was to make people happy ,her marriage with Arthur Miller how unhappy she was,and how she had a poster of Joe DiMaggio and sang to him,how she wanted Frank Sinatra to marry her, which never happened.Great book I truly recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars The lowdown on a Fifties High Flyer: Marilyn Monroe
OK, so we're all celebrity-mad these days, and even a 1950's actress like Marilyn Monroe, whose life, granted, was mysterious and controversial; and whose death was even more so, cannot enjoy the privacy of the grave.For, among numerous books,theories, television treatments, etc.,there was this book, by Lena Pepitone, her former personal maid and wardrobe mistress.And what a chronicle of popped buttons and burst zippers it is.

But let's be fair."Marilyn Monroe Confidential" is, at the very least, professionally written.For which, I suppose, we can thank William Stadiem, the as-told-to. The book's lucid, reasonably well-organized, and it coheres.Furthermore, considering its gamy reputation, it treats its subject with respect and affection.And there are a couple of nuggets in it that were fresh way back when.

But there are problems.Pepitone lived in New York, and Monroe in California.The most important events in Monroe's life-- the making of the movies-- happened in Hollywood, or on location.So this is hearsay about the most important side of Monroe's short, unhappy life.Furthermore, as people hardly ever study acting, or double-date, with their maids, we're pretty much just getting alleged girl talk for anything that happened when Monroe was out of the house.

What happened with Yves Montand, Monroe's co-star in Let's Make Love ? People have been wondering about that for years.Pepitone says Marilyn told her they did. What happened with Lee and Paula Strasberg, heavyweight acting coaches who were to make Monroe a "serious dramatic actress?"All we know is what Pepitone says Marilyn said.How about the two famous husbands, baseball player Joe Di Maggio, playwrightArthur Miller.Ditto.Frank Sinatra, Monroe's most famous attested-to affair?Ditto.The brothers John and Robert Kennedy, equally famous 1960's President and Attorney General of the United States, whom, we know, did not meet good ends? Ditto.And then, for good measure, there's Laurence Olivier, with whom Monroe made The Prince and the Showgirl.Ditto.

All we can know is what Pepitone says Monroe told her. Finally, what happened at the dismal, controversial end, Monroe's ambiguous suicide, at age 37, in Los Angeles?Pepitone was 3,000 miles away, in New York, and had always been so.

Mind you, this is not to accuse Pepitone of holding back, or dishonesty.But the perspective of a personal maid is not the most useful one when it comes to the star of The Seven Year Itch;Some Like It Hot;Bus Stop, and other films that lit up the dreary Eisenhower Fifties with MM's special incandescence.

An even more serious problem is the fact that Pepitone only came to work for Monroe when the great star was already on her long mental-emotional slide down, after the marriage to Miller had begun to sour.Pepitone paints an horrific picture( in which other sources concur) of a woman who is no longer functional.MM is addicted to a wide variety of pills, Bloody Marys, and Piper Heidseck Champagne.Pepitone meets the great star in a state of total, filthy nudity, which we soon learn is her normal state when she's at home, which is her normal state, too.Though, occasionally, we're told, she puts on a white terry cloth robe.

Pepitone says,"Her surroundings certainly weren't anything to get excited about.The large living room where we sat was a far cry from "House Beautiful."It seemed half-finished, half-furnished, and reminded me of a hotel.There was a white piano, some nondescript white sofas, and wall-to-wall carpeting marred by many stains.

"Marilyn's bedroom was definitely not a queen's chamber.In fact, it was all queen-sized bed and little more.The room itself was tiny.The bed had no headboard.The only other furniture was a rickety gray nightstand with a lamp, a small matching bureau, a little record player on the floor, and a black telephone by the bed, also on the floor."

Pepitone "never saw Marilyn read a book or newspaper.She didn't own a television, never listened to the radio.Marilyn had few interests.She spent most of her time in her little bedroom, sleeping, looking at herself in the mirrors, drinking Bloody Marys and Champagne....Marilyn didn't have much to say to her husband, she had even less to say to anyone else.She didn't seem to have any real friends of her own."

We already know she was none too fond of water in those last years: Bloomingdales' saleswomen often complained of her smell.Her hair was a mess.She wore her clothes without underwear, as most of us know, and so tight that buttons and zippers were always at risk, giving Pepitone enough work to keep her job.

Does all this distressing information help you to understand how the world's favorite blond could still uncork remarkable performances?Then you will love the crucial event of maid and mistress's early relationship.

"The trouble started when Marilyn decided, on a whim, that she wanted all her blouse collars heavily starched like the collars on men's shirts.I tried to convince her that a soft collar, which lay flat, was more feminine, more flattering to her, but she insisted on having her way.When I returned hours later, arms full of freshly starched and ironed blouses, Marilyn ordered me to wait.She tried on each blouse in turn, complained that its collar wasn't stiff enough, and then threw it into a pile of crumpled laundry on the floor.My heart sank as I saw all my hard work destroyed."

Angry words followed, and then Marilyn "flew into a blind rage, tore all the buttons off the blouse she had on, and tried to rip off the entire collar.Then she hurled the tattered blouse in my face.'There, take your goddamn soft collar.'"

Well, if tales from the laundry room are what you're looking for...

3-0 out of 5 stars My Review
I thought this is book was pretty good but I find some things in the book hard to belive. This is the first book I have read about Marilyn Monroe so I can't compare to any other book. But just like in the t.v. movie "Norma Jean and Marilyn", I don't think everything that they say is true.

3-0 out of 5 stars Overblown account of marilyn..
This is certainly an interesting Book...painting marilyn as aneurotic,spoiled,champagne swilling slob...and also as a sweet, misunderstood and lonely woman.
At it's worst this book recounts marilyn's Life (standard stuff) and claims that marilyn gave birth to a baby boy....at it's best it gives a clear picture of marilyn's marriage to Arthur Miller, her apparent lack of real friendships and a look at the reality of marilyn's day to day Life.
There are also revealing glimpses of marilyn's thoughts about her career and herself.
This would make a hell of a movie!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Hard to take seriously
This is an interesting book indeed.Unfortunately I find most of what's written very hard to believe.The way Pepitone describes Monroe goes against almost everything else that has ever been written about her.The book paints her as a lazy, dumb, immature and half crazy child.I kept an open mind while reading it but when the author claimed that Monroe had a child in her early teens I took the rest of the book with a grain of salt.If you don't really care about how accurate the content is then go ahead and read it to get a good chuckle if nothing else.Otherwise, I wouldn't bother. ... Read more

20. Marilyn Monroe
by Graphique de France
Calendar: Pages (2010-08-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$8.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767163966
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
She personifies Hollywood glamour with her beauty, sensuality & effervescence. Something irresistible about her combination of innocence & innate sensuousness. Her spirit is poignantly revealed in this striking collection of photos ... Read more

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