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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

 

 

My Story - Marilyn Monroeghost written by Ben Hech 

Forward by Joshua Greene

 

I was fortunate enough to buy this book in L.A. and have it signed in person by Joshua Greene. It's a beautiful book to own, with some of the most wonderful photographs taken by Milton Greene of Marilyn.  

It's believed that Ben Hecht worked in collaboration with Marilyn to produce her autobiography, however this was abandoned by Marilyn. Hecht edited the manuscripts and published the book over a decade after Marilyn's death.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, though I personally have some doubts as to how much of this is authentically Marilyn's voice but none the less would urge any Marilyn fan to add this to their collection!

 

Marilyn Monroe - The Last Months

told by Eunice Murray with Rose Shade (a relative of Murray's)

 This book was one of my most exciting finds - I brought it from a little secondhand book shop for just £2! I had been looking for it for years! It's the story of Marilyn's last months from the perspective of her housekeeper Eunice Murray. 

To me - this is probably one of the most controversial Marilyn books depending on your view of Murray (who will be featured shortly in Influential People) this is an absolute MUST for any serious student of Marilyn. It's a 157 page paperback which was published in 1975 by Pyramid Books ~ New York. It's very difficult to get hold of this book but it can be found occasionally on Ebay and like I discovered - in secondhand book shops etc. There are seven beautiful black and white photos taken of Marilyn by Alan Grant in her Brentwood home.

 

Conversations with Marilyn

by W.J. Weatherby 

Published in 1976 by Sphere Books, this is a record of conversations and observations that took place between Marilyn and the journalist W.J Weatherby from 1960 until Marilyn's death in 1962. 

Weatherby writes in a style that makes you feel as if you were there, privy to these snatches of time, these almost confessional glimpses of Marilyn, as if she is speaking directly to the reader and you are being taken into her intimate circle of friends. Though I would point out - in a similar vein to My Story, we are told Marilyn said these things but there is no proof, we have to make a judgement call. This book constantly pops up on Ebay for just a few pounds - definitely worth reading and adding to your collection!

             

The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe

by Sarah Churchwell

Published in 2004 with Granta Books, The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe is an analysis of the myth and the person. An academically written piece, I would strongly advise anyone reading this to keep a dictionary close to hand! unless of course you have a PhD in complicated words and terms! 

It is refreshing however, to see Marilyn taken seriously as a subject of worthwhile, significant and valuable study. Dr Sarah Churchwell is Senior Lecturer in American Literature at the University of East Anglia. As with all my books, I've read this several time and would most definitely recommend it - but not until you have read read a couple of regular biographies - I think you need a basic understanding of Marilyn's life before you attempt this book.

Marilyn

by Jay Harrison 

This is a real gem of  a book! Published in 1992 by Coombe Books for Parragon books, it's packed with a glorious 191 pages of huge photos of Marilyn in colour and black and white. I bought this book from new and although I believe you can get it on the internet but it doesn't seem to come up that often on eBay! It's approx 12 in wide by 14 in long and contains a potted biography of Norma Jeane to Marilyn, but this book is worth having for the photos rather than the text. If you haven't already got it and you see it - GRAB IT! you won't regret it!

The Complete Marilyn Monroe

by Adam Victor             

An absolute must for the serious Marilyn scholar. This book was published in 1999 and contains 334 pages of information about Marilyn, from the people in her life, to the places she lived, films she made and everything that came after - Marilyn movies, books etc up to 1999. The book includes some fabulous photos and is a first port of call for anyone that needs to know anything about Marilyn!