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Stormin Norman was on a British radio show called Desert Island Discs once That s a show where you choose 8 gramophone records as they quaintly say to take with you to a notional desert island on which you have been abandoned Norman stated up front that he didn t really like music so he just picked 8 tunes which reminded him of his six wives and two significant others What a tosser Anyway, Norman s unabashed drool of a book makes it clear that he would have liked to slot Marilyn in somewhere between Wife No 4 and Wife No 5 But some little fishies just didn t swim into his big craw Contemplating Marilyn s life character is guaranteed to make me pontificate tediously about the common yet weird disjunction between outer aspect and inner reality with which we so often are jarringly confronted in this life The very Marilynity of Marilyn on screen and in photos gives even the casual observer the idea that it just doesn t get any better than this But of course, behind the effortless cartoony sexy fun were 63 takes, ten nervous breakdowns, not much love, and enough antidepressants to trade for a 1953 tan and cream Studebaker saloon Always thought of myself as a bit of a failureFor never reading anything else by Norman MailureExcept the Executioner s SongWhich was really long. My first book about Marilyn Monroe My fascination started with my favorite movie of hers which is Bus Stop I always felt a bit of envy over her beauty but after learning and reading about her, I know that her private life was tortured and being beautiful was a far cry from being happy Beauty is skin deep but happiness and who you are as a person hopefully runs deeper and is important Marilyn s intense insecurity and need for love struck a cord in me because I have dealt with the same issues, hence the fascination perhaps. Lots of surprising inside info about Marilyn More substance to her than I thought. The great Mr Mailer 1923 to 2007 Novelist, essayist, journalist co founder of the Village Voice , columnist, poet and playwright innovator of New Journalism He also acted and directed in films He won two Pulitzer prizes My favourite novels would have to be his blockbuster debut The Naked The Dead 1948 and The Executioner s Song 1979 He published how many books I have on my shelf 27, and am saddened that he wont publish again For christmas my wife gave me Marilyn , a book of his I had never bothered with apparently it is amongst one of his highest selling works These days I think Mailer is considered unfashionable, a great pity as the great man might say but I think he could care less However I ll focus on Marilyn Arthur Miller her third husband , was scathing of the work, but in the biography Mailer or less states that Miller s reputation rests on Death Of A Salesman and describes him as having a workmanlike style, limited lyrical gifts and no capacity for intellectual shock Miller might have felt wounded Published in 1973, Monroe 1926 1962, 36 when she died was not a prolific actress, and as a lover of film I would only count as her best films Billy Wilder s The Seven Year Itch 1955 and Some Like It Hot 1959 although the John Huston directed Arthur Miller scripted The Misfits 1961 isn t without interest I found the book a real page turner, easy to read, and interesting because of Mailer he doesn t just regurgitate details from interviews, he tries to get into her possible state of mind in key points of her life My only criticism would be that it feels a bit thrown together , lacks the usual Mailer polish I recommend it as I was not thinking I would find the book particularly interesting, as I ve come across most details about Monroe before I find the sarcastic criticism of the book, mainly the comments along the lines of Mailer wanting to bed her, bone her, salivating after her hilarious, because I love the way Mailer talks about sex in all his books and I think it is this aspect of his writing that momentarily has labelled him unfashionable but times will change again. I read this book when it came out in 1973.and I must be honest I bought it for the photos of Marilyn Hey, I was 21 years old.The book itself is called A Novel Biography and that sort of sums it up You get fantasy, facts, wishes, and maybes all in one, with the book concluding that Marilyn was assassinated by shadowy government forces The story of Marilyn was and is actually an incredibly sad one A type of success that still makes it possible to say Marilyn with no other other name attached and everyone knows who you mean This and she died in 1962 almost 40 years so far as I can think right now only Elvis and she had that kind of impact The very success and the beauty it was founded on seem to also have destroyed her She should be remembered and her story is one worth noting, sadly this particular book novel is a sort of mixed bag I d say read it as fiction or possibly a fictionalized story It s interesting anything about Marilyn tends to be but maybe check your facts in a couple of places Mailer was obsessed with Marilyn Unfortunately for him, he was refused a meeting with her on one occasion, and missed his opportunity on the second This book is like stream of consciousness elevating a woman to a Goddess He is bitter, he is sweet, he is not quite right in the head. .FREE ☹ Marilyn ☣ An Extraordinary Biography Of The Legendary Screen Star Marilyn Monroe Originally Published In By Norman Mailer, One Of America S Most Important Writers Of The Second Half Of The Twentieth Century Mailer, The Winner Of Two Pullitzer Prizes, Was The First Writer To Explore The Relationship Between Monroe And Bobby Kennedy When First Published, This Book Was The Subject Of Time And Life Magazine Cover Stories, Was On The New York Times Bestseller List And Became A Full Selection Of The Book Of The Month Club I have heard of Norman Mailer but have never read anything by him until now His style of writing at least for this book can be described as such Why say something in a few words, when a few hundred could do The writing in this book is very flowery, to the point of being down right annoying He even, on occasion, refers to himself in the third person All in all, if you like me don t know much about Marilyn Monroe, I would suggest starting with a different biography This one will just frustrate you. I don t think that this is really a proper biography Instead it is a collection of titbits about Marilyn s life taken from a range of biographies and what Mailer terms factoids a bizarre mixture of tabloid fancy and fact He admits to most of the facts of the book as based upon Fred Guiles book Norma Jean However, Mailer makes the reader well aware of the smoke and mirrors effects of putting together someone s life, especially someone as complicated as Marilyn Monroe Indeed, the book does two things simultaneously firstly it portrays her complexities, her contradictions, hopes and fears whilst at the same time it keeps you guessing as to what really happened and leaves you to come to your own conclusions.What makes this book a sumptuous experience is the pictures and interestingly, these were to be the main feature of the book following an exhibition of them MARILYN MONROE The Legend and the Truth with a commentary written by Mailer This commentary appears to have expanded in the process of being written and the book offers two chronologies of her life, one in pictures and one in words.I do feel I know about the woman now, especially her difficult childhood but I found Mailer s style of writing somewhat pretentious In places, hugely grand with a psychoanalytic bent, in others a little cruel in the depictions of her lack of education and cultural awareness However, I wouldn t want to read a sanitised saccharine version of her life and it is apparent by the facts we do have that she was a deeply disturbed individual Mailer s analysis of her being someone without a core identity does fit. The book was controversial indeed when first published in 1973 charges of plagiarism and an attendant lawsuit from the authors of biographies used in his research put a pall over Mailer s interpretative accomplishment, and feminists and progressives were particularly at arms by the fact that Norman Mailer, of all people, had written anything at length about Monroe Mailer had, shall we say, a problematic relationship with women, personally and philosophically, during his public life and it was easy enough to accuse the late author of indulging in an kind of literary onanism , projecting his ego on the public perception of Monro, the actress and superstar, and inflicting those results on to us I think it took courage on Mailer s part who, fully aware of his infamy regarding women s rights , birth control and his insistence on a cult of masculinity, to take on the subject of Monroe anyway even ,as Mailer has admitted, for the money and to investigate his own conflicted perceptions of Monroe Mailer is an arch romantic , and allows his prose to soar and swerve and swoop from great heights in an attempt to capture something about Monroe the cultural force that film criticism, fashion commentary and sociological analysis couldn t get near This book contains Mailer s Private Marylin Monroe, and at the time it was published it was a florid, beautifully written , occasionally interpretation of the dry facts about Monroe s life and career.