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Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,911 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
Fragments is an event--an unforgettable book that will redefine one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century and that, nearly fifty years after her death, will definitively reveal Marilyn Monroe's humanity.

Marilyn's image is so universal that we can't help but believe we know all there is to know of her. Every word and gesture made headlines and garnered controversy.
Hardcover, 235 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 14, 2011 Jesse rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011

To be honest, I had never noticed how prominently books feature in Marilyn Monroe iconography, but now that it’s been pointed out, it’s almost impossible to miss.

Apparently, this was no accident, for as Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment ask in their introduction to this volume, do we know of any other actresses from the period who “sometimes took pains to be photographed reading or holding a book?” And this wasn’t merely a ploy to counter a fast-crystalizing reputation as an airhead, a dumb b
Jan 26, 2011 April rated it really liked it
Heart wrenching.

I have to start out by saying that I honestly have never been a huge Marilyn Monroe buff - bowing my head I admit that I have never seen one of her films. However, I have heard endless talk of this sensationalized woman, as well as having watched a few bios of her and reading articles about her. Marilyn Monroe's story fascinates me and I find her life struggles and unexplained death heart-rendering. This is a woman whose name and story everyone knows and hypothesizes about. When
Aug 20, 2015 Taissa rated it it was amazing
A lovely book, and it was so amazing to see Marilyn's own writing. She was a woman with many fears, but she was a genius.


In her funeral, Lee Strasberg said:

“We, gathered here today, knew only Marilyn—a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life and reaching out for fulfillment”

I think these are the best words to describe who Marilyn really was.

I couldn't suppress my tears when I was reading this book.
Marilyn Monroe is the saddest person I've ever known. She says: “I seek joy but it is clothed with pain”
And she cries: “Help Help
I feel life coming closer
Nov 23, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I grew up watching Some Like It Hot on an annual basis. My family and I watched musicals from the 1940's and 50's, which meant Marilyn Monroe was a staple in my childhood viewing habits. When I was quite young, I learned that she had been born into deprivation, abused, and changed her name upon her entry into Hollywood. While many books and documentaries have focused on her beauty and allure and duality, they have all (seemingly) done so from the outside. The movie "My Week With Marilyn" was an ...more
Nov 05, 2012 Eyehavenofilter rated it really liked it
Shelves: marilyn-monroe
Being an avid MM fan I could not help but grab this up as soon as I saw it. I wanted to know if there was anything morethan what was portrayed on the outside, i kind of knew that there was.
With duplicates of actual writings of MM and translations of her scribbles one gets to see the more intimate side of "the Goddess". It is a side that few have gotten to see until now. A seemingly fragile yet intellegent woman with glimpses of greatness in her soul. I always knew she had it in her.
One has to k
Carl Rollyson
As portrayed in her own words, Marilyn Monroe emerges as thoughtful and accomplished -- not characteristics that most biographies emphasize. She had marvelous taste and could decorate a house or cook a meal with panache. Photographs in this book document her avid reading and her craving for the classics. Her diaries, letters and notes record responses to literature even as they reflect the misspellings and grammatical errors of an earnest but self-educated artist.

Monroe's unstable aspect certain
Jun 11, 2012 Graceann rated it really liked it
Shelves: film-history
If these aptly-named Fragments had been written by anyone other than the iconic Marilyn Monroe, they would have no value. However, for those who want to know what was going on behind the million-watt smile, there are some pieces here that are invaluable.

I do feel somewhat hesitant about having read this book, simply because these items (other than the letters written to others) were clearly not meant to be seen by anyone other than Marilyn herself. She jotted down stream-of-consciousness poetry
Jesús Santana
Jun 29, 2013 Jesús Santana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Norma Jeane Mortenson o Marilyn Monroe, el icono eterno de la belleza y la sensualidad femenina, el rostro perfecto; escondía un talento impresionante. Esa belleza que se consideraba a si misma Jekyll & Hyde, ocultaba un lado lleno de sufrimiento, de melancolía, de pasión y de tristeza que los medios le prohibían mostrar y solo lograron que todo ese dolor creciera en intensidad y la llevara a finalizar su vida abruptamente.

Al morir Marilyn Monroe todas sus pertenencias llegan a manos de Lee
Oct 16, 2010 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-biography
I read an excerpt of this book in Vanity Fair, and I was intrigued. I can report that the best parts were in fact in Vanity Fair. This book has some gorgeous photographs, but very little content - it shows the writings of a woman who was very confused, and feels intrusive and depressing. Save your money unless you are absolutely Marilyn obsessed.
Sep 01, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
This book came out late last year and I immediately put it on my wishlist. I don't know much about Marilyn Monroe, but I find her fascinating. And I fell in love with her when I watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for the first time. How can you not love a character as sweet and naive as Dorothy Parker? And, from what I've read, Marilyn was just the same (although maybe not as dumb).

Fragments is a collection of notes, poems, and letters that Marilyn wrote and saved. These papers were not discovered
Robert Colomer
Sep 09, 2011 Robert Colomer rated it it was amazing

I am just reading this book as we speak,but I will say this,Fragments is a gripping and moving revelation of the Marilyn Monroe we have never met. It is a must read for anyone who shares the limited understanding of her persona developed over the nearly 50 years since her death. This gripping book presents her in a more appropriate and balanced light. Marilyn Monroe expressed her thoughts wherever she was on whatever was handy, using notebooks and scraps of paper, including hotel stationery. She
Niklas Pivic
From Lee Strasberg's eulogy at Marilyn Monroe's funeral:

Marilyn Monroe was a legend.

In her own lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain. For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine.

But I have no words to describe the myth and the legend. I did not know this Marilyn Monroe. We gathered here today, knew only Marilyn - a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life and reaching out
Jan 28, 2016 Sydney rated it it was amazing
5 stars
One of my all-time favorite "novels" because it is Marilyn Monroe at her finest, at her darkest, and when she's most introspective. She was an incredibly bright and talented woman and I loved reading her personal entries, some even scribbled on random scraps of paper. It's unbelievably heartbreaking that we lost such an amazing woman so young, but she is immortalized in many other ways.

If you're interested in Marilyn Monroe, I would recommend this immediately.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Usually when one thinks of Marilyn Monroe, they think of a gorgeous, blonde sex symbol. This book displays another side to her that few have heard of. Monroe was an avid reader and sometimes writer with an interest in psychoanalysis.

I'm a huge Marilyn Monroe fan so I was interested to read this book to get a different view of her. It's a really interesting look at a person that is still so well known and beloved by so many. Some of the psychoanalysis is not the most exciting but I enjoyed readi
Dec 01, 2010 Ken rated it liked it
I have long believed that I would have had a lot to talk about with Marilyn Monroe if I spent some time with her.

You tell someone that and you get a roll of the eyes and maybe some snide joke or remark.

This is a collection of notes to herself, letters, and poems in Marilyn’s own handwriting that haven't been previously published.

Yeah, it's cashing in on her name for some people, but I'm glad that they made it into a book.

Should I feel guilty about reading this?

Is it great writing? No, but it's
May 15, 2016 Sarika rated it liked it
This is very hard to review. It isn't even a book, just a collection of fabulous pictures of Marilyn and random notes and thoughts scribbled on bits of paper. How do you criticize something like that?

When I first learned about this book I wanted nothing to do with it. The whole thing smacked of exploitation and voyeurism and felt unpleasant. Well, I read it and felt utterly sympathetic to Marilyn. I can't even begin to understand the pressure she was under. Yet during all her years of fame and i
May 20, 2015 ACecilia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J'ai tout simplement adoré ce roman. J'ai appris beaucoup de choses sur Marilyn. Les écrits sont très intéressants. Je l'ai trouvé trop court :-( J'ai maintenant hâte de lire d'autres livres la concernant. Ce qui est important selon moi et qui donne toute sa valeur au livre c'est justement les textes authentiques de Marilyn et les témoignages de gens l'ayant connue! J'ai particulièrement apprécié les "notes" ajoutées en bas de page qui vous donnent des informations très importantes et des dates, ...more
Oct 21, 2010 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read many books on Monroe over the last 25 years, but Fragments has come along after all this time and put most of them in the shade. Mainly because these are Marilyn's own words, not speculation, and she was a sensitive, witty observer of her own life. Obviously these were private musings and not intended to be viewed in a professional light, and may be misread by some. But perhaps with someone as iconic as MM, who has become almost a subject of fantasy, reading her side of the story can b ...more
May 04, 2011 Anika rated it really liked it
I’ve been a fan of Marilyn since I was a little girl. I’ve read several biographies of her over the years, but this is a different sort of book. It’s a collection put together by an editor of poems, notes, and letters all written by Marilyn herself. It’s not exactly a cohesive collection, but the editor breaks it up well into sections. The book is an interesting glimpse into Marilyn’s life and thoughts, but also a rather sad one. Reading about her sadness and hopelessness in a biography is one t ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it
This aptly titled book contains snapshots of actual handwritten pages from Marilyn Monroe's notebooks as well as typewritten diary entries and letters written between the 1950s to her death. Photographs of Marilyn Monroe either reading or writing bookend each chapter.

Although a book of scribbling from an unknown writer or poet would never be published, Marilyn Monroe's mystique continues to captivate public attention. This volume of thoughts, impressions, images, and feelings is a bit voyeurist
Dec 26, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
I do not know too much about Marilyn's life story, so this book, containing copies of letters, lists, poems, and, yes, fragments, gave me a first insight, with a feeling of uncensored intimacy. As opposed to, maybe, the popular perception of her, she appears very literate and erudite, and, while still conveying the expected traits of wittiness and charm, they are coupled with a fragile confidence and vulnerability. This makes for a much more interesting and curious character than the glamorous, ...more
Courtney Gawthorp
Dec 29, 2010 Courtney Gawthorp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I wasn't actually a fan of Marilyn Monroe until I read a biography of her by Donald Spoto. The reason I'm a fan of hers isn't because of the "dumb blonde" movies she made. I'm a fan of her for her human qualities. The ones that I relate to.

I got this book the day it came out and I love it. It's one of my most treasured books. It includes beautiful pictures of Marilyn showing the more passionate and intelligent side of her.

But best of all is seeing her own handwriting and reading the things she w
Weston Richey
Jun 06, 2016 Weston Richey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who are interested in how one's image and one's actual self can differ radically
I was absolutely astounded by this collection of Marilyn Monroe's poetry and personal correspondence. Not only does it offer a great deal of insight into a woman whose intellect. creativity, and power was masked by a constructed industry image, but on a more basic, immediate level, reading Monroe's poetry and prose is just literarily exciting in and of itself. Even though her poetry is (rightly, I'd say) described as rough, raw, unrefined, it really has quite a lot of thoughtfulness and beauty. ...more
Oct 30, 2014 angie rated it really liked it

The new book Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe is pretty heartbreaking at times. It’s clear from the photocopies of her recently unearthed and original handwritten notes (with the typeset versions appearing on the opposite side) that Monroe’s mind was a very crowded place and that she felt and thought about things far more deeply than even a die-hard fan could have imagined.

There’s no way around the fact, though, that a lot of this material would never have been publish
T Fool
Jun 25, 2016 T Fool rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
This Brahms work now replaying, the one that sequenced randomly onto my iPod days ago, reconfirms the feeling of . . . haunting rightness . . . that struck me as I hit upon one of the late photos of Marilyn in this book principally published to convey her fugitive writings.

It's one of her that she had replicated and would send out to admiring fans. Reclining. Held flower.

The Monroe of legend -- desired, yet un-moored, undependable, damaged, self-destructive -- that Monroe a reader may be expect
Sep 04, 2015 Carla rated it really liked it
Shelves: marilyn-monroe
This book gives us an overview of how Marilyn saw the world through fragments and notes she kept writing during her life. Although it was not meant to be shown, her vision of life and love is presented sometimes as poems through her own words and deepest thoughts.
Michelle Cristiani
Aug 12, 2015 Michelle Cristiani rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, biography
What a beautiful tribute to the lovely actress we barely knew. The book features Marilyn's poems and journal fragments, most of which are gorgeously chaotic and beautifully articulate. She had a depth many didn't realize: Marilyn was extremely well-read and hoped to perform Shakespeare and other literary plays on the stage. Being repeatedly blocked from sharing these pieces of herself is just one of her many tragedies.

The layout of the book is one of its strengths: the left side shows her origi
Jana Gutiérrez
Jan 18, 2015 Jana Gutiérrez rated it it was amazing
Remarkable. The reader sees her own handwriting, the depth of her emotion, sensitivity, and even brilliance. She was more savvy and composed than people think. Very well-read too. The analysis of these written archives is very interesting too. What a loss in her early and mysterious death. But what a find in these intriguing and revealing fragments.
M.F. Moonzajer
Feb 09, 2016 M.F. Moonzajer rated it really liked it
A very good post Marilyn Monroe Collection. It is a beautiful collection of Monroe's personal life, love and everything she ever had written. If you love Monroe's personality, her character and uniqueness, it is a must read for you. You will enjoy reading her handwritten notes and poems with broken English and rhyme.
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Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.

After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox.
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“Trying to build myself up with the fact that I have done things right that were even good and have had moments that were excellent but the bad is heavier to carry around and feel have no confidence.” 185 likes
“try to enjoy myself when I can - I'll be miserable enough as it is.” 57 likes
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