Farrah's Reviews > Blonde

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
Oct 20, 2011

really liked it
Read from October 20 to November 04, 2011

This book is about 750 pages long and I honestly thought it would take me much longer to finish it than it did. It's been sitting on my shelves for a few years, waiting to be tackled. I've always been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe's life - the classic Hollywood story-grew up an orphan, was "discovered", became a huge star, died young, tragically, and I knew I liked and respected Joyce Carol Oates as an author so I expected to like this book and I really did.

It's basically historical fiction - all the actual elements of Marilyn's life are in there - her movies, marriages, directors, etc. - but obviously Joyce Carol Oates is reimagining dialogue and Monroe's inner thoughts/feelings.

Sometimes her writing style is a bit creative or different that the typical novelist, which I generally find off-putting, but not in this instance. It really drew me in, captured my imagination and I couldn't put this book down. It reminded me a lot of the Peter Guralnick biographies of Elvis Presley, in that it shows a classic and tragic rise and fall of a young celebrity and how difficult it is to maintain your true self and original identity in the face of so much fame, priveledge, pressure and hangers on.

Caveat, this is a book about Marilyn Monroe, so anyone that's squeamish about sex scenes shouldn't read it!

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