Julie's Reviews > Blonde

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
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Feb 20, 12

bookshelves: 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die, fiction
Read from February 05 to 20, 2012

Blonde is the fictionalized biography of Marilyn Monroe, from birth to her 'suicide'. I've never followed Marilyn Monroe or known anything more than sketchy details about her life. Joyce Carol Oates tries to make some of the details intentionally vague - referring to famous people by just a single initial, and calling her husbands/lovers 'The Ex-Athlete', 'The Playwright' or 'The President'. The story is told through a combination of 3rd person narrative and Marilyn's point of view. A big part of this book is not being certain what is happening vs. what is part of Marilyn's descent into a drug-hazed reality or her own madness. I found it very unsettling. I did find interesting the aspects that dealt with how Hollywood treated female stars at the time - the casting couch, the horrible salaries, etc., but overall, I found the book to be artistically crafted but very disturbing. Unlike other reviewers, I was glad when it ended.
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