Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Story” as Want to Read:
My Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Story

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,498 ratings  ·  407 reviews
Written at the height of her fame but not published until over a decade after her death, this autobiography of actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) poignantly recounts her childhood as an unwanted orphan, her early adolescence, her rise in the film industry from bit player to celebrity, and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. In this intimate account of a very publi ...more
ebook, 202 pages
Published November 25th 2006 by Taylor Trade Publishing (first published May 1st 1974)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Story, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Tante means Aunt. Aunt Zippa is probably a joke referring to an older, fat lady. I think Zippa is a joke name because the Marx Brothers had joke…moreTante means Aunt. Aunt Zippa is probably a joke referring to an older, fat lady. I think Zippa is a joke name because the Marx Brothers had joke names: Harpo, Groucho, Chico, and Zeppo. Zippa sounds like a joke on Zeppo.(less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) In a sense. I remember a documentary years ago that featured tapes of Marilyn talking about her life, and I'm pretty sure the segments are drawn from…moreIn a sense. I remember a documentary years ago that featured tapes of Marilyn talking about her life, and I'm pretty sure the segments are drawn from those tapes. Hecht was supposed to be a ghost writer or editor--I can't say he did much of a job, though, considering how scrappy the text was left.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,498 ratings  ·  407 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Bill  Kerwin

In addition to the gorgeous photographs taken by Milton Greene, I find this half-formed book fascinating for three reasons: for the way the ghost of Marilyn Monroe haunts our image of sensuality, for the way the ghost of Norma Jean Mortenson haunts the image of Marilyn Monroe, and for the way the ghost of ghost-writer Ben Hecht haunts the first person voice of this artful, unfinished narrative.

Three nights ago, for the umpteenth time, I watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and for the first time in
...more
Joe Valdez
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
The story behind My Story, the only book credited to Marilyn Monroe, is beguiling as almost everything that has orbited the screen sex goddess since her death in 1962 at the age of 36. Published in 1974 by Stein and Day under the title The Unfinished Biography of Marilyn Monroe, the book is a collection of anecdotes by Monroe and Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky in 1954 to acclaimed screenwriter Ben Hecht, who'd been hired as ghostwriter on a Marilyn autobiography. Hecht's abandoned work was l ...more
Emad Attili
description

description

Marilyn Monroe!
Judging by her songs and movies, I've always looked at her as a sex icon! I've never imagined her to be such a deep and wonderful writer!

I can't believe I'm gonna say this, but I can tell you that as of this moment, this woman has become one of my favorite characters! She's become one of my teachers!
She taught me a very important lesson: not to judge people, and to know that when I judge people I actually judge myself! When I say: "Marilyn is a bad person", I actually say: "I'm a
...more
Newby
Oct 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another really fabulous autobiography. I wish it was longer. It answers all the questions about Marilyn's youth and takes you up until she starts touring with the troops. She was a very smart lady. It does make me wonder, however, why every Marilyn biopic totally screws up the story of her youth. You can read it in her own words! There's no excuse to get the story wrong! And it's very dramatic, so it's not like any drama is added by changing the story. See? This is why I prefer autobiographies. ...more
Basim Mahmoud
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

Ladies and Gentile men,

Marilyn Monroe finally speaks Arabic,

and The Master is: Basim Mahmoud


description
Camie
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Supposedly written in her own words and published 10 years after her death in 1962, this is an unfinished account of some of the transitions Norma Jean Mortensen , who spent her childhood in a procession of foster homes and unyielding poverty made to become the Marilyn Monroe of legends. I haven't read much about Monroe, but still found her story to be tragic. Elton John's famous tribute to her story, Candle In The Wind likens her to a candle in the wind "never knowing who to turn to when the ra ...more
Laurel-Rain
Aug 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written at the height of her fame but not published until over a decade after her death, this autobiography of actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) poignantly recounts her childhood as an unwanted orphan, her early adolescence, her rise in the film industry from bit player to celebrity, and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio.

The Marilyn on these pages is a revelation: a gifted, intelligent, vulnerable woman who was far more complex than the unwitting sex siren she portrayed on screen. Lav
...more
Flora
Her unfinished memoir, and a spare, no-nonsense one. It by no means aims for thoroughness, and in fact simply offers a series of brief, haunting accounts of episodes in her life, most of which have little or nothing to do with her stardom. The first chapter, for instance, is called, "How I Rescued a White Piano," and delivers with disarming matter-of-factness an innocuous little story that reveals more about her tragic childhood than if she had addressed it directly. If this book had been a nove ...more
Sarah
“I didn’t mind being a goof if only he loved me. I felt when we were together that I walked in the gutter and he on the sidewalk. All I did was keep looking up to see if there was love in his eyes.”
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I can't give more than three stars to what is obviously an unfinished draft. More than a memoir, what we have here is a collection of vignettes and anecdotes. After she goes to Hollywood, there's no real chronology. I found it odd that she would refer to her then-husband repeatedly as "Mr DiMaggio" instead of "Joe" or "my future husband, Joe DiMaggio"--maybe that's an indication of how things were going.

What gave me the cold shivers was when she described the let-down of first being signed into
...more
Annie
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There’s something about this one that puts me ill at ease. I either don’t believe Monroe wrote this at all (it was, after all, an admitted collaboration with a ghostwriter— and it was only published after her death) or else I believe Monroe wrote it insincerely, as an autobiography that suited/enhanced her public persona.

I just don’t see how this infantile, blushing voice belongs to the same person who reads Turgenev, Zola, Proust, Joyce, Camus, Mann, Aristophanes, Aristotle, and Lucretius, or
...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young women
I've always liked Marilyn Monroe - she did sexy with such innocent grace. As this is punctuated through the book as she describes her survival of a very difficult childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood with the strength and perseverance which would mold the woman that she would become. She also alludes to the circumstances of her death.
My Story shows us a side of MM that is contrary to her identity as sex symbol - she in fact felt anything but sexy. She was also strong, choosey, and had hig
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Almost everyone knows who Marilyn Monroe is, but this book reveals a whole other side to her life, her emotions, not just who she was on-screen but who she was as a person. It's definitely worth reading and very interesting.
Kristin Shafel
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marilyn Monroe's memoir My Story is a simple, elegant, personal account of the infamous actress's life. Unsurprisingly, it's rather melancholy. Marilyn mentions often episodes of crying in bed all night and having moments when she had wished she were dead. Her haunting vision of herself as "the kind of girl they found dead in a hallway bedroom with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hand" was disquieting.

My Story begins with Marilyn's childhood as an orphan deep in poverty: mistreated, abu
...more
Yasmin
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library-haves
I'll give two stars to this book mainly because there was no fine writing in it. The story is pretty predictable in some ways, but maybe because Marilyn's life inspired so many (now-cliché) stories in the first place. I got the feeling she was trying to explain herself in some parts, like she was talking to people who accused her of being a man-stealer. But I totally related to what she felt with all the Hollywood "wolves" and the fact that every one saw her as this flirty girl who was, in the e ...more
Miller04
Aug 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is a Marilyn fan
I am about half way through this book....its nothing exciting or riveting.....it is simplistic in its approach. This book is more for fans who want to get to know the real Marilyn better. Her real thoughts may surprise some.

The pictures included are some I havent seen before and brought tears to my eyes, becuase some give us a glimpse of Norma Jean...not Marilyn.
UrbanFirefly
It's hard to put a rating on this unfinished autobiography. Marilyn was a fragile woman and life gave her hell from beginning to end. She survived though, up until the day they found her dead with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hand, as she predicted in this book.

Marilyn was a lonely woman who was constantly abandoned by her mother, her father, her foster parents and apparently her friends as she never mentions one. She craved attention and as she puts it to belong to the world. Ironic
...more
Kelsey
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"My Story" is a great read just because it is from Ms. Monroe's point of view. We all see the Marilyn Monroe quotes all over the internet but rarely do you get a story told by Norma Jean Mortenson. So, you have an account of her life told from childhood and how she felt unwanted and unloved, through her teen years where she had to be oversexualized just to feel loved, and her adult life where... it's much of the same. Because of this, the account is a bit sad, but most of us already knew that Ma ...more
Amina
my first review was lame
01/08/2016

back in 1962 , four days before her death . her heart was beating faster . she is broken again and no one was there . alone as forever she thought about Norma Jean daydreaming about a beautiful house .
she is now in beautiful house, but the feeling did not change not even the years . she would die soon , the world would miss her more.

whenever I watch A movie of her I remember when she said " a sex symbol is a thing , and I hate to be a thing " this book proves
...more
 Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ
An interesting story of the transformation of Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe. The autobiography was written simplistically but with very adult themes. What I mean by this is that Marilyn clearly struggled with her past years of feeling unwanted that continued into adulthood. She tried to be what the studios wanted, but she was an unique individual that will be remembered throughout history as a blonde bombshell of the mid twentieth century.

PS Loved the photographs included in the book, well placed
...more
Sarah Cormier
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A great biography about a troubled but really interesting young woman who came from nothing and became one of the most iconic figures in the world. Great read if you`re a Marilyn fan. ...more
Andrew
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended. Heartbreaking, but well worth a read for its insight into how Marilyn Monroe felt about being 'Marilyn'. A relevant read in light of the spotlight currently on Hollywood's habitual poor treatment of women.
Edwina Callan
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, library-book
I loved this book so much, especially all of the beautiful photographs!
Kristie
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
I find that biographies are hit or miss for me. Many times, I feel that people try to make their life more interesting or show how wonderful they are and these come across sounding fake and not intimate at all. I did not get that sense with this biography. I felt that you could really hear Marilyn's voice throughout the book. Some parts were repetitive, others were maybe glossed over a bit, but the whole time it felt like you were hearing Marilyn, not a PR person, editor, or author. Because of t ...more
Carl Rollyson
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marilyn Monroe "wrote" this book in collaboration with Ben Hecht. He does capture her voice. For many years, Monroe biographers have been wary of this text, but Lois Banner's new biography of Marilyn Monroe gives the fullest account of the circumstances in which the book was produced and explains why it is essential reading for anyone interested in Monroe. This edition includes Milton Greene's wonderful photographs. Monroe gave Greene a typescript of her autobiography. Many years ago I interview ...more
Patty
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marilyn Monroe is my favorite actress, so I was glad to get this bnook a a birthday present. The book is Marilyn's own words. She tells about her life as a ophan, a struggling actress, how other women treated her and how their men treated her. She tells about her marriage to Joe DiMaggio, their honeymoon in Japan, her being ask to entertain the troops in Korea. This is where the book aburbtly ends. Marilyn was a tragic soul, but she was no dumb blonde. Contary to what many think, Marilyn was sma ...more
Katrina
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the starlet's own words come alive the story of this woman's sad beginnings. Written at the height of her career and during her marriage to Joe DiMaggio, her life seems to be filled with such promise. It is unfortunate to realize how those dreams tragically ended. These are revelations about the icon that I wish more people knew about, especially how so many misunderstood her. Excellent read if you want to know about Marilyn through her words..."Don't make a joke out of me"
Liliana
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. If you want to know who Marilyn truly is, why not find out from the woman first hand. She's blunt and honest about who she is. No biography written after her passing could be more acurate.

Quick and easy read - unfortunately unfinished - which actually adds to the sadness and tragedy of Marilyn's life, her BIO unfinished as was her life.
Brianna | RainyDaysAndStormyNights
I enjoyed getting insight on her life, but I wish there was more detail set on certain points.
Susan Howson
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LISTEN UP people, I don’t normally write long reviews, but the ones here are from dudes who miss the point of Marilyn. The entire country missed the point of Marilyn, and we let her down, and she left us.

First off, this TEXT is amazing. I read it in college and it was a big part of my thesis. Marilyn was full of talent and created a character that would get her jobs, because men seem to like to stare at hot women, so. Then she dealt with every single Harvey Weinstein predecessor, terrible husba
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Short & Sweet Treats: May 2016: My Story by Marilyn Monroe 9 18 Jun 01, 2016 03:42PM  
Marilyn Monroe 2 10 Apr 15, 2014 01:22PM  
First Love chapter 1 6 Nov 19, 2013 08:01AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of Marilyn Monroe
  • Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn Monroe: Unseen Archives
  • Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Biography
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn
  • Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe
  • The Marilyn Monroe Treasures
  • MM--Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn
  • Marilyn Monroe:  Private And Undisclosed
  • The Complete Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn's Last Words: Her Secret Tapes and Mysterious Death
See similar books…
6,191 followers
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.
...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“I don't mind living in a man's world, as long as I can be a woman in it.” 5972 likes
“How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.” 939 likes
More quotes…