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The Blonde

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  657 ratings  ·  142 reviews
From the  New York Times  bestselling author Anna Godbersen and Alloy Entertainment, a chilling reimagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe that is part biography, part love story, and part thriller.
Marilyn Monroe is at the height of her fame, the object of the world’s desire. Attention is her drug, the very definition of who she is. Her own wants and needs have become fl
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Hachette Books
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Average rating 3.41  · 
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”When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I'm already better than them.”- Marilyn Monroe

Setting:Washington D.C; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Dallas, Texas; 1950-1996

Coverly Love?:No; there’s a gun pointing in my face people. That’s not particularly attractive to me, thank you very much.

Plot:All her life, Marilyn Monroe has desperately wanted to be accepted and loved by someone. She also wants to be f
Aug 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
edit : Dec 15th 2013
Holy Schmokes look at that COVER! #LOVE

New Anna Godbersen book???? YES PLEASE!

March 2014???
Tara Chevrestt
I made it through the first 100 pages and found this so utterly distasteful, I don't care to continue.

After reading this I'd like to know, "Why in the world do people like MM so much?" If she was anything like this character portrays her, she was a weak harlot. Not a strong, amazing woman at all.

Oh, I could feel somewhat sorry for her, especially when she said things like this: "'s hard, when nobody's ever really loved you, to have the confidence to do a thing right..." but when she'd slept
Joy (joyous reads)
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I’ve always held a fascination with Marilyn Monroe’s bright and short-lived life. When I saw this book at the bookstore, I just know that I had to get it. I must admit that I was equal parts skeptical and thrilled. Skeptical on how convincing of a spy she’d be, and thrilled with the prospect of whatever conspiracy theories I would be taking away from this novel.

Little Girl Lost.

When she was a girl on the cusp of adulthood, her father, a travelling salesman, left one morning and didn’t come back.
This book has such a compelling premise--Marilyn Monroe: RUSSIAN SPY--that I don't understand how it doesn't have ALL THE HYPE.

And this was really interesting and I found it a believable portrayal of Monroe (Russian spy thing aside!). Maybe a little less so of JFK. Or, at least, it was a less full picture of him. I didn't get enough sense of his motivations to become president. Family pressure? His own desire? Both? Something else. This book didn't really tell me.

It did take me a long time to ge
Meg - A Bookish Affair
3.5 stars. "The Blonde" imagines if instead of just being a sexy starlet, Marilyn Monroe was actually a Soviet agent charged with carrying out one of the most confounding crimes ever. This is a departure for Godberson whose other books include YA historical fiction such as "The Luxe" and "Bright, Young Things." This book is most decidedly not young adult fiction but it makes for a nice entry into the world of adult fiction and thrillers. She definitely gave me a lot of things to think about in t ...more
May 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Don't waste your time. Godbersen has written some very fun, unique series and I thought this would be good but I was terribly mistaken. Marilyn Monroe as a spy. Ok, sounds ridiculous but could potentially be a fun, interesting story. No, it was basically her being a slut (which I think people too often do that to her) and what killed me was the brash language just thrown around randomly. Like look how cool I am by throwing in the word c**k among other words. Just dumb. I have never done so befor ...more
The Blonde is Anna Godbersen's first adult novel. And boy oh boy did she start off with a bang! (ha ha) The Blonde is the fictionalized historical telling of Marilyn Monroe. Going off the premise...what is Marilyn Monroe was a spy. Does that sound cool? Well it really was. There is tons of classic Marilyn woven into these pages. Lot's of sexy, flirty Marilyn, and under it all- a very lonely woman. The story starts with a flashback to her childhood and from then on it flashes forward to the heigh ...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
Did I enjoy this book: I like the ending.

There’s a quote on page 342 that sums up the novel beautifully. “There are already too many stories, and you know how once there’s a little scandal people love to fabricate on top of that.”

That’s what Godbersen does. She takes an over-sensationalized story and adds a lot of fabrication. It’s too bad because I like the idea of the book. In the end, I’m just not much of a conspiracy theorist.

The other problem for me was the characters. I couldn’t cheer for
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
"I've never fooled anyone, darling. Sometimes I've just let men fool themselves."

**4.5** This book has such an incredible and unique premise - Miss Marilyn Monroe, the most famous woman in the world. A Russian Soviet spy sent to uncover the secrets of the President of the United States. If that doesn't excite you, then I really don't know what will.

Anna Godbersen has captured the voice of a woman, who underneath the candy-floss hair, painted lips and perfected strut, was fiercely intelligent
May 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I wanted to really like this book as it sounded different from the Marilyn Monroe stories that are out that. I have not read a lot of stories on Marilyn but still everyone is familiar with her story. However not the fictionalized one about her being a spy. However I found the storyline moving extremely slow. It seemed to take me forever to read a page or two. Like trying to run through quick sand. It just does not work out well. Marilyn did not jump off the pages for me. Thus she is the main foc ...more
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
What if the Marilyn Monroe we all thought we knew had more layers than any of us realized? What if the ditzy blonde she often cultivated for her movies and her public was a careful cover for something much more?

In "The Blonde," the author combines what we know, factually, with a fictionalized version of what was going on between Marilyn and JFK. We learn of a sinister agenda and the control that someone held over Marilyn. We also learn of her attempts to wrest that control away from her "handler
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
*I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads*

Okay, I had a bit of trouble getting through this one. What I really liked about it was the synopsis on the back. I imagined a smart, fast paced, spy thriller featuring two of the most famous people; Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy. Instead what I got was a stereotypical representation of these two character. Marilyn comes across as a vapid spoiled teenager with daddy issues instead of the strong intelligent woman she was and John co
Ozana Ozzy
Interesting Book about life of American actress Marylin Monroe, from early childhood to quazi death and her relations to Jack Kennedy. It is so well written that you almost believe in whole affair but not in part where M. M. was a Russian spy, and stayed alive until old age.

Worth reading just for good crime book and that era in Hollywod when they made wonderful movies.

Quite accurate description of Merilyn and Jack, and sterile Jackie Kennedy Onnasis.

We all love those two as a pair but Jackie is
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it





Megan Armstrong-Jones
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this side of the story. Brought a different perspective into the what could have happened side of history.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't resist reading Anna Godbersen's "The Blonde", a novel that expands upon the illicit affair between Marilyn and President Kennedy. This was much more than just another exploitation of Marilyn Monroe. "The Blonde" was a beautiful, thoughtful thriller that focused on one of the most famous classic movie stars.  The twist was that Marilyn's relationship was prompted by the Russians, who asked her to spy on Kennedy in exchange for revealing the identity of her father.

The descriptions were
Apr 21, 2014 rated it liked it
For the most part, no. I mean, yes, Marilyn Monroe was liquid sex or whatever, but I'm sorry, a protagonist who is constantly calculating how to appear as desirable and bangable as humanly possible. I mean, it's just too much. Godbersen describes the woman's voice as "melted sugar" when she says hello on the phone for goodness sake. And then the actual sex. I thought this book was going to give Marilyn more depth and substance, but it's still mostly about how sexy she is. It's embarrassingly smu ...more
Becky Zagor
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was totally intrigued by the premise and the writing to support the 'theory' did not disappoint. Knowing very little about the Marilyn and JFK relationship, I found the weaving of historical events and their clandestine meetings and discussions potentially believable and the sponge-like insecurity of Marilyn searching for a lost father very well done. Even the ending took me to a place I could not have imagined and yet artfully crafted amidst the characters. A summer favorite for me! ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book did not deserve that ending. Absolutely freaking not.

The Blonde's premise is basically that of a history buff's fanfiction; Marilyn Monroe is actually working for the KGB in the early 1960s and her assignment is to get close to JFK and learn a secret and report back. Naturally this does not happen and instead Ms. Monroe proceeds to fall in love with JFK and attempts to escape her handler in the hopes of having a happy ending with her new Presidential loverboy.

I should say this book was
Rachel Paller
I was not expecting to come out of this book FEELING so much. I am in this like emotional roller coaster after Kennedy's murder. I actually put on a documentary about it I found on Netflix because I am not done with this yet. I actually went to the 6th Floor Museum when I visited Dallas over the summer. Reading the end really hit me because I actually knew the places Godbersen was mentioning, I had been there. I think that gave me an emotional connection to the assassination. I could picture all ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I enjoyed the story and Marilyn shone as an enigmatic centre to the story even if the male characters failed to help her turn it into a fast-paced spy novel.

As a Marilyn Fanatic I was nervous starting this Historical Fiction due to my strong belief of her as an intelligent and cunning, yet emotional woman who hid behind the quivering lips, voluptuous curves, and the soft voice meant to enrapture the male audience. Overall Godbersen’s portrayal of Marilyn never contradicted my understanding of he
Galyn Hembree
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Blonde is an alternative history. YET, I caught myself wondering, "could that have really happened? I wonder....what if....maybe. Wow, what if, ...." I loved how Godbersen wove enough facts into fiction (or was it?) that I believed the whole thing was plausible ---up until the very unfortunate ending. In fact, there were two, maybe three, better endings before Godbersen drew her history to a close. I think the ending she did choose is 'unfortunate' indeed. SPOILER ALERT: Did this author real ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of alternate history fiction, and this one doubles as historical fiction! A fun and thrilling take on the alleged affair between Kennedy and Monroe. Interesting take to make it a Cold War spy novel, to boot.

I liked the depictions of many pop culture and political figures, especially the Kennedys. Too much polish is laid on these figures, I think, so taking some of the veneer off brings us and them back down to Earth. The ending was a nice touch. It's fun to think what could be.

Dakota Chey
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I randomly found this book at the library, read the inside little summary and was interested because it was about Marilyn Monroe.It was cool to read a book about what could have happened to her and see a different side of things even though it’s fiction. I definitely wasn’t expecting the ending and was excited to continue reading every time I had to stop for whatever reason. It only took me a week to read. If you like Marilyn Monroe then you will probably like this book. If you are more of a fac ...more
Bob Haven
From silly to ridiculous.

Even though (or perhaps because) the premise seemed so unlikely, and because of the fair amount of good reviews here, I thought this might be a fun and entertaining read. It was for a while, and the quality of the writing was good enough to keep me reading, for a while. But by the half-way point, the book had totally failed to hold my interest. I gave up on it and skipped to the last few chapters where I found the story moved from unlikely to preposterous!
Megan Tucker
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve never really been a fan of Marilyn, but I love Godbersen’s writing so much and she didn’t disappoint. You’re never taken out of the story, except to match the historical connections made, of which there were many. The characters become more than what you can read in old newspapers, the conspiracy filled in like tissue between truth. The final sentence gave me goosebumps. A very well-written story.
Emily Ott
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
While Godbersen's writing is elegant and romantic as always, the story here just fell flat for me. I struggled to get into this book, noting particularly a slow pace for the majority of the book - yet in times of activity, it's lightning fast to the point of confusion, failing to explain what's happening when something is finally happening. Overall an okay read, but not something I'll reach for again or generally recommend. ...more
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I had high hopes for this one since I enjoyed The Luxe by the same author and I was intrigued to know how MM would be as a spy. I was always curious about the interactions between MM and JFK, but this really made them very sexualizes. The writing style was very good, but I couldn't get on board with the characters and plot. DNF. ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I alternately found this book enthralling and contrived. i am a fan of revisionist fiction, so I stuck with it, and I did enjoy the ending. I still experienced deep sadness for the icon Marilyn Monroe. All in all, an enjoyable read.
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Author Copies Movie My Week with Marylin 3 6 Jan 15, 2015 06:42PM  

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Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

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