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Blonde
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Archives > 1st Qtr Read - Blonde by Joyce Carol Oats

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Diane Zwang | 1206 comments Mod
The book jacket:

She was an all-American girl who became a legend of unparalleled stature. She inspired the adoration of millions, and her life has beguiled generations of fans and fellow artists. The story of Norma Jeane Baker – better known by her studio name “Marilyn Monroe” - has been dissected for more than three decades, but never has it been captured in a narrative as breath-taking and transforming as Blonde.

In her most ambitious work to date, Joyce Carol Oates, one of American's most distinguished writers, reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker – the child, the woman, the fated celebrity – and tells the story in Norma Jeane's own voice: startling, rich, and shattering. This most intimate portrait of Norma Jeane reveals a fragile, idiosyncratically gifted young woman who makes and remakes her identity, every managing to survive against crushing odds to become the definition of stardom. Bit by bit, she tells her own epic story of how an emblematic American artist – perpetually conflicted and intensely driven – lost her way.

Drawing on biographical and historical sources, Joyce Carol Oates evokes the distinct consciousness of the woman and the unsparing reflection of the myth, writing as she has never written before – ecstatic, completely absorbed, inhabited as if by the spirit of her extraordinary subject. Rich with psychological insight and disturbing irony, this mesmerizing narrative illumines Norma Jeane's lonely childhood, wrenching adolescence, and the creation of “Marilyn Monroe”.

Distorted and misunderstood, the muted voice of Norma Jeane and the grand legacy of Marilyn Monroe are also a looking glass into the shadow-world of Hollywood. While paying tribute to the elusive art of acting and movie making, Joyce Carol Oates depicts the chilling panorama of an industry that nourishes and devours the “pure products” of America.

Blonde offers astonishing – and often disturbing- portraits of the powerful men in Norma Jeane's life: the Ex-Athlete, the Playwright, the President, the Dark Prince.

With fresh insights into the heart of a celebrity culture hypnotized by its own myths, Blonde is a sweeping novel about the elusive magic of a woman, the lasting legacy of a star, and the heartbreak behind the creation of the most evocative icon of the twentieth century.


Diane Zwang | 1206 comments Mod
Have you read any other books by Joyce Carol Oats? Which ones and did you like them?


message 4: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue Dix | 61 comments I have read one other Book by Joyce Carol Oats: Zombie. It is a psychological thriller told from inside the mind of the psychotic protagonist. I liked the book a lot, but it gave me the creeps at the same time and made me seriously wonder about Joyce Carol Oats.


message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "I have read one other Book by Joyce Carol Oats: Zombie. It is a psychological thriller told from inside the mind of the psychotic protagonist. I liked the book a lot, but it gave me the creeps at t..."

My Litsy secret Santa goes postal gave me a copy of zombie. I haven’t read it yet.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments What is Litsy?


Dree | 243 comments The only Joyce Carol Oates book I have read is We Were the Mulvaneys. I read it 15 years ago. It was OK, but it will never be on the list.


message 8: by Chinook (new) - added it

Chinook | 282 comments I’ve read We Were the Mulvaneys but it was pre-Goodreads and I don’t recall much about it and Zombie. I’ve also read some of her YA books, Freaky Green Eyes, Sexy and Big Mouth and Ugly Girl. She’s a solid three star read for me - I enjoy her books, intend to read more of them, but they never blow me away.


Jenni (sprainedbrain) | 71 comments I've had The Falls on my shelf for over 10 years, waiting to be read, but Blonde will be my first.


message 10: by Pernille (new) - added it

Pernille (pernilleaa) | 0 comments I have read Beasts, The Female of the Species, The Corn Maiden and The Accursed. The Female of the Species is one of my all time favorites. Loved parts of The Accursed and hated others. Beasts is very good. So I have a kind of love hate relationship with her writing. Love her dark and twisted stories and I will definately read more from her. I have Daddy Love on my Kindle... Another dark story.


message 11: by Pip (last edited Jan 31, 2018 04:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pip | 1338 comments She has been on my radar for ages, but this is my first Oates.


Diane Zwang | 1206 comments Mod
I have not read any of her books. So far I am enjoying Blonde.


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Kelly wrote: "What is Litsy?"

Litsy is a social media app, think like Instagram, but it’s all posts about books, reading goals, reviews, etc.


message 14: by Melissa (new)

Melissa This will be my first Joyce Carol Oats!


message 15: by Paula (new) - added it

Paula S (paula_s) | 221 comments Diane wrote: "Have you read any other books by Joyce Carol Oats? Which ones and did you like them?"

I've read Black Water, My Sister, My Love and A Fair Maiden. I find her books brilliant but dark.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Melissa wrote: "Kelly wrote: "What is Litsy?"

Litsy is a social media app, think like Instagram, but it’s all posts about books, reading goals, reviews, etc."


thanks!


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments How do we allocate points with this book? 5 per month so long as we read and participate? Or 15 when we finish?


Kristel (kristelh) | 3879 comments Mod
I’ve only read Black Water by the author. That was a short but very difficult read. The whole story was stream of conscious and the setting was difficult for me because I have a pretty big fear of drowning.


Kristel (kristelh) | 3879 comments Mod
Kelly wrote: "How do we allocate points with this book? 5 per month so long as we read and participate? Or 15 when we finish?"

Reading the book is only 10 points at the end of the three months. The 15 points is for hosting the discussion so Diane is earning 15 points for being our moderator for Blonde.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Kristel wrote: "Kelly wrote: "How do we allocate points with this book? 5 per month so long as we read and participate? Or 15 when we finish?"

Reading the book is only 10 points at the end of the three months. Th..."


Of course, I was going on memory for the number of points. I still look at the rules every time as the points aren't all in my memory yet. You answered my question about "when" to allocate points though. Thanks!


message 21: by Book (new) - rated it 4 stars

Book Wormy | 1840 comments Mod
This is my first and at the end of The Child I am finding it fascinating and incredibly written


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