Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{Review} Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner

ISBN #: 978-1608195312
Page Count: 528
Copyright: July 17, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Book Summary:

Marilyn Monroe was rooted in paradox: She was a powerful star and a childlike waif; a joyful, irreverent party girl with a deeply spiritual side; a superb friend and a narcissist; a dumb blonde and an intellectual. In the fifty years since Marilyn's death in 1962, no biographer has fully recognized - much less analyzed - most of these aspects of her personality. Lois Banner has.

A founder of the field of women's history, Banner reveals Marilyn Monroe as only a top-notch historian and biographer could. Her credentials opened doors in researching this book, gaining her access to Marilyn intimates who had never before spoken to biographers or reporters, as well as to a cache of private material previously unseen, ignored, or misinterpreted. With new details about Marilyn's childhood foster homes, her sexual abuse, her multiple marriages and affairs, and her untimely death at age thirty-six, Banner lends nuance and authoritative detail to sketchy rumors and whispered legends about a remarkable life and honors, as never before, the complexity of a truly immortal subject. In Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox, a goddess of Hollywood's Golden Age is at last rendered fully human.

Mandy's Review:

Like many people, I have an interest in Marilyn Monroe. Lois Banner's version of Marilyn Monroe's biography has gone into more depth than any other Marilyn biography that I'm aware of. She has taken the time to join the Los Angeles Marilyn fan club where members shared their collections. She then interviewed Marilyn friends and associates. Researching American and European archives, she was allowed access to never-before-seen collections. She bought many Marilyn items on eBay and at auctions. All of this, and more, allowed Lois to get a more in-depth look at Marilyn and her past.

All of this may seem like it would provide an overwhelming amount of information, but Ms. Banner has taken all of this information and has created a well-written, informative account of Marilyn Monroe's life; from her birth as Norma Jean to her first marriage at sixteen to her death.

Lois Banner's interpretation of Marilyn's life was an emotional journey for me. Even though I sort of understood why it happened, I was disgusted with how Marilyn's mother and grandmother kept putting her in different foster homes. I felt sorry for Marilyn as she had to feel unloved because of this. Then she was sexually molested, which pissed me off and I blame her family for since I don't think it would've happened had she not been in foster homes. The things that happen in our childhood shape the people that we become and this has been proven in its extreme with Marilyn's life.

If you enjoy biographies, then I would recommend this be added to your TBR pile.

*A hardcopy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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