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Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

Blonde (2000)

by Joyce Carol Oates

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (25)  Swedish (3)  French (3)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Autobiographical fiction about life of Marilyn Monroe. ( )
  S_Trenti | Jul 11, 2015 |
completed 12.5.14 ( )
  bookmagic | Dec 8, 2014 |
I thought this had promise, but bogged right down. Sort of gave me the creeps.
  SusanListon | Nov 30, 2014 |
She continues to impress me as a very creative and courageous writer. Very good read! ( )
  JosephKing6602 | Feb 4, 2014 |
This was a wonderful book. It took me just a little bit to really get into it (even though I was hooked right off the bat, it just wasn't super fast-paced initially), but once I did I sped through it, reading the bulk of this large tome in only two days. Oates' writing is fabulous, and her use of fictionalizing the story a bit enabled her to fully get into Marilyn's head and let us see her more fully, in a way that a straight non-fiction work couldn't do. I'm definitely interested in seeing what else Oates can do. ( )
  PolymathicMonkey | Jan 1, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joyce Carol Oatesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Eleanor Bergstein, and for Michael Goldman
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There came Death hurtling along the Boulevard in waning sepia light. - Prologue
This movie I've been seeing all my life, yet never to its completion.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006093493X, Paperback)

Penzler Pick, April 2000: It is surprising and shocking to realize that Joyce Carol Oates, one of the great writers living today, has never made The New York Times bestseller list (at least not in recent memory). Far less talented (and less famous) authors have made it while she, in all likelihood not caring much, has been shut out. That could easily change with her new novel, Blonde, which may be the masterpiece of a staggeringly distinguished career.

This 700-plus-page tome is based on the life of (you guessed it) Marilyn Monroe. In fictional form, with names changed (husband Joe DiMaggio is referred to as "The Ex-Athlete," Arthur Miller as "The Playwright," John F. Kennedy as "The President," for example), this may be the most accurate and compelling portrait of this beautiful and complex woman that one is ever likely to read.

But why discuss it on the mystery page, you might well be asking yourself. It was the author's intent to structure the book as a mystery, and of course she succeeds, as she seems to succeed at everything she attempts in the world of letters. And there is a murder, apparently arranged by a secret government bureau (FBI? CIA?), although that could be the victim's hallucination. Of course, it could also be both real and hallucinated (remember, even paranoids have enemies).

If you like biographies, you'll like Blonde. If you like novels, you'll like Blonde. If you like mysteries, you'll like Blonde. And if you fear that more than 700 pages by one of the greatest of living literary lions might be tough slogging, here's a little excerpt from the chapter titled "The President's Pimp:"

Sure he was a pimp.

But not just any pimp. Not him!

He was a pimp par excellence. A pimp nonpareil. A pimp sui generis. A pimp with a wardrobe, and a pimp with style. A pimp with a classy Brit accent. Posterity would honor him as the President's Pimp.

A man of pride and stature: the President's Pimp.

At Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs in March 1962 there was the President poking him in the ribs with a low whistle. "That blonde. That's Marilyn Monroe?"

He told the President yes it was. Monroe, a friend of his. Luscious, eh? But a little crazy.

Thoughtfully, the President asked, "Have I dated her yet?"

Nothing inaccessible about Joyce Carol Oates, especially in this most readable and relentlessly fascinating study of the lovely woman with whom the whole country was at least a little in love. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A fictional recreation of the life of Marilyn Monroe recounts the tale of her rise to stardom, as seen from Marilyn's perspective

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