Friday, August 5, 2011

♥♥♥♥: The Memoir of Marilyn Monroe by Sandi Gelles-Cole

Release Date: April 22nd, 2011
Page Count: 178
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author, via Pump Up Your Book Promotions, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Marilyn Monroe is 85, the victim of a fire set purposefully to destroy her. This is the memoir she writes of what really happened from the night she was rescued in August, ‘62 until June 1st, 2011 when the book starts, her 85th birthday.

Told in her own voice and propelled by the various lifestyles she tries on in her search to dig beneath the character that she created for the movies to the real woman inside, the book is two stories. While we read to learn what caused the horrible accident that ruined her face, she writes of her recovery from the addictions that subsumed her in Hollywood, her life as an average woman traveling with a young lover in Europe; her final goodbye to DiMaggio. As a senior citizen, Marilyn’s face is recreated she tells what happened to her fortune and then how she supported herself, how it felt when her face and body aged, how lust continued into her late years and how she fell in love when she thought all of that was behind her.

The Memoir of Marilyn Monroe is a mix of fiction, myth, and Marilyn history.
What Stephanie Thinks: The concept of a fictionalized memoir is interesting and intriguing. It's like fan fiction, only it's based off reality, and it's fueled by the mystery and sketchy details surrounding a tragic event that our country has suspected multiple conspiracies about.

I wanted to enjoy this book so much. Marilyn Monroe is personally one of my favorite actresses of all time. Aside from the scandals and success that followed her around, she was beautiful in the most genuine, remarkable way. She wasn't a perfect size 00 and had acknowledged body image issues; yet she still managed to retain her image as America's sweetheart and most famous sex symbol. She died a legend, and with The Memoir of Marilyn Monroe, this legend is inverted. Because Marilyn didn't actually die. Marilyn actually faked her death, with the help of her ex, the infamous Joe DiMaggio, and spent the rest of her life regretting it. She became a normal person, a nobody, and is finally able to tell her story—the real story.

Unfortunately, this book is everything but the initial "interesting and intriguing" I hoped it to be. The writing is very bland and ill-structured; I wonder if Gelles-Cole had an editor. Most of the book seems to focus on Marilyn's alcoholism and recovery (or lack thereof), as well as the various romps and roadtrips she had as she aged, but I can't find an actual aim to this book. It's entirely pointless, and I still can't figure out why the author chose to ramble on and on about Marilyn's supposed life after death, because it ends abruptly and without a climax. Heck, there isn't even any rising action at all. Things happen, people speak, but nothing really crafts together to make a good novel.

I finished the book because the vocabulary is easy and font is large. At less than 200 pages, I read this in a few sittings. However, the writing is difficult to follow, and I found myself skimming a lot, because most of the text doesn't contribute to the main issue (not that there really is any main issue, in the first place). I really had to trudge through this one, and can't say I recommend it.

Stephanie Loves: "I started to understand that a person could be happy for herself, that you did not need an audience to smile. It was awakening."

Radical Rating: 4 hearts: So-so; reading this book may cause wrinkles (from frowning so much). ♥♥♥♥