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The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe | [J. Randy Taraborrelli]

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never before been told...until now.
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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author J. Randy Taraborrelli comes the definitive biography of the most enduring icon in popular American culture.

When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world, and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never before been told...until now.

In this groundbreaking book, Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress' life, including her mother, her foster mother, and her legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn's father and the half-brother she never knew, and new information about her relationship with the Kennedy's - Bobby, Jack, and Pat Kennedy Lawford.

Explosive, revelatory, and surprisingly moving, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the 20th century.

©2009 J. Randy Taraborrelli; (P)2009 Hachette

What the Critics Say

"As Taraborrelli brushes away cobwebs of myth and rumor, his remarkable research and fluid writing captures Marilyn's élan, sensitivity, desperation and despair with a haunting intimacy." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (60 )
5 star
 (22)
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4.4 (40 )
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4.0 (40 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Deb ARNOLD, MO, United States 05-06-12
    Deb ARNOLD, MO, United States 05-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    3
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    Story
    "The ring of truth...."
    What about Robert Petkoff’s performance did you like?

    I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Petkoff's performance, not many men would be able to give voice to Marilyn Monroe, but he certainly does. I will look for other titles which he narrates.


    Any additional comments?

    The life of Marilyn Monroe is surely one of the most popular biographies of modern times. Most, however, have the feeling of sensationalism. This book feels more realistic and down to earth. I feel like I have heard the 'real' story of the her life.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Starkville, MS, United States 04-18-12
    Joan Starkville, MS, United States 04-18-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
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    23
    22
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    "Great!"

    I never knew how interesting biographies could be. This is a fascinating book about a fascinating woman. A great listen!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Burlingame, CA, United States 12-01-11
    Sara Burlingame, CA, United States 12-01-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    Story
    "Excellent story as well as narration!"

    This was a very fascinating story and the narrator did a great job in expressing emotions behind the words.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 05-21-12
    Linda Yacolt, WA, United States 05-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
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    90
    41
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    "Interesting but not earthshaking."

    A well-performed, well-written biography of an icon. There is nothing startling in the book but it is a good all round account of the life of a Hollywood personality. Marilyn Monroe appears to be yet another personality used and abused by the system prevalent in Hollywood.

    I cannot recall having heard the word "however" used more frequently by a writer. It became something of a distraction.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Doee Whiting, NJ 08-01-14
    Jane Doee Whiting, NJ 08-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    13
    6
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    Story
    "Truly was a secret"
    Would you listen to The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe again? Why?

    No , once was enough


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe?

    How she lived with her husbands, she truly was abused.


    What does Robert Petkoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did a good job with his narration, but I think it would have been better if it was a female narrator.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Marilyn, she really was not a dumb blonde


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver Burnaby, BC, Canada 04-11-13
    Oliver Burnaby, BC, Canada 04-11-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "This book brings mm back to life!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe the most enjoyable?

    The narration and the books incredibly detailed story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details


    What about Robert Petkoff’s performance did you like?

    Clear and sexy voice


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    mm is brought back to life!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tess64 Texas 04-23-12
    Tess64 Texas 04-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I was somewhat dissapointed with the story."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this to a friend. My first biography on Marilyn and I was disappointed. The book jumped around so much it was hard to follow. The narator was the only bright spot.


    Which character – as performed by Robert Petkoff – was your favorite?

    Marilyn of course.


    Could you see The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Petra
    Kendal, Cumbria, United Kingdom
    3/10/10
    Overall
    "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe"

    Very good! Obviously a bit sad as the subject is Marilyn, but it was fluently written, well reasearched and interesting. I do like Taraborelli bios although he's not for everyone. I've read quite a few books about her and think this is one of the better ones. I think it was well read and, yes, the narrator does make a funny "marilyn" voice, but after a while you just go with the flow and get used to it. Overall I thought it was very well read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nadia
    poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
    8/31/09
    Overall
    "secret life"

    The book came across as well researched, it was engaging and well presented.
    The only two points i didn't enjoy were how the narrator spoke when speaking in Marilyn's voice mainly because he was a man. At times i felt the author had less empathy than necessary for Monroe's difficulties.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gayle
    Glasgow, Strathclyde, United Kingdom
    11/28/10
    Overall
    "Recommended"

    I enjoyed this book, but I wish the narrator had refrained to imitate Marilyn and other voices when quoting them

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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