We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
Blonde | [Joyce Carol Oates]

Blonde

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 breathtaking and transforming as Blonde.
Regular Price:$26.60
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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 breathtaking and transforming as Blonde.

In her most ambitious work to date, Joyce Carol Oates, one of America'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.

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.

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 20th century.

©2001 Joyce Carol Oates; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Atkinson narrates Oates's fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe in an intense, slightly husky voice that immediately grabs and holds the listener's attention." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (127 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.0 (60 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.1 (58 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    C. Hutchinson USA 02-07-13
    C. Hutchinson USA 02-07-13 Member Since 2012

    Crystalline888

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NO UNABRIDGED VERSION?"
    What would have made Blonde better?

    If I could have listened to the entire darned thing, instead of quitting 1/10 of the way through to read the REAL book. The narration was fantastic, and this is an incredible work of literature. WHY it had to be ruined...I have no idea.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved everything about it...too bad I was missing a HUGE part of the point.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The one that I read afterwards when I had to RE READ THE BOOK to get the whole story. Possibly the one with Norma in the car, since THAT WAS COMPLETELY LEFT OUT AND CHANGED THE MEANING OF EVERYTHING.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I absolutely adore this book. It's just too bad that it has been decided for us that we aren't intelligent or patient or deep enough to listen to the entire thing. JCO, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING????


    Any additional comments?

    I am so disappointed. I'd love a refund since I had to stop listening and buy the book anyway, once I realized all that I was missing out on.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celina woodstock, ON, Canada 04-21-14
    Celina woodstock, ON, Canada 04-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    71
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This bombshell keeps making her way into my heart!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! the author of this book and narrator really brought you close to Marilyn. It was a pleasure to listen to. I couldn't put it down.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The intimacy you got to share with marilyn from her fist moments to her last.


    If you could rename Blonde, what would you call it?

    i Wouldn't i think this title was perfectly chosen. it really is a metaphor for the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily East Hampton, NY, USA 09-27-12
    Emily East Hampton, NY, USA 09-27-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening"

    Rarely write a review, but the melding of prose and reader was so perfect. I don't care about the historical accuracy ... it was psychologically convincing and mesmerizing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lesley MEMPHIS, TN, United States 09-18-12
    Lesley MEMPHIS, TN, United States 09-18-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting take on Marilyn"

    Overall, this book was a good listen. It was for my book club and was my first time to listen instead of read a fiction book. I definitely had a different take on the story compared to the ladies who read the book. I liked it a lot more than they did, but I think it's because the audio version is abridged. The narrator's imitation of Marilyn was annoying at times, but the story was great to listen to and kept me interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    In Kyung Lee seoul,korea 06-04-12
    In Kyung Lee seoul,korea 06-04-12 Member Since 2009

    inquirer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "outstanding performance"
    What made the experience of listening to Blonde the most enjoyable?

    I loved the narrator's voice and her performance. Would be interested to listening another book she narrated.


    What did you like best about this story?


    Which scene was your favorite?


    If you could rename Blonde, what would you call it?


    Any additional comments?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 11-04-05
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 11-04-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    309
    62
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Conflicted points of view"

    While lending credibility to the possibility that Marilyn Monroe was misused and misunderstood, reports of her talent are over stated by the author. The voice of the narrator tells us of her lovers, while secondary reports tell us of her depravity. If you accept only the narrator's perspective, then you will be sympathetic to Marilyn's plight. If you believe the narrator's voice telling you how brilliantly she did in "Misfits," then you'll wonder why her name isn't mentioned today with the same reverence as, say, Katherine Hepburn.

    What you do gain is insight into the early Hollywood heydays where the studio controlled all and starlets were merely chattel. If this interests you, you will enjoy "Blonde." As a fictionalized biography, Blonde covers most aspects of Marilyn's life yet she still comes off as vacuous in the book as she did in the movies. As with any novel, the key is in having a charater you care about. It's hard to care for Marilyn. I even listened to the interview with the author regarding her character development, but while I could see Oates' craft in the novel, "Blonde" was only fair.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Stratford, CT, United States 12-08-11
    Lisa Stratford, CT, United States 12-08-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's a Novel Not a Bio"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Blonde to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version but the audio version was great!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marilyn is always my favorite character in a book about Marilyn


    Which character – as performed by Jayne Atkinson – was your favorite?

    Marilyn


    Who was the most memorable character of Blonde and why?

    Marilyn, because there is no one like her, I believe she was very special


    Any additional comments?

    I found her childhood to be somewhat different from her biography

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary VENTURA, CA, United States 03-08-09
    mary VENTURA, CA, United States 03-08-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    490
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book"

    Everything about this book was good. I am glad I listened to it because the narration was perfect. You cannot go wrong with JCO.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hal Doral, FL, USA 04-30-08
    Hal Doral, FL, USA 04-30-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "When it's good it couldn't be better"

    When its bad its only mediocre.

    The recreation of her first date with Arthur Miller, for example, is a high point. Her attempts to create great literature don't always work, for example, the opening scene with the messenger boy delivering death.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
Sort by:
  • Mark
    9/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant performance of an astonishing narrative."

    Truly gripping performance of a great work of imaginative literature. Brings alive the period and the extraordinary unsung genius of Marilyn Monroe. If an audio book can be unputdownable this was it. Bravo Jayne Atkinson!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. Nicola J. Booth
    Guildford, UK
    2/4/13
    Overall
    "Liked it"

    Extremely well told, the husky voice of the narrator really added character and back bone to the book and opened my eyes. Wasn't sure at first about the book in the first 30 minutes but glad i stuck with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.