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The Blonde: A Novel | [Anna Godbersen]

The Blonde: A Novel

It’s early spring 1959, and the word desire is synonymous with America’s most famous blonde: Marilyn Monroe. Being desired is her drug, her kryptonite, the very definition of who she is. It’s so much a part of her identity that her own wants and needs have become fleeting at best, as if she’s seen herself through others’ eyes so often that she’s forgotten what she looks like through her own. But the deepest needs always surface, and there is one thing Marilyn wishes for beyond all else: to meet her real father.
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Publisher's Summary

It’s early spring 1959, and the word desire is synonymous with America’s most famous blonde: Marilyn Monroe. She’s at the height of her fame, the object of a whole world’s worth of want and projection. Being desired is her drug, her kryptonite, the very definition of who she is. It’s so much a part of her identity that her own wants and needs have become fleeting at best, as if she’s seen herself through others’ eyes so often that she’s forgotten what she looks like through her own. But the deepest needs always surface, and there is one thing Marilyn wishes for beyond all else: to meet her real father.

Ten years earlier a man named Alexei Lazarey met Marilyn before she was Marilyn, starving and alone at Schwab’s in Los Angeles. Before the day was out, he got her signed to the William Morris Agency and eventually transformed her from a poor, failed actress to America’s most famous sex symbol.

Now that Marilyn has reached her pinnacle, Alexei comes back for his repayment. When she hesitates, he plays his trump card: Pulling out a photo of her estranged father with a promise to reunite them. The next day, Marilyn’s on a plane to Chicago with Alexei’s instructions ringing in her ear: John F. Kennedy is the favorite for next year’s Democratic presidential nomination. Find out something about him that no one else knows.

As she gets herself in deeper and deeper Marilyn discovers that there’s something much more sinister at play. What started as the simple desire to meet her father now has grave consequences for her, for the bright young Kennedy, and for the entire nation.

Part biography, part spy thriller, and part love story, The Blonde is a whip-smart reimagining of history that reads like a chillingly true account. With a voice that explodes off the page, this audiobook is a massive ice cream sundae of American celebrity, sex, love, violence, power, and paranoia.

©2014 Anna Godbersen (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (56 )
5 star
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3.6 (50 )
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3.9 (54 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Owlgirl Nevada City, California, United States 06-13-14
    Owlgirl Nevada City, California, United States 06-13-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    34
    13
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    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Fabulous"
    What did you love best about The Blonde?

    The story, could have went down that way!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ending!


    Have you listened to any of Erin Mallon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    She sounded just like Marilyn!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It did make ME think oh how cleverly written!!


    Any additional comments?

    Loved this book, best I've heard in a while ! Great listen !

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wag The Fox 06-29-14
    Wag The Fox 06-29-14

    Genre mutt.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    28
    25
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    1
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Blonde Bombshell Is Right"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I think any fan of political thriller, Cold War thrillers, as well as anyone who is a fan of the late Marilynn Monroe will most certainly get a kick out of this one.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Blonde?

    No one moment struck me as particularly memorable as much as the evolution of Marilyn as a character through the course of the novel. In the beginning, she embodies that starlet image that she is iconic for, but with each little twist in her recruitment by Russian intelligence and her involvement with the Kennedy brothers, it all built to one heck of an ending.


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

    Well, her voice acting was top notch, and her dialogue as Marilyn alone was remarkable. Beyond that, she managed to disappear with each character, with no one voice proving to be a distraction. The delivery as well, depending upon the scene, worked really well, whether keying into Marilyn's mounting stresses or her mounting passions.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If time had permitted, I would have gladly sat back or mulled about the house while this audiobook played.


    Any additional comments?

    A captivating piece of revisionist history with a bevy of cameos from notable figures, including the ones mentioned as well as one of my own faves, Clark Gable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 05-22-14
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 05-22-14

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Historically Questionable Historic Novel"

    A lot has been written about JFK's relationship with Marilyn Monroe and this is simply another one.

    I lived in Los Angeles and left high school in 1969 when much of this took place and clearly remember the newspapers, both ethical and trashy, take on her death and relationship with a beloved President.

    I don't think the writing was outstanding, however Erin Mallon's narration was slightly better than average..she did get a good take on the Blond's lisp.

    Is it true? Most likely but then, we'll never know will we? If you like historical fiction you might enjoy this book. It was an average listen-I like but didn't love it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaime CA, United States 05-18-14
    Jaime CA, United States 05-18-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    24
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    "Awesome Story!"
    What did you love best about The Blonde?

    I loved how Marilyn was made to be the smart woman I always suspected she was. The public saw a fragile child-like creature, but this story made her out to be something else.


    What other book might you compare The Blonde to and why?

    NA


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

    I loved this narrator. I felt she did an excellent job voicing Marilyn in her trademark baby whisper. That's something that would have been missed just by simply reading the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I felt a since of sadness at the end of the book. I felt this would have been a great alternative to what was, but who knows? Maybe there is some truth to it!


    Any additional comments?

    I was skeptical when I purchased this book, but I am so glad that I did. I think this might be a book you either love or hate....and I LOVED it. Amazing.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jm 12-22-14
    jm 12-22-14 Member Since 2013

    otherwise

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a book for guys"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Not sure I know anyone who would enjoy it, obviously some folks enjoyed it. according to the reviews.


    What could Anna Godbersen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Shorter background information segments. Most were puffed with added, irrelevant information. I did not care who was on the road trip with the friend, just knowing he was on a trip was the information I required to comprehend the story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I cannot offer performance improvement information.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Wonder - I wondered why I bought it and how it would keep my attention. At 6 hours of listening I started looking at the hours reaming and wonder if it was worth my time to finish.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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