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Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood Hacienda--The Story of Her Final Months Paperback – August 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595010822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595010820
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Vitacco-Robles is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works with children and families who have survived sexual and physical abuse and adolescent males who have committed sexual offenses. Born in New York, Gary has lived on the Florida Gulf Coast since 1975. This is his first book.

More About the Author

Gary Vitacco-Robles is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor in practice in the Tampa Bay Area. He holds a master's degree in Counselor Education from the University of South Florida.

For twenty years, Gary has worked with children and families who have survived sexual/physical abuse or neglect and youth with sexual behavior problems. He is also a founding member of a sexual abuse intervention network and has served as an advocate for both survivors of trauma and individuals managing their major psychiatric disorders since 1988. Gary is currently employed by a behavioral health organization as a program manager for both child and adult outpatient services.

Born in New York to a warm Italian family, Gary now lives on Florida's Gulf Coast and has been happily married for twenty-three years.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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A must for all fans!
Zelda Zonk
Much to my surprise, I was enthralled and fascinated by the details of Marilyn's final months, so eloquently chronicled by Gary Vitacco-Robles.
Manuel Lopez
People need to know the truth and should really get to know that she is a good lady.
U. Restauro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
There has been some confusion about the second edition of this book and the sales information on this site. According to the publisher, Iuniverse, the hardcover edition offered here is actually a "second edition" released in October 2003, although the release date printed is still listed as 2000. This is because it is a "re-do" under the same title previously released by the publisher. The new second edition cover for the paperback and hardcover depicts Marilyn standing beside the gates of her home and sell respectively for $20.95 and $30.95. The first edition was only published in paperback with a different cover for $11.95. The publisher says that vendors will continue to sell the first edition paperbacks until supplies depleted. The second edition contains new images, new chapters, re-worked chapters and information not included in the first. Having seen this book, the quality of photo reproduction in this new version are far superior than in the first. It also includes professional, "photorealistic-style" illustrations by artist Brandon Heidrick depicting the interior and exterior of Marilyn's home and furnishings. The images serve as a "virtual tour" of Marilyn's last home similar to the author's website.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Hillary O'Keefe on September 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent follow-up to the author's first paperback edition. I enjoyed this handsome, hardcover version and its wealth of new photos and illustrations. The artist's depictions looked like actual photos. This edition fleshed out more details of Marilyn's last weeks without dwelling on murder-theories.
Well-researched with new information, this book avoids re-hashing what has already been written. It is a page-turner and must-have for any Marilyn fan. Now I feel as though I really know Marilyn, and I've read nearly every biography written on her in the last fifteen years.
Using Marilyn's last days in the house as a context for a biography is a novel approach to understanding this icon. Vitacco-Robles wove together Marilyn's past as it related to the events during her last year. Marilyn's last year always fascinated me, and I was really interested in learning more about her months in the home in Brentwood. The book is the end-all for anyone who ever secretly wished to visit the home and see inside. It is now hidden by a huge gate to deter fans like me!
The last chapter focused on Frank Lloyd Wright designing a home for Marilyn & Arthur Miller. I was not aware of this. Marilyn wanted a large nursery for the children she never had and a study for the husbanc whom she later divorced. I was amazed that the home was eventually built in Hawaii as a golfing resort.
Vitacco-Robles is a therapist who works with abused children. He knows his subject well and is sensitive to Marilyn's emotional troubles created by her horrendous childhood. As a male biographer, I think Vitacco-Robles does Marilyn justice with his sensitive writing and fresh perspective.
Yes, it's the latest in a long line of biographies about this remarkable woman, but one of the best!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sallyann Wagoner on December 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Cursum Perficio is a well researched and well thought out book. It takes you on a tour of Marilyn's last home at 12305 5th Helena Drive. Gary delves into the possible reasons behind the purchase of this, her last home, and of the furnishings as well. The reader also gets a brief introduction to Marilyn's life. With Gary's mental health background, I think we get a fresh look at what may have triggered many of the events in her life and in this home. The book is full of photographs and original art. A must for every Monroe collector.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Sullivan on November 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
More than 600 books have been written about Marilyn Monroe since her death in 1962. While most of them have focused on the theories surrounding her apparent suicide at age 36, author Gary Vitacco-Robles focuses his new book on the actress' last home. Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood Hacienda/The Story of Her Final Months reframes and redefines Marilyn through the context of her efforts to establish a secure home following a childhood spent in a succession of foster homes. The author theorizes that the actress was trying to correct her past by putting down roots of her own. While several previous authors depict her final months as tumultuous, Vitacco-Robles provides evidence that suggests Marilyn was trying to pull her life together and give it some personal meaning. During the spring and summer of 1962, Marilyn embraced her newfound domesticity by pulling weeds in her garden, writing recipes in her copy of The Joy of Cooking and actually using the pots and pans in her kitchen. The book contains actual photographs of the house, interspersed with realistic renderings of the home by artist Brandon Heidrick. The author divides the photos and illustrations with floor plans for each room and includes pictures of an architectural model that depicts the entire property as it appeared in 1962. After she purchased the 2,300 square foot house, Monroe began extensively researching authentic Mexican design, landscaping and furnishings in an effort to slowly transform it into the home of her dreams. She arranged for an 11-day trip to Mexico where she painstakingly selected fabrics, tapestries, painted tiles, pottery and art. Monroe met the native artists who had made by hand the objects that she would later display in her home. Vitacco-Robles is donating a portion of the royalties from sales of this book to Hollygrove Children and Family Services, formerly the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society, where Marilyn Monroe lived as a child.
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