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Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe Paperback – April 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Scarborough House (April 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812885252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812885255
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,301,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel on August 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I seem to have read the Marilyn Monroe biograhpies backward, because so many of the ones I've already read (including Norman Mailer's, Gloria Steinem's, and Barbara Leaming's) used Guiles' _Legend_ (or his first Marilyn book, _Norma Jean_) as a reference and guide. This book is truly incredible for its in-depth look into a confusing, tragic life; especially since Marilyn often embellished her past.
I especially enjoyed Guiles' treatment of her decline. He never judged; he was sympathetic and kind about her lateness, dependence on drugs, and occasional fits of bitchiness. Unlike other biographers, Guiles didn't place all that much emphasis on her barbituate addiction, which I felt was kind of refreshing. Her death was handled eloquently, steering the reader toward a suicide verdict, carefully negating other reports.
I have only a couple of minor complaints; I think if I could I would give the book 4 1/2 stars. Twice near the beginning of his biography, Guiles points out that Marilyn was "not naturally pretty." He said it about Norma Jeane when she was starting to model, and again about Marilyn after some of her plastic surgery. How could he say that? It just seems like an odd statement to make about the greatest sex symbol of all time, especially because of her vulnerable, luminous quality. Also, regarding her marriage to Jim Dougherty, it seemed that Guiles took every word Jim said as gospel, when he would have as much reason as Marilyn to embellish that situation to his benefit (and no more proof than she had, and of course when Jim wrote his book, she was already dead).
On the whole, this is the best book on Marilyn Monroe, comparable only with Donald Spoto's biography. I recommend it to all readers, not simply people who are already Marilyn fans.
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24 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "kimstarseventeen" on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Awesome! I loved every page, I read with a desire! This book had so much information on Marilyn Monroe it was scary. It gives the 411 on all her stories and how she came to be-and die- one of the most glamourus women in Amercan Culture ever! The devine Ms. M's fairy tale started out by chance, and gives light on how Marilyn really was and how she came to be. I would recomend this book to everyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erin Clark on June 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Great book about such a beautiful woman who had a difficult life from day 1. This books provides alot of insight into Marilyn's life. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
This was one of the first books I'd read on MM, wish it had been my first. Guiles does not use gossip and sensationalism, I like that. He gives the reader the person behind the myth, portrayed with the respect she deserves. It was written pre-Slatzer and Carmen, so you don't have them muddying the facts of Marilyn's life and death. I just recently recommended this to someone looking for a good first book to read on Marilyn.
[...]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Basically a re-write of Guiles' ground-breaking "Norma Jeane," and still the best biography to date of an authentic American phenomenon.
Marilyn Monroe is presented as a fabulously flawed, single-minded and often delightful person and ambitious actress, for whom life became unendurable when her carefully constructed façade began to crumble. Clear-eyed, but compassionate.
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