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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2011
This is certainly one of the most unique books on Marilyn in many years. It is akin to the Christie auction catalog and Clark Kidder's books on her cover appearances. Recently another book was published that contained several replicas of documents coming from Marilyn's life but this book by Lois Banner blows all others out of the water. I don't have the energy to make an actual count but in this book's 336 pages there are photos of documents that span her life and career, not to mention a great many new and unseen photos. This book will remain the pinnacle of Marilyn Memorabilia for many years. I can't imagine what could possibly dethrone this marvel. Perhaps, the red diary???

There is very little narrative, but what is there is clear and precise. This is not a book that glorifies the author's knowledge of Marilyn's life, as so many books have been in the past, but one that simply presents those mundane everyday pieces of paper that anyone could relate to and see that dear Marilyn was no different than anyone else. She bought food, bought furniture, signed checks, wrote letters and tried to live her life with as little complication as possible. But the world did not let her have a simple life. We can just enjoy these slowly decomposing paper records of someone that will live forever.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
Historian Banner and photographer Anderson comprise a terrific team. The story of how their collaboration came about itself makes for fascinating reading. Of course, if you are a lover of Marilyn and insatiably curious about her life, this book will be difficult to put down.
I attended the local book signing held at "Book Soup" on the Sunset Strip, and what a memorable experience that was. Besides the engaging background stories told by collaborators Banner and Anderson, a talented Marilyn impersonator attended to lend a bit of show-biz flair to the occasion.

I heartily recommend purchasing this book. Ms. Banner's in-depth research over a period of 10 years provides the reader with never-before seen slices of Marilyn's life told through her personal archives. Word from Ms. Banner is, she has sufficient material from her research to write another book to further explore facets of Marilyn's life...and the mysteries behind her death. Ms. Banner promises that this next undertaking won't take a decade to produce. That's good news for anyone who is enthraled with the subject.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
If you are a Marilyn fan, you have to get this book. Great stuff you've never seen before, a lot of personal mementos.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2011
Respectful, insightful. It is clear the author did her homework and opens the book with the interesting background story of Inez Melson, Marilyn's early business manager, and the two file cabinets containing the thousands of items photographed for this book. There are surprises here (Marilyn owned two parakeets?) and a few rare unpublished photos of Marilyn among the many photos of all the documents.

The book is neither exploitive nor sensationalized. What more could you ask for? A must have for a Marilyn fan. I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2012
I give the book 5 big stars, packaging, 1 star. The book was inside a big box just being beat around, and the dust jacket got banged up pretty bad. This wouldn't have happened had it been bubble wrapped, or just somehing wrapped around the book. BUT the book IS phenomenal!!!! Beautiful! Lots of personal things about Marilyn, and her life!!! Can't recommend enough to anyone with interest in Marilyn's life! Lots of beautiful photos, and actual copies of letters, etc.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2011
I have been in love with Marilyn for over 30 years now and collect many things with her and I have to say even this book had things that i have never seen before. Its a tresure trove of never before seen photos and personal items that even I haven't seen before. Though I haven't had the time to actually read this book I must say just glancing threw it is worth every penny. I thoroughly enjoyed this book thus far and will for many years to come.....
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed the way this book was layed out via pieces of paper throughout Marilyn's life. What a great and different concept, with great pictures! This is a must have for Monroe fans. Pure Enjoyment!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2011
Dr. Lois Banner has accomplished what many before her have sought to do and have come so short in doing, capturing the essence of Marilyn Monroe. Through Dr. Banner's scholarly insight and Mark Anderson's photographs, we are able to catch a glimpse of the fleeting humanity of the world's most famous sex symbol. Marilyn is reconstituted for the reader, with her legendary frailty intact, as the most normal of human beings. She has relationships, close and casual; she participates in the daily routines of life; she saves momentos of her triumphs and her defeats; she is interested in the world around her and introspective of her own life. We see behind the scenes of what it takes to forge the identity of a major movie star, and what it takes to keep the image going. The items themselves become the archeological relics of a culture which has passed us by. They document a short, but important, period of time in our country that Marilyn reigned supreme and unequaled. The photographs, coupled with Dr. Banner's thoughtful biography, make this a book, whose place of importance in Marilyn Monroe research will be hard to surpass.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
MM- Personal: From the private archive of Marilyn Monroe. If you are interested, it's worthy of purchase.Many details of the personal side of Monroe
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2011
Nice book. All the receipts and such got a bit much. Other then that, the book was an excellent read.
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