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Customer Review

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book was informative, but I've read better, May 31, 2012
This review is from: Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you can get past the author's obvious egomania, this isn't a bad book. She spends too much time putting down other books written about Monroe and on page six compares herself to Marilyn. "Blonde and blue-eyed, I had her body dimensions and won beauty contests. Like her I had relatives in the film industry who encouraged me to aim for stardom. But I loved learning." Then she proceeds to crow about her academic achievments. Seriously, Ms. Banner? I hate to burst your bubble, but I don't care, and it is never a good idea to begin a book about someone by putting her down. I had never heard of you, and would never have gotten this book unless it was about Marilyn Monroe. There is a simple rule. If you are secure in your own talent, you don't have to brag about it. Other than my having the experience of wanting to slap an author across the face, (That is a first for me) this was an interesting well researched account of Marilyn's life. I did enjoy it once I delved further into the book. I have read many books on Monroe and there were a couple of things I did learn. But would I pay good money for this book? No. I recommend it only to the real die hard Marilyn Monroe fans to which I am one.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 6, 2012 8:55:09 AM PDT
David Cady says:
With all due respect, when I'm reading a work of scholarship -- and this book is definitely that, not merely a biography -- I have no problem learning the perspective from which an author is coming. (And the references of which you speak come in the books introduction, precisely when an author generally tells us why and how they became interested in their subject matter.) Many people who follow feminist studies are familiar with Ms. Banner and her work, and will come to this book BECAUSE it is written by her. And yes, some will come to it only because of Marilyn. But to excoriate an author for having a personal point of view and an education seems to me an overreaction. Doesn't Marilyn deserve serious academic consideration? Or do we just want one more tell-all written by her neighbor's chauffeur?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 12:28:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2012 12:30:15 PM PDT
Rita Reader says:
I'm not the only one that feels this way. See some of the other reviews! I stand by what I said. I feel my review was fair. I did give her three stars for her work.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 8:03:43 PM PDT
Lisa M says:
I am reading it now and I agree about most of your review. In fact, I am hesitant to even write the review. I will save anything else I have to say for my own review. I'm glad I'm not alone in my thoughts.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2012 9:35:33 PM PDT
Rita Reader says:
I am so glad you plan to leave a review! This woman was too egotistical for words. One of best books about Marilyn that I just finished was "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" I think you will like that one. Again, I am glad you feel the same way. I got some flack over my review by others, but I stand by it.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 10:14:00 AM PDT
eugenia says:
Hi Rita,

in your header you state that you've read better Marilyn bios, I want to read one for the first time, which would you recommend??

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 8:00:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2012 8:02:12 PM PDT
Rita Reader says:
My Story by Marilyn herself, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli is good and the Gloria Steinum book if you can find it. I think it is out of print. I really enjoyed all of those, and my favorite book for photos is the Marilyn Monroe Metamorphisis. Lovely and well worth the money.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 11:28:01 PM PDT
I have over 120 Marilyn books....the best out there are Marilyn:Private and Undisclosed by Michelle Morgan, Marilyn: The Ultimate Look At The Legend by James Haspiel, and Mairlyn: The Biography by Donald Spoto. I agree with Rita that Metamorphosis is the best photo book by far, but disagree about Steinem and Taraborelli. Taraborelli doesn't cite his sources, so you don't know if what he writes is truth, comes from known liars, or was just made up in his own head. As far as Steinem, I dislike the treatment of Marilyn-as-victim, and she repeats rumors that have been discredited for years as though they are fact. The three books I mentioned are the ones that I've found to be the most accurate.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2013 2:13:19 PM PDT
I am an "academic scholar," and no, it is not routine to begin a "work of scholarship" by trashing the competition and tooting your own horn. I found the "I too was blonde and beautiful" thing incredibly tacky.
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