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Surprising insights from a "blonde bombshell" movie icon,
This review is from: My Story (Hardcover)
Reading this book one realizes that in real life Marilyn Monroe was very observant and insightful, the antithesis of the bubble-headed role she projected both on screen and in public. In simple, almost childishly naive conversational tones, she describes her childhood as an orphan, sexually abused by an older man and married (to another man) by her late teens. She recounts the struggle as a young actress - the seemingly endless round of casting calls and dashed hopes until she begins to get noticed by the powers that be.
Her persona may be that of someone lacking street smarts, but she is also perceptive. Her observations of the usual cast of characters at Hollywood - the movers, shakers, stars and wannabes of all stripes - is surprisingly deep. She describes the myriad women whose movie roles for ten years has been limited to walk-on extras, as walking "ten feet towards nothing" after each fleeting appearance.
Her tone is wisful and longing but she never devolves into self-pity. Her famed vulnerability and her adult/child appeal comes through as very real personality traits, not as an on screen creation. She sees herself as just another pretty girl, and cannot comprehend the magic spell she cast on Hollywood and her fans. It comes as a surprise to read her revelation about sex being no big source of pleasure for her.
I would have loved to see at least a chapter's worth of commentary on her writings. Other than for the obvious luminaries who greatly impacted her life, many people she mentioned would be unfamiliar names to readers of this book. A little background on their influences on her life would have been a welcome addition to the book.