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The Blonde Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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What if Marilyn Monroe had been a Soviet spy sent to seduce JFK and to coax out his secrets? Here the blonde bombshell is initially recruited as a teenager and set on the road to stardom until payment comes due at the height of the Cold War in 1959. Then, lured further by the promise of meeting the father she never knew, Marilyn sets out to snare the charismatic senator from Massachusetts, letting nature, along with her lush body, take its course. What she doesn’t bank on is falling in love. In Godbersen’s telling, Marilyn is street smart under her veneer of naïveté (with an agent assigned to her in Hoover’s FBI); Kennedy is a reckless womanizer reined in by brother Bobby; and both JFK and MM find their affair turning unexpectedly emotional. In her adult-fiction debut, YA author Godbersen puts her own spin on history, as a love story with a twist turns thriller. More fodder for the insatiably curious followers of both these larger-than-life main characters. --Michele Leber
Some like it hot, but The Blonde by Anna Godbersen is platinum-hot. From the wicked first chapter to the final outrageous twist, this extraordinarily vivid and totally unforgettable novel is on fire. Or is it a novel? I was spellbound.”Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Monster of Florence
Anna Godbersen has dared to reinvent the history of Marilyn Monroe, breaking all literary rules. The tale she spins is astonishingly seductive. I could not stop turning the pages and contemplating, 'Could any of this be true?' Was the Norma Jean-to-Marilyn my father knew so well a fictitious character leading a double life?”Susan Bernard, author of Marilyn: Intimate Exposures
"Daringly inventive and sumptuously sexy and thrilling, The Blonde gets the readers inside Marilyn Monroe’s head a fascinating, dark, inviting and complex place. Only Anna Godbersen is this wildly imaginative and richly descriptive; her natural knack for capturing the mood of a historical moment is nothing less than uncanny.” Emily Gould, author of Friendship
Praise for Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe:
A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites.”Kirkus Reviews
Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!”Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Gossip Girl series
Dishy fun.”Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
I did have a bit of trouble with the characterization, but I think the author was deliberately keeping Marilyn enigmatic and for me, that worked extremely well.
If you're willing to suspend disbelief, you'll also love it. At least give this a try. You just possibly might hate it. But if you like twists galore and a bit of irony, this is definitely for you.
This part of the summary actually says it all about the blonde:
“Part biography, part spy thriller, and part love story, THE BLONDE is a whip-smart re-imagining of the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy that draws on historical events to create a dark tale of American celebrity, sex, love, violence, power, and paranoia.”
How can you not want to read that??
The actual story line was wonderfully imaginative and addictive. I had so much fun reading about the actual historical events wrapped up in Godbersen’s intriguing re-telling of it all. And the most impressive part was that she captured the spirit of Marilyn so well. I felt like I was reading some of Marilyn’s lost diaries. Anna Godbersen introduces us to a russian man called Alexie who was the one that jump started Marilyn’s career, simply saying that he would be calling in a “favor” later with her. And so started her secret career as a spy.
The espionage and spy thirller aspect of the story was the coolest melding of history and fictions. I just ate it all up.Read more ›
I was really interested in reading The Blonde, as I love Marilyn Monroe and all the theories out there about her. I thought it was an intriguing and unique concept, and was eager to see how this book would play out. Unfortunately, it didn’t really work for me. The beginning was too slow and by the time anything interesting was happening, I was pretty bored and felt like the book would never come to an end. The plot became tedious and quite far-fetched at times, and the last few chapters were really the only parts I was interested in. Interesting idea, but a flat delivery for me.
There’s a quote on page 342 that sums up the novel beautifully. “There are already too many stories, and you know how once there’s a little scandal people love to fabricate on top of that.”
That’s what Godbersen does. She takes an over-sensationalized story and adds a lot of fabrication. It’s too bad because I like the idea of the book. In the end, I’m just not much of a conspiracy theorist.
The other problem for me was the characters. I couldn’t cheer for any of them. The Kennedys are portrayed as wicked. Marilyn is nauseating (until the very end). Alexei, the CIA, and FBI; they’re all bad guys.
We really don’t have a protagonist in the story. Without someone to cheer for the novel falls flat.
Would I recommend it: I think there’s an audience for this book. Conspiracy theorists will love it. Otherwise, just check it out of the library and read the last three chapters. Note of caution: Anna Godbersen’s previous series was geared for young adults. This is an adult book with profanity, graphic sex, and other mature situations.
As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews.
(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sure, the idea of Marilyn Monroe as a Soviet spy (actually she's more of an informant) seems far-fetched. Read morePublished 1 month ago by DECODAME
I'm buying this book for a second time to send to someone in a book exchange. It's just a book I would love for people to read! Read morePublished 3 months ago by EmilyAnne
Fun concept and enjoyable read. I've enjoyed all of Godbersen's books.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Maybe it was just me, but I couldn't understand the jumping back and forth from character to character?? But once I bought the audio version then, BAM, I could then understand it.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Began a little slow but very interesting with a twist at the end.Published 11 months ago by Leigh Leadingham
As a kid if the JFK/Marilyn Monroe generation, I was of course intrigued by this book and I wasn't disappointed when I read it. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Avid writer of historical fiction
I loved Anna Godbersen's intriguing take on Marilyn Monroe. A major page turner! Godbersen is a smart and educated Author. Can hardly wait for her next adult book!Published 15 months ago by Katharina M Orne