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The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe Hardcover – December 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is truly a mixed bag. There are pages of brilliance and it is quite apparent that the author, Andrew O'Hagan, has an in-depth grasp of the personalities who appear in the book. Detailed minutia, particularly regarding Dr. Kris, abounds and it is obvious that the author has strong familiarity with those in Marilyn's inner circle in New York. He has painted Marilyn in a quite positive light--she is funny, kind, thoughtful and witty--and believable.
Where I had problems with this book--and what kept me from giving a 5 star rating--primarily focuses on the pages/passages which seem to digress from the story and don't have a relevance. Also, and this is my personal opinion swaying this--the characters of Dr. Greenson and Mrs. Murray are a bit too 'kind.' And, spoiler here for the ending--the book itself abruptly finishes somewhere around the point in Marilyn's life (Spring/Summer of 1962) where she was having problems with 20th Century Fox after having flown to NY to sing "Happy Birthday" at JFK's party. Also, there is zero mention even in passing of Joe DiMaggio.Read more ›
The problem for me is that all these ingredients don't hang together terribly well and it's a bit of, well, a dog's dinner. In fact, I'd go so far to say that parts of it are really quite dull - and that's surprising given all the other factors. Maf is prone to philosophy - again, I don't have a particular issue with that, but it doesn't really have any effect on the narrative other than to bog it down. It's not particularly funny, nor insightful. In fact it leads to more questions as it's unclear where Maf gained this insight.
And sure, he keeps getting taken out with Marilyn on her trips to parties, sets, therapists etc, but there is little narrative coherence about these events and they seem to just plod along - and it's next to impossible to track the time frames of the book. I had high expectations of this book (which can be a problem) but I was sadly disappointed.Read more ›
In choosing as his protagonist not only a dog from real life but also one that was known to be the almost constant companion of a famous individual who is nowadays regarded as herself occupying something of a shadowy world of semi-make believe, frustrated in her attempts to find or make her true self known to others -- as well as now heavily shrouded in mystique, notoriety and offering a perfect candidate for voyeurism -- O'Hagan sets up an endless series of potential directions for his novel. And there, I think, is the rub; while providing countless possible themes and in a setting laced with the poignancy, scandal and intrigue, most readers are likely to be disappointed with the direction that the author actually chooses to take.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved the book but most of all the ending a very special book for dog lovers......Published 13 months ago by Rosabel Horta
This book needs a companion book or web site. There are so many philosophers, authors, actors, and historical characters mentioned, that it is hard to keep score and to keep... Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by M.A. De Neve
This book is valiant in scope and Maf's voice is unique; however, there were too many obscure references for my liking. Read morePublished on September 16, 2013 by Kleopetra
Couldn't finish it. It was the definition of "Pretensious". Dropping all the old literary masters quotes was just boring if you haven't read them. It just began to anger me. Read morePublished on August 11, 2013 by judy kane
Don't be put off if you find the title slightly cutesy - this is an exhilarating, idiosyncratic and very funny odyssey through 50's - 60's American. pop and intellectual culture. Read morePublished on June 12, 2013 by Frances Doel
Written in a very pretentious style that was so annoying I couldn't finish the book. The story wasn't that interesting either.Published on May 25, 2013 by Cathy F
An interesting conceit from O'Hagan, who shows off his knowledge of Bloomsbury, Virginia Woolf's "Flush," Virginia's sister Vanessa and her sad story, and much, much more through... Read morePublished on March 11, 2013 by Constant Reader