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Misfit Paperback – Deckle Edge, July 24, 2012
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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"To some extent, it's about the details, obviously the result of painstaking research, but crafted as only a great fiction writer can pull off through a seamless application of imagination to fact."
San Francisco Chronicle
"We all know the ending to the story, but you can't help but want to hear Braver tell it all over again once you get drawn into his prose." Rhode Island Monthly
"Misfit is an incredible act of imagination. Adam Braver writes with wit and precision and real empathy, telling us something new and vital about one of our most over-scrutinized figures, while restoring some of the humanity that the glare of celebrity has stripped away." Scott O'Connor, author of Untouchable
"Adam Braver is not the first to interpret the true legend of Norma Jeane Baker, but it may be that he has gone the deepest. Beautiful, aching, fearsomeMisfit is a hall of mirrors that we all know, even those of us lucky enough not to have arrived there as Marilyn Monroe."Zachary Lazar, author of Sway
"Once again, Adam Braver turns his prodigious imagination and keen eye on an iconic figure and breathes life into her. His Marilyn will break your heart." Ann Hood, author of The Red Thread
"Misfit is amazing. Yes, we’re all familiar with the very publicly overexposed story of Marilyn Monroe’s life and death. And no, I’m not going to say that this follows in the path of anyone, or that Marilyn was herself a symbol, or that the book, itself, speaks to some general, important metaphor about America. Instead, it’s a book about the ability, the power of the author to penetrate the cell membrane, to pierce the heart of his recognizable yet perplexingly vague subject, and in so doing, to implicate the reader. It’s about how someone can be explored externally, while also internally examined: a book about identity, privacy, and intimacy that both exposes and conceals the subject. As, it seems to me, Marilyn acted while retaining an unknowable essence, so that she was hugely projected upon yet inhabited no life comprehensible to her.
Ann Beattie, author of Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life
"Adam Braver has a wonderfully rich imagination and his grasp of historical characters and settings is both deep and natural. I would gladly read anything he writes." Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply
Misfit is a thrilling book, a beautiful book and, most of all, a believable story at last about a woman so well known and not at all." SFGate.com
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Top Customer Reviews
My thoughts: Reading this novel, I learned how little I knew about Marilyn Monroe's life. This novel isn't a comprehensive novel of her life, but Braver offered fascinating possible insights into certain moments, some quite well known and some that were not known to me. From the beginning, the focus is on the end of Marilyn's life. Braver intersperses more detailed events of the weeks before Monroe's death with a chronological narrative. The effect was at times sad, at times downright morbid, but mostly fascinating.
This novel doesn't have much plot. For someone more familiar with Ms. Monroe's life, there would likely be no plot. For me, however, there were enough surprises added in with the known facts to provide a haunting context to a fascinating woman. What struck me as most impressive in this novel was not how well Braver got into the psyche of Monroe at different parts of her lives, although he does an excellent job. What was most impressive was how Braver captured the time of Monroe's life in a novel with sparse historical detail. For the first time, I was shocked at just how young Marilyn was, both in her fame and her death. Braver sets the stage with a date and location, but otherwise the narrative pulls the reader into the story. At times, Braver addresses the reader as Marilyn. A few times this technique was jarring, but mostly it did make me identify with Marilyn in a purely human way.
Favorite passage: "Because it's nice to know there's a person who wants to hear what you have to say, and is interested in it.Read more ›
While Blonde is an in depth narrative of Marilyn's whole life, Misfit focuses primarily on her later years, when she was filming the movie The Misfits with Montogomery Clift and her childhood idol, Clark Gable. I really enjoyed the parts of this book where Braver explored Marilyn's acting process and her struggles to be taken seriously and not to be seen merely as a silly blonde. Because so much has been commented on about her throughout the years, it is difficult to remember that she was a really flesh and blood person who was just trying to survive in a very difficult business.
Symbolically, the intertwining of Marilyn's downward spiral, which is depicted here as a mixture of mental illness inherited from her mother and grandmother and an unhealthy dependence on pills, with the end of the cowboy way of life in The Misfits brings a lot of poignancy to the story.
Despite my familiarity...and really everyone's familiarity, with the subject, I was pleasantly surprised by the way in which the author was able to evoke new feelings.
The novel covers only some of Marilyn's life and reads in some parts too much like a documentary. Perhaps if the author had taken a bit more liberty with inventing dialog the book would be a more enjoyable read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being a fan or Marilyn Monroe this book followed her life through the facts that fans have come to know. Interesting the way they chose to document each chapter. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kindle fan
A beautifully crafted piece of biographical fiction. Braver himself eschews the term biography though the book deals with the last few months of the life of Marilyn Monroe. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Richard W. Wise
This is the first book I've read about Marilyn Monroe and although it was good I need more to understand this story. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kindle Customer