Format Read: print ARC
Source: Meryl L Moss PR in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Buying Links: Barnes & Noble | Amazon* | The Book Depository*
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Blurb from goodreads:
Marilyn's Red Diary is shocking, funny, scandalous and sad but always brutally honest. Marilyn Monroe is caught between intellectual giants - her award-winning playwright husband Arthur Miller and her dashing politician boyfriend Jack. Then along comes Jack's fiery brother Bobby. The world's dream girl relates her intimate adventures with many of the era's who's who. Marilyn's Red Diary is a touching portrait of a hard-working, extremely bright woman, trapped in her own sensuality and, tragically, born far ahead of her time.
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A fictional account of what Marilyn's diary might read like, the book mixes fact and fiction and gives us a glimpse of what Marilyn's internal thoughts may have been like. At times, the entries are written in a very bookish manner and other times read like thoughts quickly dashed off. There are typos and misspellings that you would expect to see in a handwritten journal not intended for public consumption and presumably representative of Marilyn's literacy level. Some entries were interesting, some boring and many assumed a level of knowledge of events and people that I lacked. I have some knowledge of course, but at times it's assumed the reader has more knowledge more than some readers may actually have. It wasn't a big problem and for some readers may not be a problem at all.
The book is written as if by her therapist with a brief chapter by her alleged attorney at the end. I honestly wasn't impressed with the doctor as presented in the book: he was self-important, overstepped boundaries, and seemed incompetent. If the therapist in the book is based on a real one, I feel sorry for Marilyn; she had a poor doctor. I also had trouble with some of the conspiracy theories presented in the book, though I'd heard some of them before. But if you like conspiracies, then you might like that part of the story.
I wasn't prepared for how sexually explicit some of the entries were. It didn't bother me; just for some reason I didn't expect it. So, you have been warned. :D Other entries were just sad. If there's any accuracy to the book, and knowing what I do about Marilyn there certainly seems to be some, her life was not all champagne and roses. I felt sorry for her, her depression and her decision making and her unhappiness. I disagreed with much of what she did and said (and remember, the book is a mix of fact and fiction) but the book made me think and made me feel. If you are interested in Marilyn, but aren't looking for anything too deep, pick this up. It's a pleasant way to spend a few hours.
Some quotes from the book:
Now as regards my fainting problem, Arthur has already talked with the Doctor who admitted me. I'm sure he's told him a pack of lies, hiding his guilt about being unfaithful. And acting all loving and supportive like the hippocrit he is. Besides grossly exaggerating my pill and alcohol intake. So far this doctor has only talked to me about my medical state and just a little about my current medications. We don't exactly agree on maintaining my present levels of Seconals which he thinks are way too much. So I had Paula peak to him and try to explain how long I have been using this rather large amount. And that's why they no longer worked. And the Doctor agreed, and called it 'ackomodation', which was a very common side effect with addicting medicines. But he wasn't going to order any more because he didn't want to be responsible for killing me or letting me kill myself. Another coward in a white coat.
It was magic just like it always is. Dammit. And damn him. My Jack, the new President, is so smooth he could charm the pants off any girl. Charming, attentive, with good manners and oh so intelligent. Funny about everything and everyone including himself and all done with this incredible inner confidence. Makes everyone else average.
Dr. Greenson asked if I would feel safer in an institution? And I replied, 'Oh no. The thought of that dreadful Payne Whitney just sends chills down my spine.' I begged him not to send me away. 'For just awhile?' he added. 'Never' I answered. And he said, 'Of course. He was just making suggestions. And meanwhile I could come move into his home, until I felt it was safe enough to venture out. Everything in small steps.'