One of America’s most acclaimed novelists boldly re-imagines one of America’s most enduring icons in Blonde—the National Book Award-nominated bestseller by Joyce Carol Oates. The legend of Marilyn Monroe—aka Norma Jeane Baker—comes provocatively alive in this powerful tale of Hollywood myth and heartbreaking reality. Marilyn Monroe lives—reborn to tell her untold history; her story of a star created to shine brightest in the Hollywood firmament before her fall to earth. Blonde is a dazzling fictional portrait of the intricate inner life of the idolized and desired movie star as only the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates could paint it.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Penzler Pick, April 2000: It is surprising and shocking to realize that Joyce Carol Oates, one of the great writers living today, has never made The New York Times bestseller list (at least not in recent memory). Far less talented (and less famous) authors have made it while she, in all likelihood not caring much, has been shut out. That could easily change with her new novel, Blonde, which may be the masterpiece of a staggeringly distinguished career.
This 700-plus-page tome is based on the life of (you guessed it) Marilyn Monroe. In fictional form, with names changed (husband Joe DiMaggio is referred to as "The Ex-Athlete," Arthur Miller as "The Playwright," John F. Kennedy as "The President," for example), this may be the most accurate and compelling portrait of this beautiful and complex woman that one is ever likely to read.
But why discuss it on the mystery page, you might well be asking yourself. It was the author's intent to structure the book as a mystery, and of course she succeeds, as she seems to succeed at everything she attempts in the world of letters. And there is a murder, apparently arranged by a secret government bureau (FBI? CIA?), although that could be the victim's hallucination. Of course, it could also be both real and hallucinated (remember, even paranoids have enemies).
If you like biographies, you'll like Blonde. If you like novels, you'll like Blonde. If you like mysteries, you'll like Blonde. And if you fear that more than 700 pages by one of the greatest of living literary lions might be tough slogging, here's a little excerpt from the chapter titled "The President's Pimp:"
Sure he was a pimp.
But not just any pimp. Not him!
He was a pimp par excellence. A pimp nonpareil. A pimp sui generis. A pimp with a wardrobe, and a pimp with style. A pimp with a classy Brit accent. Posterity would honor him as the President's Pimp.
A man of pride and stature: the President's Pimp.
At Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs in March 1962 there was the President poking him in the ribs with a low whistle. "That blonde. That's Marilyn Monroe?"
He told the President yes it was. Monroe, a friend of his. Luscious, eh? But a little crazy.
Thoughtfully, the President asked, "Have I dated her yet?"
Nothing inaccessible about Joyce Carol Oates, especially in this most readable and relentlessly fascinating study of the lovely woman with whom the whole country was at least a little in love. --Otto PenzlerFrom the Back Cover:
In her most ambitious work to date, Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker -- the child, the woman, the fated celebrity and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. In a voice startlingly intimate and rich, Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist -- intensely conflicted and driven -- who had lost her way. A powerful portrait of Hollywood's myth and an extraordinary woman's heartbreaking reality, Blonde is a sweeping epic that pays tribute to the elusive magic and devastation behind the creation of the great twentieth-century American star.
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Book Description Ecco Press, 2001. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. First Trade Paperback Edition. New, unread 1st edition/1st printing trade pb copy. 738 pages. Fine. Bookseller Inventory # 000472
Book Description HarpPeren. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 006093493X . Bookseller Inventory # HCI6711AMGG062817H0333P
Book Description HarpPeren, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M006093493X
Book Description Harper Perennial, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX006093493X
Book Description HarpPeren, 2001. Book Condition: new. Shiny and new! Expect delivery in 20 days. Bookseller Inventory # 9780060934934-1
Book Description HarpPeren, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11006093493X
Book Description HarpPeren. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 006093493X New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0858524