Customer Reviews for

Blonde

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Marilyn Monroe, as you've never known her

This was a totally absorbing, riveting book. Never had much interest in Marilyn Monroe before, but I sure do now! The author, I presume, loosely based the narrative on actual facts of the star's life, and I want to believe that many of the details--although enhanced--ar...
This was a totally absorbing, riveting book. Never had much interest in Marilyn Monroe before, but I sure do now! The author, I presume, loosely based the narrative on actual facts of the star's life, and I want to believe that many of the details--although enhanced--are grounded in fact. (A check on her biography confirms that many of the events brought out in the book are true.)

Norma (aka Marilyn) is revealed as a flawed, but totally human, compassionate, sensitive woman. I was shocked at the sadness of her life but glad I got to know this heretofore stereotyped image of the screen star. As always, Joyce Carol Oates delivered. This will rank among my favorites, along with "They Were the Mulvaneys."

posted by 1592926 on September 7, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Disappointed

I had high hopes for this book; I like Joyce Carol Oates, and the reviews for Blonde were outstanding. Instead, I found myself reading pages and pages of the description of 'Norma Jeane's' first period that sounded like it came straight out of Stephen King's 'Carrie.' B...
I had high hopes for this book; I like Joyce Carol Oates, and the reviews for Blonde were outstanding. Instead, I found myself reading pages and pages of the description of 'Norma Jeane's' first period that sounded like it came straight out of Stephen King's 'Carrie.' Boring, been there done that--the shock of the blood, how men would now be able to sniff her out, blah blah blah. There was also nothing new in the descriptions of life in the orphanage, life in foster homes. Wondering why everyone made such a fuss over this snoozer.

posted by Anonymous on April 19, 2001

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Blonde--A Character Lost to Herself

    Marilyn became a legend because of her beauty and sex appeal. But the real girl-woman couldn't compete with herself. She never found true peace and happiness. Always it was her body and looks she perceived as her only asset, although there is evidence that she was a very intelligent woman. Locked within herself, with a lack of self esteem she was always on a collision course with herself which ultimately led to her untimely death. Joyce Carol Oates writes this book so powerfully you think you are actually living Marilyn's life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2009

    Marilyn Monroe, as you've never known her

    This was a totally absorbing, riveting book. Never had much interest in Marilyn Monroe before, but I sure do now! The author, I presume, loosely based the narrative on actual facts of the star's life, and I want to believe that many of the details--although enhanced--are grounded in fact. (A check on her biography confirms that many of the events brought out in the book are true.)

    Norma (aka Marilyn) is revealed as a flawed, but totally human, compassionate, sensitive woman. I was shocked at the sadness of her life but glad I got to know this heretofore stereotyped image of the screen star. As always, Joyce Carol Oates delivered. This will rank among my favorites, along with "They Were the Mulvaneys."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2001

    Disappointed

    I had high hopes for this book; I like Joyce Carol Oates, and the reviews for Blonde were outstanding. Instead, I found myself reading pages and pages of the description of 'Norma Jeane's' first period that sounded like it came straight out of Stephen King's 'Carrie.' Boring, been there done that--the shock of the blood, how men would now be able to sniff her out, blah blah blah. There was also nothing new in the descriptions of life in the orphanage, life in foster homes. Wondering why everyone made such a fuss over this snoozer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2000

    Like Oats, Don't Like Blonde

    Not up to Oats' speed. Seemed like typical trashy sensationalism.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    Even if you think you know everything about Marilyn Monroe . . . .

    Joyce Carol Oates is one hell of a writer, so she was not daunted by the idea of tackling the life of Marilyn Monroe. She lays it all out on the page, being a bit coy with actual names but anyone can tell what or whom she is referring to. Oates gets behind (or underneath) the facade of this enigmatic movie star, and leaves the reader with a feeling of understanding, empathy, and pity for Marilyn. Marilyn's childhood and desperate clawing to the top of filmdom are described in detail, and her marriages (with DiMaggio and Arthur Miller)make sense, for once. The addictions to pills and the behavioral quirks of her late career are also sympathetically explained.

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  • Posted May 14, 2012

    Highly recomended

    Excellent service, highly recomended

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    There is much more to Blonde than what is shown.

    Joyce is an amazing writer, she turns her novels and everything else she writes into an unforgettable piece of work. Blonde is her personal version of the woman who came to be known as Marilyn Monroe. This book is much more than the superficial tid-bits that the gossip column produces, it reaches into the depths of who she really was and what were some of the events that made Marilyn the kind of woman she was. From childhood to failed relationships and fame this book has a little of everything, you will soon be feeling that it's actually true and not a work of fiction. Although a bit of a lengthy book, it is well worth the effort. Once you get started it will be hard to put this book down, so go ahead get in a guilty pleasure pick up this book- believe me it's better than the tabloid magazines everyone is drawn to at the check out lanes!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    I could not put this book down! I have always loved Joyce Carol Oates but was slightly wary of reading an entire novel of hers as opposed to the short stories that I am used to. Once I began this novel about 'Marilyn,' however, I could not stop! Oates takes you into the world of 'Marilyn' in such a way that, when you do manage to put the book down, your mind is racing just like Norma's does. You become completly engrossed in the life of the woman that became 'Marilyn Monroe.' I loved this book and suggest that everyone with a love for this famous and infamous actress read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2007

    Loves It

    I really enjoyed this book. It was very well written and you come away feelign like you really knew Norma Jeane, and how she wasn't all abotu sex and money at all, which is what most people like to think. And despite what one critci has said of this novel it is not all about sex, there is no more sex in it than in any other adult book. It really engrossed me and I'd read for such long stretches of time I'd come away with a tension headache, and a little confused about who I was because I got so into the character of Norma Jeane.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    Great Book!

    Excellent book! I love the way JCO writes, jumbled, and the story was enticing! I would just like to comment, though, that if anyone should give a book review, they should try reading the entire book first and not just read the first few chapters. There is no way anyone could make a good book review like that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    I didn't know there were books like this

    This is one of the best books I've ever read! It's stunning. Joyce Carol Oates creates a kind of mytical atmosphere in this book, something that makes its sometimes very raw and merciless bits of reality stand out even more. And the way she is treated by men... This is a book that can tell you somthing abouty people: how little we really know about each other, and that someone's outsides can be so totally different from their insides. We never really know each other. My heart aches with the Marilyn of this book. How close she comes to the real Marilyn I guess we'll never know, but it seems real. Perhaps even too real. This Norma Jean/Marilyn is such a lonely and desperate person. That was something that struck me: she was always alone, her whole life. Always alone. I guess we all are, in a way. Every man an island, as they say, and in her case it was very true. ...............If you have anything to say to me about this book, please email me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2003

    Wonderful story about the wonderful Norma Jean Baker

    "Blond" is one of the best books I ever read!! I felt so close with Norma Jean, and so it seemed I could feel her pain. Norma Jean Baker was a very talented person, but sadly, so many people took advantage of her. She is my idol. The author of this book told Norma Jean's life struggle with a lot of dignity!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2001

    Star Struck?

    Fascination with Marilyn, and a love the author's previous books led me to get this off my shelf and read it. Full of imagined details of Norma Jeane's life, the book puts a realistic spin on a fairy tale, or perhaps, a nightmare existence. I recommend it, not to everyone, because it is over 700 pages, but if you like Marilyn, read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    New appreciation

    A life filled with so many struggles, disappointments, heartaches and turmoil unfolded right in front of me. I now have a new appreciation for the woman behind the mask of Marilyn Monroe!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    Marilyn as her own Frankenstein monster

    You have to hand it to the author. She aptly performs the magical task of breathing life (again) into this manifestation of a woman. Oates realistically portrays Marilyn Monroe as a creation of THE STUDIO using the gifts, attributes, and resources of this marvel as if they were parts of other people made to move and act and talk like their creation.(MM) As I began this book, I found myself (a man) suddenly robed in Norma Jeane's skin. It was as if a spell was cast and I WAS her. Again and again as I read this book,I found myself so absorbed it was like each time I did so, it was not possible to read and not BECOME the girl-woman. So fragile she was, and in so many ways stronger than any man I know. I hated to finish this book. I read slower and slower toward the end, savoring each sentence like dope. I will never sell my copy, as I intend on revisiting this book like a dear friend. Thank you Joyce Carol Oates for this wonder titled BLONDE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2000

    Blonde is a Must Read!

    I have read books about Marilyn Monroe before, but this is the first time that I felt I actually knew more about her. The voice Oates gives Monroe is haunting and very believable. If the actress was anything like this book about her, I can see why the audiences were mesmerized.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2000

    Blonde Shines!

    In an awesome undertaking, Joyce Carol Oates, one of America's most prolific literary writers, has revived Marilyn Monroe, one of Hollywood's enduring legends, in her newest novel, 'Blonde.' As you might expect, Oates has used biographical and autobiographical sources, historic information, and even FBI reports to create a provocative and theoretical narrative of arguably America's first SUPER superstar. What you may not expect is how far Oates goes to expand her theories. Oates considers the life of Norma Jean Baker from her shady upbringing to her even more uncertain death. Oates details her youthful years in a foster home, her arranged teenage marriage, and her escalating career as poster girl, model, and actress. She examines the creation and marketing of Marilyn Monroe against a backdrop of Hollywood in the 1940's and 50's and tells to what extent this icon is both sustained and abused. As Oates illustrates the machinations of her professional life, she incorporates Marilyn's excessive drug use and her numerous and sordid love affairs. Oates' attempt to get into Marilyn's mind to determine her motivation is unsettling but feasible. Details of her sexual habits, however, are problematical. What miraculous feat Oates performs best is portraying Marilyn's incentives as being contradictory throughout the stages in her life. Working within the boundaries of historic detail, Oates presents Marilyn as someone who could be thoughtful and shy or outspoken and vulgar. According to Oates, Marilyn craved a quiet life, but she obviously fed off the public one. Allegedly fearful of ridicule and failure, it seemed there were times when she actually invited them. Most noteworthy is Oates' line of reasoning that Marilyn was a tormented genius, not the bubble-headed bleached blonde she occasionally portrayed. The character sketches Oates creates of many notable personalities are shrewd and intriguing, especially those of husbands Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. Although Oates writes that her novel 'is not intended as a historic document,' Marilyn Monroe is given breath and a pulse in these pages and much of 'Blonde' seems oddly true. As a novel, it is much like Marilyn herself: dazzling and hypnotic. You just can't take your eyes off it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2000

    A Great Oates novel

    BLONDE shows Oates at her best--dramatic, daring, pulling out all the stops. This recreation of a young girl/woman's sensibility and the people who exploit her is mesmerizing. A masterpiece!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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