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From the PublisherDarwin Porter has given us another gift: The biggest, juiciest, hottest icon of 20th-century icon, Marilyn Monroe.
In Marilyn at Rainbow’s End: Sex Lies, Murder and the Great Cover-Up (Blood Moon Productions) Porter brings his talent for linking the obvious to the obscure, his memory for the most microscopic detail to the most comprehensible headline. And, in choosing Monroe, Porter has chosen a greater than life contemporary figure who touched every one of us, some more intimately than others.
As always, the genius is in the detail. And Porter has all of them. Porter’s honesty could rip the skin off of any figure, and give the reader the reality of all he writes about. Lust and fear---with a little greed and a touch of egotism—motors this work. Marilyn’s climb—step by step, bed by bed (until she reaches the White House, Nikita Khrushchev and the heads of the Mafia)—is laid out in all its fantastic particulars. To be sure, there are other power mad fiends along the way, such as Sinatra, most of the Kennedy clan, Albert Einstein (!), sundry mobsters and monsters and politicians and pundits, all whom Marilyn used on her way up the ladder. Unfortunately, when you reach the tipity top of the ladder, the next step is down. And self-destruction. The more power you have, the more enemies you create; the more you know, the greater the danger. And Marilyn accumulated more power and knowledge than anyone else. That she would be murdered is obvious; the shock and surprise comes in how many people wanted her dead for so many reasons. Success in America comes with an awful price, and there really is such a thing as being too smart. Anyone who has ever believed the suicide theory must also believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa. The four-hour clean up after the body, not quite but pretty much dead, was discovered was clumsier than the Harlow clean up, with witnesses appearing and disappearing, stories changing and entire locations re-dressed for the occasion. At times, the cast of characters rivals any assembled by DeMille, with everyone from Peter Lawford to Robert Kennedy to a myriad of police officials. At other times, it was a very lonely place. It all depends on who you believe. With scrupulous research, Porter pretty much sums up the underside of American entertainment, political and criminal activities in middle of the twentieth-century. He does not paint a pretty sight, but Porter does present, with scathing honesty, the Monroe death lies and cover-ups, stopping just short of JFK and RFK. And for those who still believe that lone gunmen were responsible for the deaths of the Kennedy Brothers, is that the sound of sleigh bells on the roof?
Porter is fearless, honest and a great read. He minces no words. He wouldn't suggest that a certain star was caught in flagrante delecto with an unnamed canine; he would simply state that that star was seen being screwed by a dog. Zing! Right to the point. If the truth makes you wince and honesty offends your sensibility, stay away.
It’s been said that Darwin Porter deals in muck because he can’t libel the dead. Well, it’s about time someone started telling the truth about the dead and being honest about just what happened to get us in the mess in which we’re in. If libel is lying, then Porter is so completely innocent as to deserve an award. In all of his works he speaks only to the truth, and although he is a hard teacher and task master, he’s one we ignore at our peril. To quote Gore Vidal, power is not a toy we give to someone for being good. If we all don’t begin to investigate where power and money really are in the here and now, we deserve what we get. Yes, Porter names names. The reader will come away from the book knowing just who killed Monroe. Porter rather brilliantly points to a number of motives, but leaves it to the reader to surmise exactly what happened at the rainbow’s end, just why Marilyn was killed. And, of course, why we should be careful of getting exactly what we want. It’s a very long tumble from the top.
--Alan W. Petrucelli, THE ENTERTAINMENT REPORT, www.examiner.com, May, 13, 2012