Snark #Review: Blonde

bBlonde by Joyce Carol Oates

Published: April 1st 2001
: Harper Perennial
Paperback: 738 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: — FacebookTwitterWebsite
Next: –
Source: Amazon
Buy: — PaperbackAudiobook


Blonde is the Fictionalized Biography of Marilyn Monroe. I chose to read it over a more conventional style biography because I thought it would be a more personal account and show more of her character and personality.

The book chronicles her life as a young child growing up with a mentally unstable mother and eventual placement in an orphanage and foster homes. We also see her transformation from the natural beauty Norma Jean Baker to the Sex Symbol Marilyn Monroe.
Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.

Blonde also talks about Marilyn’s troubles being taken seriously as an actress and her insecurities about her talent.

Some people have been unkind. If I say I want to grow as an actress, they look at my figure. If I say I want to develop, to learn my craft, they laugh. Somehow they don’t expect me to be serious about my work.

Another constant theme throughout this book is Marilyn’s many love affairs. How many of them where real and how many were wishful thinking, I don’t know. But they say that if Marilyn Monroe had actually slept with every man who claimed she had. She would have never have had any time to make movies!

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

Marilyn was however married three times and seemed to idolize the idea of being a wife and mother but all her marriages were doomed to fail.

I have too many fantasies to be a housewife… I guess I am a fantasy.

It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.

Throughout the book Marilyn is portrayed as a fragile and unstable person. It is also implied that her mother’s mental illness was hereditary. And as the book goes on her behaviour becomes more and more manic and depressive.

Happiness is the most important thing in the world, without it, you live a life of depression.

Marilyn is depicted as a fragile girl used by men, Hollywood and the public. A misunderstood and naive woman who was adored but never truly loved and sadly died alone. I enjoyed this book but never really felt like I got “under Marilyn’s skin.”

I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.