Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My take on: The Blonde

One of my favorite movies of all-time is Some Like it Hot. I like it for the performances by Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. Two musicians in the late 1920s witness a mass shooting by mobsters. To escape they dress up like women and join an all-girl band. HILARIOUS MOVIE! Marilyn Monroe has her moments in the movie. Like this one......

I think that's the only movie I've ever seen with Marilyn Monroe. Why am I talking about a movie that came out in 1959? Simple I've just finished The Blonde by Anna Godbersen. What if Marilyn Monroe was a spy for the Soviets? Hmmmmmmmm......interesting idea. A fictionalized spin that Monroe's
affair with John F. Kennedy was part of an elaborate spy mission? I was intrigued. I've always thought she was a ditzy blonde, but Anna Godbersen gave Marilyn a slightly stronger persona. I say "slightly" because she spends a lot of time drinking and sleeping with several men, including Kennedy.

What would possess Marilyn to spy for the Soviets? If she gets enough dirt on the future president, Marilyn will get to meet her biological father. I had no idea that Marilyn grew up in foster homes, which plays a big part in her life in this book. She's always looking for something she never had -- love. Spying on Kennedy could bring the promise of love. But spying on Kennedy also resulted in something she never expected ... Marilyn fell in love with her mark. That was not supposed to happen. In this book, Kennedy is a womanizing JERK! In fact most of the men in this book are jerks, including Robert Kennedy. Although in this book, Clark Gable is like the big brother that Marilyn never had.

I think Kennedy conspiracy theorists will eat this up. I'm not into conspiracies, but I think this was a unique way to look at this time period. Some of it is still relevant today.

"There are already too many stories, and you know how once there's a little scandal people love to fabricate on top of that." -- Pg. 342

What's not true about that quote? Marilyn's affair had to be kept secret, otherwise the media would have put its own spin on it. Take a look at recent celebrity stories, and you're sure to get 35 different versions. Marilyn's behavior in this book was certainly fodder for Hollywood insiders, so much so it was hard to sympathize with her character. She's quite slutty in this book. The plot moved too slowly for me to overlook the focus on Marilyn's sexual exploits. I wanted a little more suspense and a little less sex. I'm not a prude, sex in a book is Ok as long as it doesn't disrupt the flow of the book. The flow was little uneven for me. It does start to pick up when Marilyn discovers the plot to kill Kennedy, I think we all know how that turned out in real life. But Godbersen's prose offers a different way to think of what might have been. What if Marilyn could have stopped it all?  What if Marilyn could have saved his life? So many people would have a different view of her. She would no longer be the ditzy blonde. She would have been a hero. It's a little far-fetched but a somewhat fascinating way to think about an such an important piece of history.

Rating: Give it a try

Note: I received a copy from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.

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