Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's (not) a wonderful life.

I am not what you would call a movie buff. In fact, movies are not something I have ever really gotten into. It sounds weird, but it is just not my thing. There are many classics that I haven't seen and honestly, I'm not all that interested in seeing them.

I knew who Marilyn Monroe was, obviously. I kind of had a vague outline of the fact that she was a movie actress, had a number of high-profile relationships, and died from a drug overdose at an early age. Beyond that I knew nothing and I haven't seen any of her movies.

Reading Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates was a really fascinating look at Marilyn Monroe. It was difficult to read at times because her life was so difficult and sad. And some of the things that happened to her as a child were horrible. Reading about children being harmed is difficult.

The amount of work that went into writing this and the different ways Oates approached the story was just amazing. I particularly liked how it got kind of less coherent toward the middle and end and you couldn't really tell whether the things that were portrayed in the book really happened - because Monroe herself wasn't sure what was real and what was not. (I seem to like the unreliable narrator). I also liked how Oates handled the ending - you aren't sure whether Monroe was assassinated or overdosed on her own and was imagining the people conspiring to kill her.

Is this book going to make me want to watch a whole bunch of Marilyn Monroe movies? No. I did enjoy this book tremendously though. All 738 pages. I couldn't put it down.

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