An Opinionated Guide On Marilyn Monroe – review: Another book on the blonde bombshell | Books | Entertainment


There are hundreds of books about Marilyn Monroe, the greatest female sex symbol of the 20th Century – I should know. I even wrote one of them!

The book begins with a useful chronology of Marilyn’s life from her birth on June 1, 1926 to a film that she was due to make but in a role that was played by Debbie Reynolds.

Barrios is no gossip writer and gives a sober if unspectacular rundown of Marilyn’s life and career. It is an opinion book after all.

Barrios makes reference to the people who made a career out of not knowing Marilyn but bizarrely he doesn’t name them. You might say that he doesn’t want to give them more publicity but surely naming the charlatans would allow others to avoid them?

On page 225, he slams, without naming him, Robert F. Slatzer who for many years claimed to have married Marilyn on October 4, 1952 in Tijuana and then had their marriage certificate destroyed by a petit fonctionnaire.

Another later Monroe biographer, Donald Spoto, discovered chequebook stubs that showed Marilyn was shopping in Hollywood on that day.

Barrios says that Slatzer’s only other achievement was a 1971 film called Bigfoot and then adds sarcastically “Sometimes the truth is there in plain sight.”

If he had done a bit more research, he would have discovered Slatzer is the co-author of respected biographies of Bing Crosby and John Wayne.

And talking of research or lack of it, Barrios refers to Fred Lawrence Guiles’s 1969 biography of Marilyn Norma Jean and says that it is “the first book to broach the Kennedy business albeit in a cloaked fashion … referring to the president as ‘the Easterner’.”

Not quite.

“The Easterner” that Guiles was referring to was Bobby Kennedy, not JFK.

Bobby was not long dead and Guiles used the subterfuge to spare the feelings of Kennedy’s widow Ethel.

Among the most controversial and contentious aspects of Monroe’s story is her death – murder, suicide, accidental overdose?

Barrios does not devote a whole lot of space to what happened that August night in 1962 – he says the overwhelming likelihood was a deliberate overdose.

It’s not a bad book but it probably won’t be up there with the great volumes about Marilyn Monroe.


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