Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years

Keith Badman. St. Martin’s, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0312607142
In the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe emerged as screen star and sex symbol with such movies as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot; by the beginning of the 1960s, though, Monroe’s insecurities about her personality, her beauty, and her relationships caused her life to lose traction, and she fell into a cycle of drug abuse, destructive relationships, and a series of attempted suicides. In an unsatisfying, fawning hagiography, pop culture writer Badman (The Beach Boys) sets out to recover Monroe’s good name from the fabricated allegations that he believes have tarnished her legacy. In exhaustive, almost month-by-month detail, Badman wearyingly examines every shred of evidence regarding Monroe’s life from June 1961 to August 5, 1962, when Monroe was found dead in her hotel room. Badman briefly traces Monroe’s early life, from childhood to her rise to stardom, claiming to have discovered the true identity of Monroe’s father as Charles Stanley Gifford, a fact already acknowledged by other biographers. This thinly argued book claims that Monroe’s death was not a suicide but an accident; she may have died from a drug overdose, Badman claims, but this event happened only because, in her attempts to get some sleep, she took larger doses than usual of the sedative chloral hydrate, which reacted with the large amount of Nembutal already in her system. Badman hopes that his meticulous five-year investigation into Monroe’s death proves that the long-held assertion that Monroe deliberately took her own life is a slur on her generous and exceedingly affectionate character. Agent: Robert Kirby, United Agents. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 07/17/2012
Paperback - 340 pages - 978-1-250-03681-0
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-250-01238-8
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!