cover image The Immortals

The Immortals

Michael Korda. Poseidon Press, $19.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74526-4

Once again Korda ( Queenie ; The Fortune ) glibly but engagingly dramatizes historical events: this time, the love affairs between Marilyn Monroe and Jack and Bobby Kennedy. (Anxious to establish his assiduous research, he expresses his indebtedness to 17 books about the Kennedys, Monroe, J. Edgar Hoover, Jimmy Hoffa and others.) A fictional public relations expert, David Lehman, narrates much of the tale. Fast-moving, with lively if superficial and overly familiar characters, the plot portentously rehashes Monroe's various marriages and innumerable affairs, career swings and problems with drugs and alcohol. Korda also chronicles the Kennedy brothers' rise to power, their father's heavy hand in shaping their careers and their friendship with Frank Sinatra, meanwhile suggesting the machinations of the FBI, the mob and the Teamsters. (Jackie Kennedy is absent for the most part.) Except for the dialogue, which generally rings true, and the invented sex scenes, Korda adds nothing new or surprising; the book will further relegate Marilyn and Jack to pop-culture history. Though it's good commercial ``faction,'' however, even hardy readers will find the novel about 100 pages too long. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; first serial rights to Cosmopolitan; movie rights to Dino De Laurentiis; ok Literary Guild main selection. (Sept.)