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J. Randy Taraborrelli is a respected journalist, a recognizable entertainment personality, and in-demand guest on many television programs including Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, and CNN Headline News. He is the bestselling author of thirteen books.
Robert Petkoff's diligence as a narrator matches Taraborrelli's accomplishments in generating a fresh analysis of the iconic Marilyn Monroe. With Petkoff's Midas touch, the cast of characters comes to life with crisp clarity and attention to nuance. While there are too many good vocal characterizations to allow for a complete listing, some of the standouts include the mercurial husbands Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio as well as such Rat Pack figures as Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra. Petkoff's delivery of DiMaggio and Sinatra's ill-fated attempt to spy on Monroe and her romantic companions creates palpable dramatic tension. And as Monroe herself, Petkoff creates a sublime breathy persona that shifts effectively from the girl-next-door Norma Jean to the glamorous Marilyn. Bonus features include a downloadable photo slide show. A Grand Central hardcover. (Aug.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Taraborrelli has had a long career writing juicy biographies of celebrities (e.g., Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Princess Grace, and the Kennedy women). Here, he promises never-before-told facts about Marilyn Monroe's family dynamic, the identity of her father, and her relationship with the Kennedys. And he delivers. Taraborrelli also reports that Marilyn's mother, Gladys Baker, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and that Marilyn struggled with her own mental deterioration. Taraborrelli's style is sometimes over-the-top as he assumes the feelings and motivations of his subjects, but this device makes his books readable and mesmerizing. He had access to newly released documents that were not scrutinized for other biographies, and he researched family and medical files and personal correspondence and interviewed countless family members, friends, costars, Secret Service agents, and others. He also provides previously unseen photographs. This will probably stand as the definitive Monroe biography; highly recommended for all public libraries.-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"As Taraborrelli brushes away cobwebs of myth and rumor, his remarkable research and fluid writing captures Marilyn's elan, sensitivity, desperation and despair with a haunting intimacy."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Readable and mesmerizing...This will probably stand as the definitive Monroe biography..." --Library Journal (starred review)