MARILYN'S MEN by Jane Ellen Wayne


The Private Life of Marilyn Monroe
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 Marilyn's love life, or sex life, following in the trashy tradition of Wayne's Ava's Men, Grace Kelly's Men, Crawford's Men, etc. This is a book that should have been printed on bedsheet linen instead of paper. As ever, Wayne focuses on the men Marilyn knew, loved, and/or married on the Hollywood carousel, starting with Marilyn's stories of child abuse and rape--although her first husband, Jim Dougherty, whom she married at 16 to avoid being returned to an orphanage, swore she was a virgin in the bridal bed. Marilyn had several versions of premarital sex. Wayne adds as topping: ``Yet another version is that she became pregnant at fourteen and put the baby boy up for adoption when it was a few days old, but this is untrue.'' Dougherty ships out with the Merchant Marine, and Marilyn, working in a defense plant, is discovered by photographer David Conover. Soon, she's the cover girl for Laff, Peek and See, U.S. Camera, and dozens of other mags, and then is servicing impotent, elderly Joe Schenck of 20th Century-Fox, falling in love with older vocal-coach Freddy Karger, and caught up in dozens of illicit affairs. Wayne posits Monroe's abortions--not counting miscarriages--at 13 or 14, tells of her early days as a bar girl, suggests that she never had an orgasm despite the attentions of sophisticated lovers such as Orson Welles, Yves Montand, Jack and Bobby Kennedy, Brando, Sinatra, and others. The author recycles endlessly, pastes together familiar materials about Marilyn's last days and the possibility that she died in a hospital, then was returned to her bed, etc., but this second-, third-, fourth- or fifth-hand account carries almost no weight. Stick with Arthur Miller's Timebends. (Eight-page photo insert--not seen.)

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 1992
ISBN: 0-312-07633-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1992


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