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J Randy Taraborrelli is the author of 12 books, including the major bestsellers Madonna: An Intimate Biography, Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, and Once Upon a Time: The Story of Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and their Family.
No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Taraborrelli, who has previously written biographies of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson, here takes on the legends, myths, and innuendos surrounding the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. Drawing on files released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with key insiders, he speaks to how the actress's familial history of mental problems impacted the decisions she made throughout her life, reveals the identity of her biological father, details the extent of her relationship with the Kennedys, and more. Actor/narrator Robert Petkoff's (The Link) magnetic reading draws listeners in from the outset. Monroe devotees and celebrity bio fans will enjoy.-Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
After half a century of Marilyn Monroe books, beginning with Maurice Zolotow's interviews of her for his 1960 biography, it's hard to imagine any revelations about the actress, but Taraborrelli--who's written bios of Grace Kelly, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra--tackles that problem with what he refers to as "fresh research." For instance, thanks to files released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act, Taraborrelli details the "truly extraordinary" three-page document in which an unnamed FBI agent described the "romance and sex affair" between Monroe and RFK. Rather than the usual bibliographic listings, Taraborrelli cites only a few key books. Instead, he itemizes 30 pages of interviews explaining how he contacted sources close to the subject (e.g., approaching Dean Martin in a restaurant; talking with the historians he calls "the true experts"). In addition to interviews with everyone from Janet Leigh to Secret Service agents, Taraborrelli read the unpublished notes and interviews of reporters from the 1950s. As Taraborrelli brushes away cobwebs of myth and rumor, his remarkable research and fluid writing captures Marilyn's élan, sensitivity, desperation and despair with a haunting intimacy. (Aug. 25) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.