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Extended Audio Sample Blonde, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,012 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Jayne Atkinson Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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One of America’s most acclaimed novelists boldly re-imagines one of America’s most enduring icons in Blonde—the National Book Award-nominated bestseller by Joyce Carol Oates. The legend of Marilyn Monroe—aka Norma Jeane Baker—comes provocatively alive in this powerful tale of Hollywood myth and heartbreaking reality. Marilyn Monroe lives—reborn to tell her untold history; her story of a star created to shine brightest in the Hollywood firmament before her fall to earth. Blonde is a dazzling fictional portrait of the intricate inner life of the idolized and desired movie star as only the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates could paint it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Oates’ achievement is remarkable because the immediate, visceral impact of Monroe’s image is so very much a phenomenon of film, defying the inward-looking, speculative mind of literature…If a novel can't deliver Monroe’s beauty, a force that profoundly shaped how people behaved toward her, it can, better than any film, give us her interior world.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A true mythic blowout, in which Marilyn is everything and nothing.”


  • “A fascinating imagining of the hellish battles that Monroe fought with herself.”


  • “An overwhelmingly vivid and powerful rendering of a human being who outlived her life.”

    New York Review of Books

  • Blonde itself is impressive; an eerie, gossipy, voyeuristic experience. Enticing, but also devastating.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Oates’ precise and inspired writing is close to witchcraft. With mastery, she unravels the story of a mythical blonde.”

    Jeanne Moreau

  • A 2000 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 2001 Pulitzer Prize Finalist
  • National Book Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sunny Shore | 2/13/2014

    " Loved this book....knew a lot about Marilyn, having read 2 bios of her and she has always fascinated me, remembering her movies and death in '62, when I was almost 10. I was wary of reading this fictional version,but it did not disappoint. I knew all the players and this fact enhanced the fictionalized version of Marilyn's life. So many emotions as I read this novel about a lost little girl growing into an extremely lonely and insecure woman. JCO's writing is beautiful and having one of my favorite authors writing a novel about the life of a celebrated,but misunderstood icon of the 20th century was just perfection for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melanie | 2/1/2014

    " Another incredible accomplishment. I never thought I would find Marilyn Monroe so fascinating and so sympathetic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cindy Lofgren | 1/23/2014

    " The reason I gave this book 2 1/2 stars is because it is just way too lengthy. I felt like I had to trudge through the first half and put it down on many occasions for an emotional breather. The second half of the book - wow. I couldn't put it down. Norma Jeane lived such a short life and so many assumptions are made about her. I thought Joyce Carol Oates was kind to her in 95% of the book. I'm probably a sucker but I do believe she was "lost". She wasn't "born to be touched", but rather to touch others with her acting skills (who knows how far she could have gone with more training) and her one-of-a-kind personality and, of course, beauty. Her method acting seemed to play into her schizophrenic tendencies. I also believe the Kennedy conspiracy. I'm thinking that her death in the book wasn't too far from the actual way she died. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Coral | 1/23/2014

    " My first and last JCO book. I simply don't see what others do in her writing. It's awful! "

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