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Download The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, by J. Randy Taraborrelli Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,641 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: J. Randy Taraborrelli Narrator: Robert Petkof Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother, Gladys Baker, was either dead or simply not a part of her life—depending on the publicity campaign of the moment. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn’s world. The complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes as Miss Monroe blazed a path to iconic glory is a story that has never before been told … until now.

In this groundbreaking book, Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the powerful women so influential in the actress’ life:

  • Her mother, Gladys Baker, who gave up her daughter, Norma Jeane (Marilyn) after having two others kidnapped from her.
  • Her foster mother, Ida Bolender, who raised Norma Jeane for seven years—a woman whose brash but powerful approach to parenting has been completely misunderstood.
  • The legal guardian, Grace Goddard, who helped create “Marilyn Monroe.”

He also tells for the first time the potent story of Marilyn’s closely guarded friendship with Pat Kennedy Lawford, sister of President John Kennedy; he sheds new light on Marilyn’s so-called affair with JFK; and he reveals shocking information about Marilyn’s relationship with Robert Kennedy.

An epic journey told by a master storyteller, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the twentieth century.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • “All of the well-known (and lesser-known) highs and lows are clearly detailed, including her personal pain and struggles with her mother (whom she consistently tried to keep in her life), marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, her suspicions of her own mental illness, her relationships with the Kennedys, and more. Readers will find this a surprisingly sensitive portrait, not easy to put down.”


  • “The definitive Monroe biography.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sue | 2/20/2014

    " At about 500 pages, this was a hefty biography. But it didn't drag at all...the writing was personal and compelling and kept me reading. And Taraborrelli definitely needed all of that space to give an fair and accurate portrait of Marilyn's complicated life. I enjoyed this biography, and I think that's what I most liked about it: a recent book, this sifted through all of the fabrications about Marilyn's life (some that she even created herself!) to get to the meat of what was going on with her. It was a sad story. Both her mother and grandmother suffered from schizophrenia, and it was a disease she was running from all of her life, attempting to control it with more and more medication. Her personal relations did nothing to help her condition, from the foster homes she was bounced around to, to her ill and thus uncaring mother, to her unstable husbands and lovers: abusive Joe DiMaggio, emotionally abusive Arthur Miller, Frank Sinatra, the Kennedys. In the end it seems she was a tragic figure who succumbed to her mental illness...but also a strong woman who was able to create and maintain herself as a national icon. She is always fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lisa | 2/15/2014

    " For the most part I like this book. She is very interesting and there were a lot of things I didn't know about her life that the author revealed. I wasn't crazy about the way it was written somehow, sometimes I was a little bored. I did like the parts about her relationship with her foster mother in her adult life. It's sad that Marilyn died so young, she had a rough life. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Eileen | 1/11/2014

    " Too much information to digest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Samantha Colson | 1/6/2014

    " My second or third Marilyn book. I really liked this one. most things regarding Marilyn may or may not be fact. It is hard to tell because there are so many unknowns. "

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