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Download The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Audiobook, by J. Randy Taraborrelli Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.99817295980512 out of 52.99817295980512 out of 52.99817295980512 out of 52.99817295980512 out of 52.99817295980512 out of 5 3.00 (1,642 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: J. Randy Taraborrelli Narrator: Robert Petkoff Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781600246524
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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!

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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.”

    Booklist

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 12/27/2013

    " Well researched and well written. Great take on Marilyn's life, supported with plenty of factual information. It is a much more tame version of her life though, not really digging into her affairs as much as her life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayla | 12/20/2013

    " This is the best biography on Marilyn. It was interesting, and made me fall in love with Marilyn. The details of her life are so intriguing, and the book reflects how mysterious and lovely she was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessy May | 12/18/2013

    " LOVED this book! Was addicted to it! It read like a piece of fiction! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kena | 12/14/2013

    " i'm a Marilyn fan. enjoyed this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan Wildey | 12/9/2013

    " I really enjoyed this depction of Marilyn... My interest was keot throughout the entire novel. Glad to add this book to my library "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronda Kimm | 10/10/2013

    " I just love Marilyn... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aimee | 10/4/2013

    " interesting outlook on MM - very thorough in deed "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridget McGuire | 8/15/2013

    " Read this book in 3 days! Very interesting! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mirror | 2/5/2013

    " sad,sad,sad marilyn was murder.hollywood fuck up people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candice | 8/18/2012

    " Extremely thorough. You can tell the author has extreme respect for Norma Jean. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laesar | 8/12/2012

    " a good book, very interesting but very long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eryn | 8/7/2012

    " appearances are deceiving, even though everything wasn't 100% confirmed true, it was still an interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiara Winter-Schorr | 4/11/2012

    " Entertaining, fast-paced, and informative. The author spends a lot of time debunking the Kennedy myth but generally gives a fair view of events. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 2/7/2012

    " This is the first book I have ever read about Marilyn Monroe. It was well written and I now have a greater idea of who she was and what a struggle it was for her and those around her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trina | 2/5/2011

    " The writer does an excellent job of gathering information from people who actually knew Marilyn. The book is a very comprehensive and accurate account. I loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mercedes | 1/9/2011

    " This was the firstMarilyn bio that I've read, so don't have any others to compare it to, but overall it was a good read.It was interesting to learn stories about her that I hadn't heard of before. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brianne | 12/24/2010

    " As a huge Marilyn Monroe fan, this novel was breathtaking.It truly explained what was going on in Marilyn's life.It broke my heart to read this, but it was a treat.Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Artemis | 12/12/2010

    " This book was perfect!
    I used this for a History class assignment, and it was just perfect. Great written and I think it's amazing with all these interviews and how he managed to get it all from her life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelsey | 11/12/2010

    " Has A LOT of information but too much at some parts that i don't need to know "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki | 10/20/2010

    " What a sad life... Poor Marilyn... the cards were against her from the start. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jillian | 10/18/2010

    " she lived such a wonderful yet sad life. this book digs deep into it to show her life and those around her from beginning to end. it answered several questions i had about marilyn. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/17/2010

    " This book starts out with the history of her family starting with her grandma a little hard to get into and im a really big fan of the Old Hollywood era, so hopefully it gets better! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Audrey | 8/6/2010

    " Author concludes that JFK, RFK, and the shrink (and the housekeeper) had nothing to do with her death. Monroe was a severely troubled woman and died either by suicide or by an accident (self-inflicted). "

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About the Author

J. Randy Taraborrelli is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Call Her Miss Ross; Michael Jackson; Sinatra; Madonna; Jackie, Ethel, Joan; and Elizabeth. The Los Angeles writer is not only a respected journalist but also a recognizable entertainment personality and in-demand guest on many television programs, including Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, and CNN Headline News. Additionally, he works for CBS News as a news analyst.

About the Narrator

Robert Petkoff is an audiobook narrator who has won a prestigious Audie Award and twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards. He has appeared on Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order, and Quantum Leap. His Broadway credits include Sir Robin in Spamalot, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, and Tateh in Ragtime.