Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Preliminary Note On The Blonde


Hey, I just got lucky.

Too many years ago that might've meant one thing.

Now it means something else: namely that I bought a remaindered book on spec and it turns out to be a beautifully, precisely written corker.

It's called The Blonde by an Anna Godbersen, a seemingly thirtyish writer who lives--where else?-in Brooklyn, and who I'd never heard of.

It's a re-imagination of Marilyn Monroe's life from 1959-1963. I'm about 1/3 along in it. It puts MM in a plot to spy on JFK while her marriage to Arthur Miller is coming apart and during the shooting of the stolid The Misfits. 

The novel is authoritatively rooted in her life but her life is believably reworked in the telling of the story. I find the psychological insights acute and the capturing of her, both the inner and outer her, so precise and accurate that sometimes I forget I'm reading fiction. Too, the re-imagining has the advantage of the reader seeing in their mind's eye the actual person, Marilyn Monroe as we know her, but then so added to in the writing. 

Godbersen has deeply researched what she writes about.

And so I have utter confidence in the prose, which does double duty in being precise, concrete and factual but, too, suggestive and at times aptly metaphoric within the range of its verisimilitude. I.E. the metaphors don't strain against the dominant realism by being fanciful and poetic.

It's a compelling, page turning read.

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