3.98 (13,233 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.98 (13,233 ratings by Goodreads)
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The National Book Award finalist and national bestseller exploring the life and legend of Marilyn Monroe

Now a Netflix Film starring Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Julianne Nicholson

In one of her most ambitious works, Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker--the child, the woman, the fated celebrity, and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. In a voice startlingly intimate and rich, Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist--intensely conflicted and driven--who had lost her way. A powerful portrait of Hollywood's myth and an extraordinary woman's heartbreaking reality, Blonde is a sweeping epic that pays tribute to the elusive magic and devastation behind the creation of the great 20th-century American star.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 768 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 38mm | 680g
  • English
  • Anniversary
  • 0062968459
  • 9780062968456
  • 311,188

Review quote

"Grimly compelling. . . . a portrait of Hollywood as terrifyingly hallucinatory as Nathaniel West's The Day of the Locust." -- Wall Street Journal

"In Blonde, Oates has found a character and a narrative mode that exploit all her strengths as a writer . . . a narrative intensity often found in her stories but never sustained so successfully in a long novel and an exuberant mastery of language that suggests a writer at the peak of her power." -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A fascinating imagining of the hellish battles that Monroe fought with herself." -- Playboy

"Joyce Carol Oates' scary and rhapsodic novel about the life of Marilyn Monroe is saturated with the mysteries of eye and camera. . . . It's eccentric, exhausting--and remarkable." --

"An overwhelmingly vivid and powerful rendering of a human being who outlived her life." -- The Nation

"Oates may have created the most important novel of her career." -- Newsday

"Ms. Oates has hit another one of her targets. This vengeful history is about the majesty of imagination. Marilyn's self-imaginings were cruelly curtaied. Come now the artist to accord Marilyn her rightful status, as artist. The artist uses flesh and fact, the artist transcends them." -- New York Observer

"Blonde is a true mythic blowout, in which Marilyn is everything and nothing--a Great White Whale of significance, standing not for the blind power of nature but for the blind power of artifice." -- GQ

"Joyce Carol Oates takes the boldest path to comprehending 'the riddle, the curse of Monroe' by proceeding directly and frankly to fiction. Her novel Blonde is fat, messy and fierce. It's part Gothic, part kaleidoscopic novel of ideas, part lurid celebrity potboiler, and is seldom less than engrossing." -- New York Times

"In Oates' corpus, Blonde lands near the top. It is an ambitions, complex, and powerful novel." -- Greensboro News & Record

"If you are prejudiced against biographical fiction... or if you simply think that there are too many books about Marilyn Monroe... now is the time to lay aside your prejudices--or, rather, to allow them to be swept aside by a torrentially imaginative, compulsively readable tour de force... Blonde brings this near mythic tale triumphantly and terribly to psychological life." -- Sunday Telegraph

"Joyce Carol Oates' precise and inspired writing is close to witchcraft. With mastery, she unravels the story of the mythical blonde, the overly adored and despised Marilyn Monroe. Breathlessly, I followed the intricate and passionate emotions surrounding the sweet and complex Norma Jeane, whose blazing 'aura' suffused the whole world and frightened the men who loved her most." -- Jeanne Moreau

"Oates is as diverse as she is driven. She has tackled topics ranging from the aesthetics of boxing to the misadventures of toxic twins. But rarely is she so intriguing as when she strays into a genre best described as 'faction.' It's as unsettling as it is worthwhile to take a fresh look at a much-publicized event or personality through Oates' eyes." -- Times Literary Supplement (London)
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About Joyce Carol Oates

Oates, Joyce Carol

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.
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Rating details

13,233 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 36% (4,828)
4 36% (4,789)
3 19% (2,506)
2 6% (768)
1 3% (342)
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