The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe

The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe

2.77 (616 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Meet Maf: The hilariously opinionated, well-read, politically scrappy, and complex canine companion to Marilyn Monroe. In November 1960, Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a dog. His name was Mafia Honey, or Maf for short. Born in the household of Vanessa Bell, brought to the United States by Natalie Wood's mother, and given as a Christmas present to Marilyn the winter after she separated from Arthur Miller, Maf was with Marilyn for the last two years of her life, first in New York and then in Los Angeles, and he had as much instinct for celebrity and psychoanalysis as he did for Liver Treat with a side order of National Biscuits. Marylin took him to meet President Kennedy and to Hollywood restaurants, to department stores, to interviews, and to Mexico for her divorce. Through Maf's eyes, we see an altogether original and wonderfully clever portrait of the woman behind the icon--and the dog behind the woman.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 277 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 453.59g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0151013721
  • 9780151013722
  • 158,104

Review quote

"O'Hagan's seductively witty novel, written from the down-low but philosophically lofty vantage point of Mafia Honey, the fluffy white Maltese that was Frank Sinatra's gift to his gentle, needy friend Marilyn. Maf, a British import, is fiercely political (a Trotskyite), erudite and snootily stylish (caring about home decor, he tells us, is "part of my pedigree"). He skewers the Hollywood elite while coming to adore his "fated companion" whose tenuous dreams he can read distinctly even as they're turning to dust."
-"More Magazine" "Andrew O'Hagan's book--inspired by Marilyn Monroe's real-life Maltese--is stellar. Whether Maf is buoying his owner's spirits or coolly assessing Susan Sontag, he has a nose for silliness and deep sadness. Of course, it helps that, as he notes, dogs 'can hear what people are saying to themselves, and we can sniff illusion.' This December surprise is a very real contender for the wittiest, wisest, most winning book of the year."
-"Parade" "Maf's insights into the vulnerable star's psyche will make your heart stop--as will O'Hagan's writing, which is as clear and lovely as the Blonde Bombshell's seductive laugh."
- "Marie Claire
"
"Maf, equal parts erudite (a sworn Trotskyite, well-versed in philosophy and psychology), and canine (he chases rats), tells Monroe's story from the ground up."
-"Interview" "With a nod to Virginia Woolf's biography of Flush, cheeky Andrew O'Hagan channels "The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his Friend Marilyn Monroe.""
"-Vanity Fair""Andrew O'Hagan's novel perfectly captures the legendary actress. There are numerous scenes between famous people, some of whom I have known, and O'Hagan makes the dialogue sound absolutely authentic... There is a small but impressive tradition of canine narrators, but I can't imagine there was ever a dog as erudite and well spoken as dear old Mafia Honey. Enthralling."
-Peter Bogdanovich, "Daily Telegraph" "Andrew O'Hagan's new novel The Life and Op
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Flap copy

In November 1960, Frank Sinatra gave Marilyn Monroe a dog. His name was Mafia Honey. Maf for short. He had an instinct for celebrity. For politics. For psychoanalysis. For literature. For interior decoration. This is his story.
Given as a Christmas present to Marilyn the winter after she separated from Arthur Miller, Maf offers a keen insight into the world of Hollywood's greatest star. Not to mention a hilarious peek into the brain of an opinionated, well-read, politically scrappy, complex canine hero.
Maf was with Marilyn for the last two years of her life, first in New York, where she mingled with everyone who was anyone: visiting Leo Castelli at his gallery, taking classes with Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio set, gossiping about Truman Capote with Carson McCullers at the Oak Room, bantering with the Trillings at aPartisan Review party where Maf bites some big shots, watching Sammy Davis Jr. onstage at the Copacabana. Back in Los Angeles, Marilyn took Maf to meet President Kennedy, to the set of Something's Got to Give, to Italian restaurants for spaghetti with Natalie Wood and Sinatra. "My fated companion," Maf calls her. "She was always on the way to a discovery, to a large recognition that would change everything."
With style, brilliance, and panache, Andrew O'Hagan has drawn an altogether original portrait of the woman behind the icon, and the dog behind the woman.
Back flap:
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Back cover copy

Everyone loves Maf"This is one of those rare books, written with such sureness of pace and lightness of touch that you find you have read a hundred pages without looking up. It is filled with sly jokes, funny wisdom, and deep feeling for character and scene. But more than anything, it is a book utterly alert to the reader's pleasure; and that pleasure, so sheer and total, is what makes this book so special."--Colm Toibin
"Andrew O'Hagan's new novel, The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, is a miracle and will become a classic. I loved, loved it. If only Marilyn Monroe were alive to read it."--Edna O'Brien
"It's brilliant, a joy to read. Moving, and very funny--and sad. Maf is wonderful. And so is Marilyn."--Roddy Doyle
"Why is it the most moving book I've read in many years? Why is it dazzling and true? The re-creations of the Actors Studio and the Partisan Review party are uncanny. The whole book is uncanny . . . Maf is magnificent."--John Guare
"Andrew O'Hagan's novel perfectly captures the legendary actress. There are numerous scenes between famous people, some of whom I have known, and O'Hagan makes the dialogue sound absolutely authentic . . . I can't imagine there was ever a dog as erudite and well spoken as dear old Mafia Honey . . . Enthralling."--Peter Bogdanovich, Daily Telegraph
"What a dog, and what a life . . . Maf is a shrewd observer of the modern age and of the American century, a veritable Tocqueville for our times."--John Banville, Guardian
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Rating details

616 ratings
2.77 out of 5 stars
5 9% (55)
4 18% (108)
3 31% (188)
2 28% (171)
1 15% (94)
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