Reviews of Blonde (2000)
Review by zabian (2005-09-09)
I'm not particularly a fan of non-fiction novels, that is novels that are based on real events, nor am I a rabid fan of Marilyn Monroe. But I am a terrific fan of this book! I guess Joyce Carol Oates can write just about anything and make it riviting. In addition to this ability, in Blonde, she uses her ability to get inside a character and reveal motivation and feelings as few other authors are able to today.
Consider the challenge of writing a "novel" on Marilyn Monroe. We already know the plot (or most of it), we already think we know the person.
But that's just it. We don't really know the person, Norma Jeane Baker. Here Oates introduces us to a characterization that I felt was true. If it's true in the novel, was it true in real life? I guess that's something for the biographers to decide. This book also presents answers to some of the "mysteries" surround MM. Are they the correct answers in real life? Who knows? But in the context of this book as novel, they make perfect sense. And that's all we can ask for.