At Heart of Marilyn's Fall, a 'Very Sick Girl'

Monroe's life, death explored in another tell-all, but there's still no 'external villain'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 12:21 PM CDT
At Heart of Marilyn's Fall, a 'Very Sick Girl'
June 1949: Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962), promoting her new film Love Happy, took a train to Warrenburg, New York with Don Defore and Lon McAllister.   (Getty Images)

J. Randy Taraborrelli’s new 541-page biography, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, doesn’t really deliver on promises of “explosive,” “revelatory” discoveries—at least, “not to a Marilyn obsessive like myself,” writes Lori Leibovich for DoubleX. “Instead, there is the deepening of the much more ordinary tragedy that continues to fascinate”—including the tale of Monroe being committed, when an intern told her, “You are a very, very sick girl.”

Taraborrelli uncovers evidence suggesting Monroe heard voices beginning in her late teens, which “disrupts the romantic, self-flagellating narrative we prefer—that ‘we,’ the insatiable public, ruined her.” He does not, however, delve into Monroe’s “unorthodox relationship” with her psychiatrist, popularly painted as the “villain” of the tragedy—“But there is no villain in this sad tale. At the heart of the story, there is something much simpler: A very, very sick girl.” (More Marilyn Monroe stories.)

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