My thanks to NetGalley and Post Hill Press for a copy of “ Frank and Marilyn “ for an honest review.
I’ve read many books on the Hollywood stars including those on Sinatra and Monroe .I must admit I knew quite a lot of the stories told in the book , but there were quite a lot of ‘facts ‘ that I took with a pinch of salt.
Saying that I must admit I found the book very readable and enjoyable.
the author goes into more of a relationship between these two which I had always thought just happened because of the President and his brother. here the author brings more things to light and makes reference to how really Sinatra even took advantage of Joe D. That part I would hope not but who knows because it seems that everyone took advantage of Monroe especially the ones she either loved or thought she could trust, sad.
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC. I had no idea these two crazy kids even knew each other! It was very well written and a lot of surprises for me!
Interesting and insightful…… Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe—here is the first book to bring these two all-American icons together. Their friendship and on-and-off intimate relationship, kept secret because of powerful others in their lives, spanned seven tumultuous years. At one point, he even proposed marriage.
I have only read one other book on Marilyn Monroe, but this book made me want to read more. I knew about her marriages and her affairs with the Kennedy brothers, but I never knew about the relationship between Frank and Marilyn. The author made a non-fiction read like a novel. I never realized how long and complex their relationship was. This was an easy read and great for anyone who knows a lot or a little about the life and relationships of Marilyn Monroe.
As a fan of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, the author did a wonderful weave of their personal and professional stories. There has always been speculation of a sexual relationship between Frank and Marilyn and Mr. Epstein shares their meetings in remote locations and borrowed apartments. There were moments when their romance waned; Marilyn became enamored with Arthur Miller and Sinatra wooed Humphrey Bogart’s widow Lauren Bacall. Frank & Marilyn’s lives were personally and professionally entwined by stories of love, marriage, loss, divorce and the triumphs and failures of their careers but the pinnacle moment was their support and friendships with John and Robert Kennedy. It would also be a critical moment for both, ending in unforgivable disloyalty for Sinatra and sadly, Marilyn’s untimely death.
My thanks to NetGalley, the author and Post Hill Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review.
Fan of both Frank and Marilyn and have read several books on both. Never heard of the "affair" - it was alluded to - but never proven. This book didn't do that either!
Fast paced - but just never proved to my satisfaction that the story is the truth. For these reasons - I'm just not giving it a great review.
Thank you for the opportunity to read however.
The 1950s & 1960s era of Hollywood has always fascinated me. I've read quite a bit about Marilyn but almost nothing about Frank so this seemed like a good opportunity to rectify that. I rather enjoyed reading it & I was surprised at just how many films Sinatra appeared in. I don't know why but I thought he was only in a handful of films.
I also had never read before that he & Marilyn were allegedly so close - Sinatra always seemed like a more peripheral figure in the books I've read about Marilyn & the Kennedys. Here we get 'behind the scenes' gossip & walk-on parts for lots of famous faces: Dean Martin, James Dean, Shirley MacLaine, JFK etc, whilst the author hints at Sinatra's alleged Mob connections. After all this time, it's impossible to verify how accurate any of these rumours were but it's an interesting read. 3.5 stars (rounded up).
Thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Post Hill Press, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe were before my time, but I still find their life stories fascinating. During their careers, they were on-again/off-again lovers. There are differing opinions on their love affair, but Edward Z. Epstein, the author of Frank & Marilyn: The Lives, the Loves, and the Fascinating Relationship of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, introduces us to some juicy details of their dalliance. Both courted danger just by being together, and Frank courted favors to the end by offering up Marilyn Monroe to President Kennedy and his brother Robert. I also enjoyed the detail that they were very much people who commanded and adored attention; they fought hard for their careers. They had so many marriages and affairs that it is difficult to imagine who they hadn’t slept with in the artistic community. Frank and Marilyn were much more intelligent than they appeared and were incredibly astute at creating a public persona that keeps them BOTH in the public eye to this day. They each had one true love, Ava Gardner for Frank and Joe DiMaggio for Marilyn. If you love “old style” Hollywood gossip and great characters in a “real life” saga, this is an excellent book to read. It’s a story that is almost too hard to believe, but this book is a job well done. #biography #MarilynMonroe #FrankSinatra #ArthurMiller #AvaGardner #JoeDiMaggio #PresidentKennedy #love #affairs #biography #Hollywood #fame #fortune #sad @post_hill_press #frank&Marilyn #netgalley @netgalley
I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to NetGalley, Post Hill Press and the author for the opportunity to read this book. Pub Date: December, 2022.
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I am a big fan of Golden Age Hollywood, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe made a lot of my favorite movies like "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "On the Town." I went into this book with a lot of prior knowledge and as a result, I was very let down.
A majority of this book doesn't even use second hand sources for building it's theory that Monroe and Sinatra had an affair, it relies on tertiary sources, so the daughter of the mother who worked on Monroe's set, that kind of thing, for a lot of it's big moments. And a lot of stuff in the book reads like fanfiction, like these two characters were off screen for stretch of time so surely they were together.
While it's true that Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra probably knew each other, the author really plays up this narrative that Sinatra was afraid of DiMaggio. The reality however is most likely the other way around especially with Sinatra's mob ties, and the author really likes to play down the Chairman of the Board's influence at the time.
I just feel like this book could have benefitted from a genre switch from nonfiction to fiction in the same vein as "Blonde". Just something about it needs a whole rework.
I've never read a single book about Marilyn Monroe and only one or two about Frank Sinatra, so when I saw this biography alluding to some kind of romantic relationship between these two I was intrigued to read it. My intention was to quickly glance at this two days ago- but wound up ravaging through the roughly 300 pages to its conclusion. That rarely happens with me, a rather slow reader. And when I was done it seriously whet my appetite to read more biographies about Marilyn Monroe.
I truly appreciated the way the author kept the pace going with Frank and Marilyn's intertwined stories, never going into the weeds so it never got boring. He kept the focus keenly on his subjects, as their lives weaved around other celebrities and notables such as Monroe's ex-husbands baseball great Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, actors Yves Montand, Dean Martin, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Peter Lawford, crooners Sammy Davis, Jr. and Eddie Fisher, actresses Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, Juliet Prowse, and politicians President John F. Kennedy and brother/ Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The book is just over 300 pages, a concise page-turner. My advance copy contained no pictures, but perhaps there will be in the final released version. No matter, I routinely performed internet searches as I read along about certain photo shoots, situations and celebrity events, finding many photos online that helped bring these stories to life in my mind.
The book cover design is underwhelming, but after finishing the book I understand why it was used. It is a rare photo of Frank and Marilyn taken just a short time before her untimely death, when he whisked her away on a yacht trip. But the bland presentation underestimates the buried treasure within, because this is a fine book that inspires further reading on the subject.
Thank you to the publisher Post Hill Press for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.
I enjoyed the content of this book, but I felt the structure in particular let it down. The timeline tends to jump around all over the place, and alludes to a lot of background information which I didn't know, and therefore made it difficult to know what was being talked about in places.
On top of this, there is absolutely no evidence cited, it is written more like a gossip column, e.g. 'a close friend said...' As other reviewers have also noted, a lot of the stories recounted have since been discredited anyway, so I don't see the point in writing a new book which rehashes old versions of events.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.
I’ve read numerous biographies about Marilyn Monroe but they’ve only touched on her friendship with Frank Sinatra. I don’t know nearly as much about Sinatra’s life and so I headed into this looking forward to learning new information and how the book details their intertwined lives. Unfortunately, Edward Epstein starts off by saying “Everyone was familiar with Frank’s story” and then he doesn’t elaborate. I wish he had written small bios for the reader on each person’s life leading up to the time period he begins the book. Also a lot of personal details about both Sinatra and Monroe are alluded to but never stated explicitly and it isolates the reader if you don’t know the situation being referred to.
The book includes a lot of silly gossip that originates from only one source so it’s easy to question the validity of some of the stories. There are also stories I’ve never read of in any of the numerous Monroe biographies so I don’t hold much stock in some of the material the author has included. The author makes a number of assumptions in the book. In one instance he writes that a lyric in Pal Joey was changed to include a joke about Monroe being able to think. The author then says if Marilyn knew about it she’d surely have been pleased. How does he know? She was constantly fighting to be taken seriously; so would she have been pleased that a lyric was changed in a film to poke fun of her intelligence?
I think the subject matter of aligning Frank and Marilyn together is too loose to fill a whole book. The writing style is very choppy and lacks a cohesive flow. Some facts are inaccurate and dates are told out of order. Not to mention there is no concrete proof the two had any type of relationship outside of a friendship. One year ago a Sinatra confidant and biographer stated there never was a sexual relationship between the two. This book has not convinced me otherwise.
Thank you to Post Hill Press for this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A book on the relationship between Frank and Marilyn is long overdue. As a fan of Epstein's work, I was excited to dig into this one.
I'm going to start by pointing out how this book features great interviews with the likes of Hal Schafer and Amy Greene. Although these interviews won't be new for the die-hard Marilyn fans, they are great to have and reread. They also paint a fuller portrait of Monroe's person.
Onto the bad:
There are A LOT of inaccuracies in the book in regards to Monroe. I cannot speak on the Sinatra information because I'm not well-versed in his life, but some of the Monroe inaccuracies include:
- Routinely using "Norma Jean," It was always Norma Jeane, and Marilyn made sure to always include the 'e' on the end. Those who used the name in letters long after she became Monroe also included the 'e.'
- Using long debunked Robert Slatzer as a source.
- Repeating Colin Clark's claim that Monroe was pregnant during the filming of TPATS. Marilyn wasn't pregnant during production, but Vivien Leigh was.
- "The dress she wore to sing in Korea was worn in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." The dress was from her personal wardrobe, The outfit Epstein is thinking of was actually a forest green outfit.
- "Milton Greene only got $50,000 for leaving MMP." Greene actually received his full investment back due to installment payments that lasted into 1961 as well as keeping personal items he'd purchased through the MMP account such as antiques in England.
- "MMP was dissolved after Greene left the company." The company continued until Marilyn's death. She received her salary through it to pay a lower tax rate, a common practice at the time. The IRS made claims totaling over $90,000 against her estate due to this practice.
- Saying Frank Sinatra bought her the beaver coat. Marilyn bought that coat herself.
- Ignoring that Marilyn wanted Frank Sinatra for Some Like It Hot over Tony Curtis, a rather big omission in a book about the two of them.
- Repeating long debunked death rumors at the end.
- Repeating Kennedy affair rumors that are unsubstantiated.
- Claiming Marilyn was calling the White House non-stop when her phone records show she did not (although, she did call Bobby Kennedy every Tuesday starting in June 1962).
- Saying she spent the weekend with JFK at Bing Crosby's house when it's well-documented she spent that Sunday with Norman Rosten. Also ignores that Bobby Kennedy was there as well.
- Claiming there are pictures of Marilyn leaving Payne Whitney and that Pat Newcomb escorted her out. Marilyn was released by Dr. Kris who rode in a car driven by Ralph Roberts. There were no photographers present. The following day, Marilyn checked into Columbia Presbyterian where she stayed for nearly a month. The author is confusing those photos with the Payne Whitney release.
- Claiming Dr. Kris worked with Marilyn throughout 1962. Dr. Kris was fired after the Payne Whitney fiasco. Care was transferred to Greenson (who'd worked with Marilyn since 1960).
- Claiming Pat Newcomb entered her life in 1962. Pat had worked with Marilyn on-and-off since 1956.
The timelines in the book are quite odd as well. The author gets dates off by months and sometimes years, making for a very confusing reading experience I had a hard time following a lot of claims because they're just wildly off base.
I went through the source list on the book and it made sense; nothing was newer than the 90s in regards to Marilyn. The key issue with that is a lot of new stuff has come to light since 2000. If this book relied on newer source material, I think it could make for a fascinating read. However, it comes across as dated because the information is so out-of-date.
Overall, I give this book two stars because the first 20% or so is quite good. The Wrong Door Raid is well done (although it is irritating to ignore that Joe had Marilyn followed since she announced their separation). Hopefully a second edition with updated information will get released at some point that will make this book a must-have on anyone's shelf.
This was a wonderful, well written book that was informative and fun to read. So much of the information contained I had never heard. Well researched.
With the release of "Blonde," the new film based on the book by Joyce Carol Oates on the life of Marilyn Monroe, I found myself interested to take a look at this from the cover and description. However, the tone and style of writing was not for me. I would recommend this for fans of celerity writing and/or die-hard fans of Frank Sinatra and/or Marilyn Monroe. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
Frank and Marilyn is rather gossipy in it's story of the long tangled friendship and love affair between the two. It includes the mess that the two got in after the Kennedy's entered the picture.
It makes gestures towards Marilyn's death as a possible murder but there really is no proof.
Don't read this as the gospel truth but if you find these folks interesting you will enjoy the read.
this was a great concept for a nonfiction book, i've been a fan of Marilyn Monroe for a while and I enjoy Frank Sinatra movies so this book was right up my alley. It was such a well written book, it was well-researched and I could tell that the author did the research. I'm glad I was able to read this and I enjoyed the way Edward Z. Epstein wrote this.