Marilyn's Addresses: A Fan's Guide to the Places She Knew

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Author Michelle Finn
Publisher Smith Gryphon Publishers
Cover Type Hardcover
Publish Date 1995
ISBN 1-85685-091-9
Signed No
Number of Pages 106


In the past I’ve written up two books in one review, books that are similar enough that a Marilyn fan might be perplexed as to which they should go for. A good rule of thumb is simply this: when in doubt—Buy Both. I think we can all admit by this point that there is little we can do to convince non-MM folk that we really do need these books and trying to convince someone, (especially ourselves), that even though two books might be similar, we still really should own both. As is the case with The Marilyn Encyclopedia and Marilyn A to Z, both editions of Eve Arnold’s Appreciation, or The Complete Films of Marilyn Monroe and Blonde Heat, the book I want to tell you about this week has a sort of “sister volume”. But, just like the above pairings, each of these two is unique in itself and each is something we all really should have, need and deserve, (think of it like those hair color commercials- You Are Worth It!)

 The funny thing is both of these two books were written by members of Forever Marilyn. In the past I have told you about the marvelous, (no apologies for the word marvelous), book Hometown Girl by Eric Woodard. A similarly themed volume is Michelle Finn’s (Michelle Morgan), Marilyn’s Addresses. Both are terrific resources, impeccably researched and presented in a way that you could sit down for a couple of hours just thumbing through them and reveling in the bits and pieces of information you find. While Eric’s excellent Hometown Girl concentrates on the many places Marilyn lived, played and worked in and about Los Angeles and is presented in a chronological-biographical format, Michelle’s Marilyn’s Addresses encompasses many of the locations Marilyn traveled to—from Los Angeles to New York, from Canada to Japan, from England to Mexico.

 The difference between the two, other than Eric’s work concentrating on Los Angeles, is that while Eric’s book is lushly illustrated and provides Then and Now photos on most entries, Michelle’s book is more of a travel guide, supplying current addresses and then providing the reader with paragraphs of information on each site. If I haven’t made it clear yet, comparing the two is like apples and oranges- both are wonderful additions to any Marilyn collection. Scratch “wonderful” and substitute “imperative”, because really, you should have both.

 What I found most interesting when I finally got a copy of Marilyn’s Addresses, was the amount of information that I had been unaware of. Take Las Vegas for example. I knew that Marilyn had traveled to Vegas for the Dougherty divorce, knew that she had met up with Roy Rogers while there and even got to ride his horse Trigger, but I had no idea where she had stayed. Well, here in Michelle’s book you will discover that it was at The Last Frontier, (still in existence as The Frontier), one of the very first hotel casinos in what was then a sleepy little town out in the Nevada desert. Or take her entry on Paramount Studios. I knew that the last scenes for The Misfits were filmed there but had no idea which scenes or that it was during the two weeks of final filming that Marilyn posed for the Arnold sitting.

 Marilyn’s Addresses is a small volume, compact and easy to carry and refer to while traveling. In addition to the incredible amount of research and information supplied, the book also is illustrated with photographs throughout. While most of the basic information is likely known to you at this point, (Where did Marilyn and Joe go on their first date? Where did the De Dines parasol beach shots take place?), there is so much here that will be new to you that it is well worth seeking out a copy, (like do you know the exact location in New York where Marilyn scrawled “Marilyn Monroe Was Here” in a patch of wet cement?).

 I would imagine that come next year when Michelle’s highly anticipated biography of Marilyn is published, that this first Marilyn work will be in demand. For now, you can find the book by doing a book search on the Internet, (I found my copy through www.abebooks.com). The price is reasonable and if you search long enough you should be able to find a copy in perfect condition.

 Here’s the last sales pitch: While I still hold that everyone should try and own every Marilyn book, good, bad, or simply horrible, so as to have a good feel of the progression of the Monroe Phenomena, sometimes a book is so cool that I have no reservations at all in recommending it. That’s the case with Marilyn’s Addresses. Whether actually traveling to find these spots where Marilyn once stood or simply kicking back for a night without TV, Marilyn’s Addresses is not only a true find, it’s a heck of a lot of fun. And really, what more could you want in a Marilyn book?

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