• Goddess

  • The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe
  • By: Anthony Summers
  • Narrated by: Donna Postel
  • Length: 19 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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Goddess  By  cover art

Goddess

By: Anthony Summers
Narrated by: Donna Postel
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Publisher's Summary

Marilyn Monroe, born to deprivation and a series of foster homes, became an acting legend of the 20th century. She married famous men, Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, and her many lovers included President John F. Kennedy. Her death, at 36, is a mystery that remains unsolved to this day.

Anthony Summers interviewed 600 people for this book, which reveals unknown truths, some funny, some very sad, about this brilliant but troubled woman. First to gain access to the files of Monroe's last psychiatrist, he throws light on Monroe's troubled psyche and her addiction to medications. He establishes once and for all that she was intimately involved with John and Robert Kennedy, who probably covered up the circumstances of her death.

©1985 Anthony Summers (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“A remarkable performance…. The ghost of Marilyn Monroe cries out in these pages." ( New York Times)

What listeners say about Goddess

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and very plausible

The first half is okay but the second half that gets into the complicated relationships between Marilyn and the Kennedy brothers, Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, and Sam Giancona of the mafia is really good. The most telling Marilyn quote is about being passed around like a piece of meat, and clearly that is how these 5 womanizing jerks thought of her.

This is a very well researched and balanced look into the life of a beautiful but deeply damaged woman. It's so easy for us mere mortals to forget that great beauty can be a trap, but she was no easy victim either. Used badly by the Big Studio contract system, she later became one the first women to start her own production company and played contract negotiations cunningly. Looking for love in all the wrong places, but not valuing it when she found it. Desperate for children, yet having many abortions. Working out constantly and careful with her diet, yet abusing prescription drugs. Compartmentalizing her life so that her closest associates had no idea what was really going on in her life, yet carelessly indiscreet. This was a very complicated woman who interacted with some of the most powerful men in the US, yet was either rediculously naieve or downright delusional.

Fascinating, disturbing, but I couldn't put it down. Finally, the author's conclusions about what likely happened the night she died is the most probable of all the versions I've seen. The last chapter contains updates on the latest bits of information that have become available after the original publication.

14 people found this helpful

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GODDESS*****

I always knew the basics of the background of this beautiful woman, however, after listening to this book, my heart really went out to her. Yes, she was an alcoholic, and drug addict, but there was so much more to this woman. She didn't have a chance from the day she came to Hollywood. Yes, you might say everyone that goes there should expect what they get, but her problems started way before she got there. Besides that, this book sheds light into just how much of a lonely, insecure, and horribly used person she was. By the Kennedy's, and several others. Once you listen to this, you'll realize.... she didn't even have a chance....

7 people found this helpful

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Conspiracy-ography

50% about Marilyn Monroe 25% about Kennedy’s 25% garbage. Doesn’t do MM justice at all

7 people found this helpful

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Grabs your attention.

I really liked this book and I feel better informed about Marilyn, her situation, and the times she lived in.
I would like to thank the author for the excellent and thorough citations for this book.
The narrator did a fantastic job. I love the "voice " she used for Marilyn. It's exactly how I pictured her.
Bravo.

3 people found this helpful

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Horrible

Horrible Point of view and I think and what I got from it was clearly insulting towards Marilyn Monroe.

3 people found this helpful

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Horribly researched, written and read

Prurient account of Marilyn Monroe's life - and death. read another's biography for factual reconstruction of both.

3 people found this helpful

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"Cubist Fidel Castro"

Mostly good stuff but there are some alarming/amusing gaffes, maybe down to poor editors. Summers wrote great stuff on JFK earlier and later. Narration is strange, DP was directed apparently to read the entire book as if it were a headline. Or as if it were a promo or a trailer for tv/film voice over. It was a lot of work obviously but too much all the time, and with too little variety, is a little exhausting to hear. Narrator also does 'voices', some work, some diminish the characters, even the lead. But A for effort --a lot of research went in and a long book to narrate.

1 person found this helpful

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A Credit Totally Wasted!

Each and every word regarding the life and death of Marilyn have been heard time, time, and time Again. Nothing at all new here to learn.
I’m very frustrated that I allowed myself to believe the author’s or publisher’s lies!
It’s enough to make me want to leave Audible.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Phenomenal coverage of Marilyn's life

This is the most thorough and detailed account of Marilyn's life and death out there. Hours and hours of listening, quite intriguing and a great resource for anyone interested in this tragic woman's life. Marilyn fans are die hard and this book goes into detail not available anywhere else. Would recommend to anyone who is curious about the life of this star, and her very mysterious death.

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Excellent-except for audio quality

One of the very best, if not the best books on Marilyn. I also have the hard copy. Summers is the real deal investigative author/journalist.
However the recorded voice is not smooth, it sounds robotic — like the playback speed varies second by second so it is messed up on Audible’s end.

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  • james dixon
  • 05-03-18

great

i loveed it and learnt a lot about the truth and background of her death what a read could not put it down

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jenny Cutler
  • 02-26-20

Brilliant. another great Marilyn book.

I love reading anything about Marilyn and her extraordinary life. It's not as packed with detail as some Marilyn books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chirimoyya
  • 10-06-22

Not my cuppa

Very difficult to feel any empathy or engage with her in this audio book.
I gave up part way through.

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  • Joanna
  • 05-22-22

It seems more credible as time passes

I read this book when it was published and could hardly believe it was possible, despite the meticulous research. Now, with the passing of time and more things coming to light about the Kennedy's and all the suspicion and subterfuge of the era, it seems eminently possible and likely that this book is as fair and accurate account of what happened to Marilyn as we're likely to get....at least until those classified files are released. I hope that happens in Mr Summers's lifetime, he deserves to read them.

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  • RosePetal86
  • 09-02-21

Outstanding listen

I have always had a fascination with miss monroe and I feel this book covers everything a fan needs to know about her. I love all the research that has been done to produce this book.

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  • Claire
  • 05-04-21

fascinating

excellent narration, thorough evidence backed logic, enjoyed this immensely , will definitely listen again 👍

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Keno
  • 02-07-21

interesting

loved this book, very interesting facts on what happened to Marilyn. couldn't stop listening to it .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jay Lewis
  • 12-14-20

The definite book on Marilyn Monroe

This is genuinely the only book you’ll ever need to read or listen to on the icon. It covers her early life and later years in great detail and has been updated since publication to reflect the recent (at the time) news items about her. It flew by.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 09-12-20

A truly stunning account Marilyn Monroe

Anthony Summers is by far the best investigative biographer - he leaves no stone unturned in the story of Marilyn.
I bought the original book in 1986 and this version jettisons the tragedy bang up to date!
Why this icon has not received justice is a disgrace and the new information points the destruction of her in only one direction. I hope that when Judith Campbell’s files became public in 2025, the authorities have a fresh investigation. An absolutely brilliant biography dedicated to finding out the truth.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-20

Wonderful in most times, but gets carried away...

I find most of it a fascinating story of an insecure and fragile human being behind the most iconic symbol of the last century. Very well researched and nicely told. Gets carried away at the end with the cause of death, in few details even contradicts itself...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-21-19

Misogynistic Crap

This is an appallingly misogynistic book. The hateful, unsympathetic tone is sickening. Having read many Monroe biographies, this is the worst.

1 person found this helpful