Reviewed: Metamorphosis, Last Sessions

Screen test, 1962, from ‘Metamorphosis’

Scott Fortner reviews Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis on the MM Collection Blog, and offers readers a chance to win a copy via Facebook.

‘The coloring and definition of these portraits are indeed the finest I’ve come across in any other publication. The resolution, clarity and richness of photographs inMetamorphosis are unsurpassed. In addition, the overall feel and look of this book is quite high, from the heavy paper used to the gold-toned printing of the text. This book is a rare “must have” for every Marilyn Monroe fan and collector.’

Over at The Telegraph, Lucy Beresford reviews Michel Schneider’s novel, Marilyn’s Last Sessions:

‘The most successful element of the book is its analysis. Schneider is especially good on exploring Norma Jeane’s fraught relationship with “Marilyn Monroe”, and on dissecting the psychological (often traumatic) processes involved in playing a character on screen.

He also shows an insightful understanding of psychological interpretations of issues to do with image, narrative, self-delusion, death anxiety and transference in the patient/therapist relationship.

Yet lying on the literary reviewers’ couch, I struggle to say that this book succeeds as a novel. Despite a preface emphasising the made-up nature of facts or conversations, many paragraphs read like academic papers. And “like a demented editor taking revenge on a director”, random scenes are re-cut, cross-referenced or left hanging, which makes for a confusing, repetitive read.

Ironically, for a book preoccupied with objectification, it makes you hungry for the image. By the end, the protagonists have been shown to us as though through different camera lenses, a reminder possibly that we too are guilty of the scrutiny which contributed to Marilyn’s “possible suicide”.’

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