This review is spoiler free.
“You’re not lost in the storm, Marilyn. You are the storm.”
Published: 2011, by HarperCollins Audio.
Length: 3hr 25mins (Narrated by Eddie Redmayne)
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir
Contains: Strong Language, Sexual Content, Anger, Grief, Blood/Gore, Body Image
‘My Week With Marilyn’ follows twenty-three-year-old Colin Clark, as he began work as a lowly assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, the film that united Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Clark recorded the chaotic production in two unforgettable diaries – the first a charming fly-on-the-wall account of life as a gofer; the other a heartfelt, intimate remembrance of the week Clark spent escorting Marilyn around England.
I first stumbled across this title of the movie adaptation, as a fan of Eddie Redmayne’s works. However, upon realising it was originally a novel, I delved into the audio-book read by the actor. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised.
I didn’t expect to like this book, not really knowing anything about Marilyn Monroe or being familiar with her work. However, the idea of her world and Clark’s world colliding deeply intrigued me. Colin was an incredibly honest character in this life, remaining true to himself and his innocence surrounding his relationship with Marilyn. Although, it was very clear from the beginning that he had feelings for her, he remained mature and professional to ensure her reputation was upheld. As someone unfamiliar with the film-making process, it was fascinating to read of Clark’s accounts of his day-to-day duties as a gofer, and even more so with Monroe’s disobedience and the affects that had on the other filmmakers.
As a narrator, Colin Clark was a brilliant one. He remained humorous and expressive within his writing, retelling his accounts with Marilyn with enticing language and honesty. It was beautiful to read.
Marilyn Monroe was a fascinating woman all-round, learning more about her behind the fame and beauty that she was known for. She was selfish, immature, yet delightful from start to finish. I found myself sympathising with her, yet also becoming more frustrated by the way she was treating young Colin Clark. This novel made me feel for these people who I wouldn’t usually have given a second thought about.
This novel worked brilliantly as an audio-book, Redmayne’s narration bringing the story to life with comedic accents and charm to the characters. It made for a wonderful short read, but a memorable one at that.
Overall, I deeply enjoyed this little read. It was addictive, concise, and deeply memorable, and one I’m more than willing to return to again and again.