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Monday, May 30, 2011

Recently read: "The Marilyn Tapes" by Ed Gorman

The Marilyn Tapes

Gorman gives us a tale of the aftermath of Marilyn Monroe's death.  There's a mad scramble for tapes made of Marilyn with Robert Kennedy, and everyone wants them.  J. Edgar Hoover is looking to gain the upper hand with the Kennedy's, while Louella Parson sees a chance to regain her power in Hollywood and the Mafia wants to teach the Kenndeys a lesson.

This story is fairly sorid, with a lot of people looking out for themselves, and not concerned about whom is hurt as a by product.  Gorman is not a master stylist, and the book reads fast, in ways more like a screenplay or outline.  There's some attempts at fleshing out the secondary characters (JFK's hatchet man Lenihan, fan magazine editor Sara Drury) but many of the characters are types (Drury's boss, who is just looking for blackmail and Hoover's "agent" Melanie, who is a psychopath lesbian).

A lot of people die in the course of the book, and one character who survives should have (given how she is wounded) but I suspect Gorman wanted somewhat of a happy ending.

This is the first book I've read by Gorman, and probably won't read another.  It's not terrible, and the subject matter remains interesting (Marilyn, after all this time) but I've not a big enough fan of his to follow his work.

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