This is the first novel by Joyce Carol Oates I've ready, and I have to say that her prose and her style are chosen carefully to reinforce the themes of the novel. On the other hand, this fictionalized biography of Marilyn Monroe was difficult to get through but fascinating to read, like watching trainwreck. Marilyn is used, abused, thrown away, and at the same time realizes she is only doing what she has to to survive. I didn't find this Marilyn as complicated as I hoped she'd be, however the depiction of her early childhood beautifully sets up how she behaves later in the novel. So, Marilyn the character in Blonde is yet another facet of the Marilyn Monroe legend, not a portrait of the historical woman. I also think the conspiracy theory version of how she died included in this novel is rather far fetched, almost an attempt at salvaging Marilyn's myth from Norma Jean's sad morality and drug use. Overall, I am glad I finally read Joyce Carol Oates but this depiction of Marilyn I found lacking.