Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Out Today: Marilyn Monroe's “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters” Give iPad Owners An Ebook Edge

iPad owners get the advantage over Kindle and other e-paper device readers of Marilyn Monroe's new book Fragments, released today in the Amazon Kindle Bookstore for $14.99.

Formatted for the printed page, Fragments loses out in translation to ebook format. “Intimate pictures” of the star are reduced-resolution versions of what print book readers get. And in the black and white world of the Kindle and other ereaders, image impact loses, too. Photos suffer, and issues are noted in images of handwritten notes, admittedly tinkered with by editors “for clarity.”

Marilyn Monroe, the iconic Hollywood blonde bombshell actress who fascinated Hollywood, the world—and a President--in the 1950s and who died young of a drug overdose in 1962, emerges once again in the book's collection of personal writings, including notes on napkins.

It's touted as “an event—an unforgettable book that will redefine one of the greatest stars of the twentieth century.” Publicists breathlessly add: “50 years after her death, [Fragments] will redefine one of the greatest stars...[it] will definitively reveal Marilyn Monroe's humanity.”

Monroe, dead for nearly half a century under mysterious circumstances that have spawned conspiracy theories galore, never ceases to fascinate. She was a superstar, a fabulously beautiful woman displayed unclad or skimpily clothed for the delight of magazine readers, movie goers, and TV watchers.

Hugh Hefner's 1953 Christmas gift to the world, Playboy Magazine, launched to success on a first-issue nude photo of Monroe in December.  President John F. Kennedy, long rumored of “no-no” relations with Monroe, was flustered when she sang her breathy, sexy version of “Happy Birthday” in Madison Square Garden for Kennedy's 45th birthday celebration. An embarrassed Jackie Kennedy coped graciously before the cameras at the event.

Monroe's death in 1962 stunned the world, soon to be stunned again by the assassination of President Kennedy a year later. She died young, beautiful, famous and reportedly unhappy at the age of 36, from an overdose of barbiturates.

More about why iPad readers of the book should have a leg up over their Kindle-reading friends: The book includes reproductions of notes in image form. An added draw are promised “intimate photographs” which lose much in the digital translation to the black and white screen of the Kindle. But iPad readers will come closer to the more vivid image quality of the printed version: Image resolution has been adjusted downward for the ebook edition.

From the Amazon ebook page for Fragment's: “Fragments was originally formatted for hardcover publication, and though every effort has been made to simulate the original book's layout and design for the electronic edition, the arrangement...does not always correspond to the original.” Editors tinkered with Monroe's written words “for clarity,” which the Kindle won't show, but the iPad will.

Included in the book, reports book business insider Galley Cat are references to books on Marilyn's bookshelf. Here are just a few, with links to them in the Kindle Bookstore:

The Secret Agent, by Joseph Congrad.  FREE Kindle Store ebook.
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, $12.99.
Tortilla Flat, by John Steinbeck, $8.99
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, $11.99.
The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, $9.49.

Monroe, legendary for her beauty, her life story and her voluptuous sexuality, entertained and thrilled a generation of movie goers around the world. Her scene in The Seven Year Itch, where her innocent character stands over a subway grating to enjoy the rush of air when the train passes underground, is an icon: the air rushes up, Marilyn's flowing white dress blows high in a flurry, and her very beautiful legs are revealed for the gaping world to ogle.

Another Monroe movie classic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a 1953 cheesecake and comedy tour de force, eatured the also-classic song: “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend.”

American icon and author Normal Mailer, published “Marilyn: A Biography” in 1975. Sadly, at least in the Amazon stores, it is not available in ebook format.

Everything By And About Marilyn on Amazon--Links:

Posters of Marilyn and Even More,  Proving that Beauty is Eternal and that Marilyn, dead for almost 50 years, still generates a ton of money--for others.


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