Photographer Shaw, a friend of Marilyn Monroe, took many photos of her, including the famous billowing-skirt shots for the film The Seven-Year Itch . Two hundred of his pictures, most of them never before published, are shown here: Marilyn at the makeup table, on the phone, on the beach, on the set, on the streetMarilyn with Bogart, with Gable, with DiMaggio, with Miller, with her basset hound Hugo. The text is affectionate but pretentious , with descriptions of the times Rosten (poet/playwright/novelist) spent with her, stories of her friends, husbands and admirers, and imagined conversations with the star. It is pleasant to note that there are no tales of CIA murder plots, Kennedy trysts and the likebut describing Marilyn as ``the ethereal, virginal nymph dancing innocently among trees'' is rather like calling William Howard Taft ``puckish.'' Avid fans will love this book. (August)
Photographer Shaw and writer Rosten were both longtime friends of Monroe. As the title indicates, and the book's introduction makes clear, little if anything derogatory is said about Monroe. Instead, in typical glossy book style, short chapters of prose (usually only a page or two in length) are spaced around many nice photographs. In this case, the photos number about 200, and most of them are previously unpublished. On its own terms, as a pleasant, attractive and brief memoir on Monroe, the book succeeds. Whether that is enough, given Monroe's notoriety and the many books about her, is something each library will have to decide. John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.