More in Sony | Vienna Hehir | Young Sheldon
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters” as Want to Read:
Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  2,231 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
Fragments is an event--an unforgettable book that will redefine one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century and that, nearly fifty years after her death, will definitively reveal Marilyn Monroe's humanity.

Marilyn's image is so universal that we can't help but believe we know all there is to know of her. Every word and gesture made headlines and garnered controversy.
Hardcover, 235 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011

To be honest, I had never noticed how prominently books feature in Marilyn Monroe iconography, but now that it’s been pointed out, it’s almost impossible to miss.

Apparently, this was no accident, for as Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment ask in their introduction to this volume, do we know of any other actresses from the period who “sometimes took pains to be photographed reading or holding a book?” And this wasn’t merely a ploy to counter a fast-crystalizing reputation as an airhead, a dumb b
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Heart wrenching.

I have to start out by saying that I honestly have never been a huge Marilyn Monroe buff - bowing my head I admit that I have never seen one of her films. However, I have heard endless talk of this sensationalized woman, as well as having watched a few bios of her and reading articles about her. Marilyn Monroe's story fascinates me and I find her life struggles and unexplained death heart-rendering. This is a woman whose name and story everyone knows and hypothesizes about. When
Emad Attili


In her funeral, Lee Strasberg said:

“We, gathered here today, knew only Marilyn—a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life and reaching out for fulfillment”

I think these are the best words to describe who Marilyn really was.

I couldn't suppress my tears when I was reading this book.
Marilyn Monroe is the saddest person I've ever known. She says: “I seek joy but it is clothed with pain”
And she cries: “Help Help
I feel life coming closer
Andis / Slytherin 🐍
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book, and it was so amazing to see Marilyn's own writing. She was a woman with many fears, but she was a genius.
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I grew up watching Some Like It Hot on an annual basis. My family and I watched musicals from the 1940's and 50's, which meant Marilyn Monroe was a staple in my childhood viewing habits. When I was quite young, I learned that she had been born into deprivation, abused, and changed her name upon her entry into Hollywood. While many books and documentaries have focused on her beauty and allure and duality, they have all (seemingly) done so from the outside. The movie "My Week With Marilyn" was an ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film-history
If these aptly-named Fragments had been written by anyone other than the iconic Marilyn Monroe, they would have no value. However, for those who want to know what was going on behind the million-watt smile, there are some pieces here that are invaluable.

I do feel somewhat hesitant about having read this book, simply because these items (other than the letters written to others) were clearly not meant to be seen by anyone other than Marilyn herself. She jotted down stream-of-consciousness poetry
Jesús Santana
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Norma Jeane Mortenson o Marilyn Monroe, el icono eterno de la belleza y la sensualidad femenina, el rostro perfecto; escondía un talento impresionante. Esa belleza que se consideraba a si misma Jekyll & Hyde, ocultaba un lado lleno de sufrimiento, de melancolía, de pasión y de tristeza que los medios le prohibían mostrar y solo lograron que todo ese dolor creciera en intensidad y la llevara a finalizar su vida abruptamente.

Al morir Marilyn Monroe todas sus pertenencias llegan a manos de Lee
Carl Rollyson
As portrayed in her own words, Marilyn Monroe emerges as thoughtful and accomplished -- not characteristics that most biographies emphasize. She had marvelous taste and could decorate a house or cook a meal with panache. Photographs in this book document her avid reading and her craving for the classics. Her diaries, letters and notes record responses to literature even as they reflect the misspellings and grammatical errors of an earnest but self-educated artist.

Monroe's unstable aspect certain
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marilyn-monroe
Being an avid MM fan I could not help but grab this up as soon as I saw it. I wanted to know if there was anything morethan what was portrayed on the outside, i kind of knew that there was.
With duplicates of actual writings of MM and translations of her scribbles one gets to see the more intimate side of "the Goddess". It is a side that few have gotten to see until now. A seemingly fragile yet intellegent woman with glimpses of greatness in her soul. I always knew she had it in her.
One has to k
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Many fans don't understand what responsibility they place on the object of their lust. Also, no one cares how the day spent this lust, what's his mood, what this person want to talk about, or just talk "silently"? What is in the soul of this person and what story s/ he has behind her/him. Fond of the screen image, so real that no one thinks that a person with the responsibility assigned to him simply ceases to be himself. Fans need "meat and blood," tearing the person in half, calling this as lo
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book came out late last year and I immediately put it on my wishlist. I don't know much about Marilyn Monroe, but I find her fascinating. And I fell in love with her when I watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for the first time. How can you not love a character as sweet and naive as Dorothy Parker? And, from what I've read, Marilyn was just the same (although maybe not as dumb).

Fragments is a collection of notes, poems, and letters that Marilyn wrote and saved. These papers were not discovered
Niklas Pivic
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
From Lee Strasberg's eulogy at Marilyn Monroe's funeral:

Marilyn Monroe was a legend.

In her own lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain. For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine.

But I have no words to describe the myth and the legend. I did not know this Marilyn Monroe. We gathered here today, knew only Marilyn - a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life and reaching out
Robert Colomer
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
[image error]

I am just reading this book as we speak,but I will say this,Fragments is a gripping and moving revelation of the Marilyn Monroe we have never met. It is a must read for anyone who shares the limited understanding of her persona developed over the nearly 50 years since her death. This gripping book presents her in a more appropriate and balanced light. Marilyn Monroe expressed her thoughts wherever she was on whatever was handy, using notebooks and scraps of paper, including hotel st
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Usually when one thinks of Marilyn Monroe, they think of a gorgeous, blonde sex symbol. This book displays another side to her that few have heard of. Monroe was an avid reader and sometimes writer with an interest in psychoanalysis.

I'm a huge Marilyn Monroe fan so I was interested to read this book to get a different view of her. It's a really interesting look at a person that is still so well known and beloved by so many. Some of the psychoanalysis is not the most exciting but I enjoyed readi
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I’ve been a fan of Marilyn since I was a little girl. I’ve read several biographies of her over the years, but this is a different sort of book. It’s a collection put together by an editor of poems, notes, and letters all written by Marilyn herself. It’s not exactly a cohesive collection, but the editor breaks it up well into sections. The book is an interesting glimpse into Marilyn’s life and thoughts, but also a rather sad one. Reading about her sadness and hopelessness in a biography is one t ...more
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I have long believed that I would have had a lot to talk about with Marilyn Monroe if I spent some time with her.

You tell someone that and you get a roll of the eyes and maybe some snide joke or remark.

This is a collection of notes to herself, letters, and poems in Marilyn’s own handwriting that haven't been previously published.

Yeah, it's cashing in on her name for some people, but I'm glad that they made it into a book.

Should I feel guilty about reading this?

Is it great writing? No, but it's
Oct 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-biography
I read an excerpt of this book in Vanity Fair, and I was intrigued. I can report that the best parts were in fact in Vanity Fair. This book has some gorgeous photographs, but very little content - it shows the writings of a woman who was very confused, and feels intrusive and depressing. Save your money unless you are absolutely Marilyn obsessed.
Kristen Dutkiewicz
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars, memoir
Always been a fan of Marilyn Monroe, and her "fragments" book just made me love her even more. Her personal poetry and notes truly showed how fragile she was, and I loved this in depth look into her character.

This book is also full of photographs, not of her as the nation's sex symbol, but her reading, laughing with friends, and studying notes/scripts.

"Fragments" brought Marilyn to life yet again.
Shallowreader VaVeros
This book is a study of Marilyn Monroe's writing in diaries, on hotel note papers and on other scraps of her ideas, letters to friends, poems and other pieces.

What I especially liked is the book design. Its representation of Marilyn's notes, scanned to be seen as they were written but also transcribed for the reader. I also liked how each section was separated by photograph's of Marilyn Monroe reading.

Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actress must have no mouth
no feet
girdle hangs light
focus my thought on
the partner--
feeling in the end of
my fingers

- Marilyn Monroe, 1951
Hannah Maree
As much as I love Marilyn’s poetry, I think the editing left much to be desired. It felt all over the place and would have been more effective presented chronologically.
Venus Blancia
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoirs
“try to enjoy myself when I can - I'll be miserable enough as it is." The myth incarnate of both worlds.
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This is very hard to review. It isn't even a book, just a collection of fabulous pictures of Marilyn and random notes and thoughts scribbled on bits of paper. How do you criticize something like that?

When I first learned about this book I wanted nothing to do with it. The whole thing smacked of exploitation and voyeurism and felt unpleasant. Well, I read it and felt utterly sympathetic to Marilyn. I can't even begin to understand the pressure she was under. Yet during all her years of fame and i
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This aptly titled book contains snapshots of actual handwritten pages from Marilyn Monroe's notebooks as well as typewritten diary entries and letters written between the 1950s to her death. Photographs of Marilyn Monroe either reading or writing bookend each chapter.

Although a book of scribbling from an unknown writer or poet would never be published, Marilyn Monroe's mystique continues to captivate public attention. This volume of thoughts, impressions, images, and feelings is a bit voyeurist
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read many books on Monroe over the last 25 years, but Fragments has come along after all this time and put most of them in the shade. Mainly because these are Marilyn's own words, not speculation, and she was a sensitive, witty observer of her own life. Obviously these were private musings and not intended to be viewed in a professional light, and may be misread by some. But perhaps with someone as iconic as MM, who has become almost a subject of fantasy, reading her side of the story can b ...more
Courtney Gawthorp
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I wasn't actually a fan of Marilyn Monroe until I read a biography of her by Donald Spoto. The reason I'm a fan of hers isn't because of the "dumb blonde" movies she made. I'm a fan of her for her human qualities. The ones that I relate to.

I got this book the day it came out and I love it. It's one of my most treasured books. It includes beautiful pictures of Marilyn showing the more passionate and intelligent side of her.

But best of all is seeing her own handwriting and reading the things she w
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I do not know too much about Marilyn's life story, so this book, containing copies of letters, lists, poems, and, yes, fragments, gave me a first insight, with a feeling of uncensored intimacy. As opposed to, maybe, the popular perception of her, she appears very literate and erudite, and, while still conveying the expected traits of wittiness and charm, they are coupled with a fragile confidence and vulnerability. This makes for a much more interesting and curious character than the glamorous, ...more
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
it shows the depressed Marilyn.. the real person.. she ois not a dumb blonde.. she is a well read person.. she read Ulysses, Hemingway, Faulkner, Keroauc, Mailer, and Arthur Miller. She had many friends esp writers like Capote, O'Conner.

She wrote poetry, documented her life.. on piece that could be scribed on.. she was a true human being..she wanted to be happy but no one accepted a smart blond.. they wanted her to be a 'dumb blonde' and she refused.
Jana Gutiérrez
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Remarkable. The reader sees her own handwriting, the depth of her emotion, sensitivity, and even brilliance. She was more savvy and composed than people think. Very well-read too. The analysis of these written archives is very interesting too. What a loss in her early and mysterious death. But what a find in these intriguing and revealing fragments.
M.F. Moonzajer
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very good post Marilyn Monroe Collection. It is a beautiful collection of Monroe's personal life, love and everything she ever had written. If you love Monroe's personality, her character and uniqueness, it is a must read for you. You will enjoy reading her handwritten notes and poems with broken English and rhyme.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words
  • MM--Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn Monroe: Unseen Archives
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Biography
  • Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis
  • My Sister Marilyn: A Memoir of Marilyn Monroe
  • The Complete Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn Monroe:  Private And Undisclosed
  • The Marilyn Monroe Treasures
  • Marilyn Monroe and the Camera
  • The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn
  • Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe
  • The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn in Fashion: The Enduring Influence of Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.

After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox.
More about Marilyn Monroe
“Trying to build myself up with the fact that I have done things right that were even good and have had moments that were excellent but the bad is heavier to carry around and feel have no confidence.” 191 likes
“try to enjoy myself when I can - I'll be miserable enough as it is.” 64 likes
More quotes…