An Evening with Marilyn

I purchased this book directly from Mr. Kirkland and am very pleased with it. Lots of photos that I have never seen before. It also has text by him of what it was like photographing Marilyn. You can currently get a smaller version of this book from Amazon.

Author Douglas Kirkland
Publisher Federico Motta Editore
Cover Type Hardcover
Dimensions 9.75 x 14 inches
Publish Date 2002
Signed by author - personalized inscription
Number of Pages 124


If Iím going to give an honest review, I have to tell you right up front that Douglas Kirklandís book, ìAn Evening With Marilynî is a SMALL book. 127 pages. About 30 pages of text. And the print is BIG. So if you are looking to find an in-depth coverage of Kirklandís Monroe experience, you might find yourself wishing there were more. But I doubt that. Seriously doubt that.

 The fact is you can sit down just after lunch, pick the book up and by the time youíre ready for your pre-dinner cocktail, youíve finished the book. And thatís if you are a very slow reader. But for at least 20 of those 30 pages of text, you will feel something weird going on with your face. Thatís when you realize that you have been sitting there quietly smiling for the last half hour. And I tell you, any book that can make me sit with a big old grin and not even realize it-- thatís worth the $16.95.

 Douglas Kirklandís one time only session with Marilyn has always been one of my absolute favorites. At least five of the photos he snapped that lucky day have gone on to be quickly recognizable classics-- the pillow squeeze; the diagonal stretch across those wonderful white sheets; the coy raising of the sheet while her head is pillowed on the sheets that nearly match the color of her hairÖ What is it that makes this one session so superior to so many others? It is the sheer joy that comes across in Marilynís expressions. It always seemed that just about everything went absolutely right that one evening when the accomplished model/actress met up with the oh-so-young neophyte photographer. What was it that made this one day THE day that everything these two did worked so well? What I wanted was an accounting of just what went on when Monroe sat for Kirkland-- and now in this small book, is the whole story.

 Marilyn Monroe was a woman of mercurial mood changes, especially in her later years. A sunny face and smile could be instantly replaced with either the full heat of anger or the sallow depths of depression. And Kirkland sees both. The incredibly upbeat Monroe who he happened to capture on film and then the  decidedly different Marilyn who met with him later to go over the proofs. Which was the ìrealî Marilyn? The answer would be both-- and more-- just like every human being. That Kirkland is able to present both and show us the short ìinsideî glances he had of this phenomenal woman, is yet another quality the book has that makes it money well spent. To be able to read about the young photographerís nervousness, the anticipation, the shoot itself, to read not only his surprise at meeting yet ìanotherî Marilyn when he goes over the proofs with her as well as his reaction upon learning of her death-- this is the stuff I yearn for when it comes to a Monroe book.

And really, regardless if a book is 130 or 350 pages long, if it gets to the core of the Monroe legend, provides enough information that I feel like I was actually there, AND gives you some incredible photos to boot-- whatís not to like?

Every once in a while I can say ìFind it, get it, buy itî without any hesitation. Douglas Kirklandís ìAn Evening With Marilynî is one of the few. Iím still grinning.

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