Hometown Girl

Great book! It is gorgeous to look at and features very unique content. I would recommend picking up a copy especially if you are planning a trip to see the Marilyn locations in LA.

Author Eric Monroe Woodard with David Marshall
Publisher HG Press
Cover Type Hardcover
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Publish Date 2004
Signed By author Eric Woodword - personalized inscription
Number of Pages 182


Yesterday was a very special day for me as I finally held in my hands an advanced copy of Eric Woodard’s Hometown Girl. After a year of looking at the book as it went through its many alterations, viewing images via email, CD Disc and finally hardcopy galley proofs, to actually hold the completed project was a considerable thrill. And not just because I know the author and was able to watch the book through its various stages, not just because I loved the book from the very beginning, but because the final product not only matches the image I had in my head but surpasses it. The book is once and for all a class act from the first page to the very last. The colors are vibrant. The paper is of the highest glossy quality. And the research -- an amazing feat in itself. As Eric mentions in his introduction, “most people don’t understand when I try to explain what Hometown Girl is all about. But then again, this book isn’t for them. It is for those fans like myself who have an obsessive need to know the minutest tidbit of information about, to us at least, one of the few iconic symbols of the twentieth century and beyond.”


The text on the cover pretty much explains the concept of the book: “A chronological guide of Marilyn Monroe related Los Angeles area addresses from 1923 to 1962 with 250 listings illustrated with over 700 images.” What the cover doesn’t tell you is that the visual images leap off the page to grab the reader and pull them deep into a world that for the most part is no longer: the world of Marilyn Monroe. One of the reasons why the book is so compelling is that this is not a presentation of photo after photo but a near 200 page collage created by a foremost graphic artist -- Mr. Eric Woodard. And this is where the book’s major attraction lies, in its successful attempt to take the reader on a visually exciting time journey through the very world that Marilyn inhabited. In the hands of any other author the information would be welcomed but in no way could it have been presented in such a dazzling manner.


The book can be enjoyed in three distinct ways:


  1. Plan on visiting Los Angeles and are hoping to see a few of the old haunts Marilyn once frequented but haven’t any idea where to go? Trying to find where Marilyn once took a stand for Ella Fitzgerald but have no idea where the old Macambo actually stood? Want to find the restaurant where Joe and Marilyn had their very first date but can’t find it because the name has changed? Trying to find Westwood Memorial but keep missing it and keep ending up in the vast veteran’s cemetery a few blocks further on? If you had a copy of Hometown Girl none of this would pose any problem at all.


  1. You’re halfway through Donald Spoto’s biography and would love to figure out the distance between Peter Lawford’s Santa Monica home and 12305 5th Helena? Curious to see what the exterior AND interior of the home Marilyn and Milton Greene rented during the filming of Bus Stop? You’ve read that Marilyn was looking for a place like Dr. Greenson’s house but have no idea what his home looked like? It’s all right here in this book.


  1. You’ve read Leaming, Spoto, Guiles and Zolotow but still miss that “click,” that connection to Marilyn’s life and wish you could just start at the beginning and actually see where she lived, ate, partied, worked and enchanted a worldwide audience? Turn off the TV, unplug the answering machine, curl up on the couch and open the first page -- you will begin a wondrous journey through Marilyn’s day to day life, seeing her world through her eyes, from the quiet of Grace Goddard’s backyard, to the skating rink Norma Jeanne and Bebe escaped to, from the Beverly Hilton where she accepted her last Golden Globe to poolside at the Lawford’s: Hometown Girl is your ticket to travel back over seventy years and visit not only the famous sites but the obscure ones as well, places perhaps only Marilyn herself could remember -- until now.

That’s the joy of this book: to see Los Angeles as it she saw it. Any book that can tell me on which corner to stand and then describe the famous Schwab’s Pharmacy to the point where I can actually see Sidney Skolsky rather than the Crunch Gym and Virgin Records that stand there today, is more than okay with me. It is a treasure to hold onto and retreat into whenever the spirit moves me.

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