Review: The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his friend Marilyn Monroe – Andrew O’Hagan

The novel, “The Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his friend Marilyn Monroe” is told from the perspective of Marilyn Monroe’s dog, Maf, who was given to her by ‘Ol Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. From Maf’s point of view, we hear his travels of travelling from England to California to live with Marilyn. Maf was originally picked up in England by Natalie Wood’s Mother who was a dog breeder. It is through her that Frank decides that this dog will help to lift Marilyn’s spirits after her divorce from Arthur Miller.

Maf can sense her disappointment over the divorce and watches her drink copious amounts of liquor to help numb her pain. He also divulges into the politics that took place in the 1960’s and we can an insight into what life was like for Marilyn and other famous individuals that came into Marilyn’s life. Maf seems to be an insightful little dog with a charming humor and his love and affection to Marilyn (and vice versa) is undeniable.

The most enjoyable element of the novel was the reader’s insight to what animals think, not only did we hear from Maf throughout the novel, but we heard from rats, flies that get caught in soup and other dogs.

Although, I was unable to relate to a lot of the politics that took place or have a familiar sense with all the celebrities who were named in this novel, I’ve always been a fan of Marilyn Monroe and that’s why I loved it so much. I was also a huge fan of the novel because many literary greats were mentioned throughout the novel, like Freud and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Some may not know that Marilyn was a big reader, which is another element about why I enjoy her so much.

Andrew O’Hagan took a different approach about writing what the 1960’s were like by giving a voice to an adorable french white poodle and I believe he did a great job, adding the right amount of knowledge and humor. Word on the street is that this book is going to be made into a movie starring Angelina Jolie as Marilyn Monroe and George Clooney as Frank Sinatra. If this rumor is true, I’ll be one of the first people in lineup to see this charming story in theatre format.

The hardcover version of this book is available on October 12, 2010

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