by Anthony Summers
Macmillan; 415 pages; $18.95
On Saturday evening, Aug. 4, 1962, a 36-year-old actress took an overdose of barbiturates and died in her sleep. Twenty-three years later, the inquest still goes on. Did Marilyn Monroe kill herself? Was she murdered? British Journalist Anthony Summers provides some sensational theories, but he is obviously chary of conclusions and wary of lawsuits. Readers of Goddess will learn far more about Marilyn's fragmented life than of her sorry demise. Some of the tale is overfamiliar: the battered childhood, the teenage bride, the nude photos, the Hollywood parabola, the famous marriages to Joe...