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  1. The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog by Andrew O'Hagan
  2. New Book Arriving Soon: The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe
  3. The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog
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  5. Book Summary

His name was Mafia Honey, or Maf for short. He had an instinct for celebrity. For politics. For psychoanalysis. For literature. For interior decoration.

The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog by Andrew O'Hagan

For Liver Treat with a side order of National Biscuits. Not to mention a hilarious peek into the brain of an opinionated, well-read, politically scrappy, complex canine hero. She took him to meet President Kennedy and to Hollywood restaurants, department stores, and interviews. To Mexico, for her divorce. My story really begins at Charleston, a perfect haunt of light and invention that stands in the English countryside.

It was warm that summer and the mornings went far into the afternoon, when the best of the garden would come into the house, the flowers arranged in pots and given new life by Vanessa in her fertile hours. She was always there with her oils and her eyes, the light falling through the glass ceiling to inflame the possibility of something new.

She had good days and bad days. On good days she set out her brushes and knew the time was right for work when all her memories became like an aspect of sleep. It was June The gardener had just brought a tray of foxgloves into the kitchen, the flowers pert but deafened after a week or two of bees. I was sitting in a basket next to the oven when a ladybird crawled over the table.

Ultimately, The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his Friend Marilyn Monroe is an entertaining read, not least for its satisfying glimpses behind the curtain of Hollywood, but it will not be to everyone's taste.


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Sinatra was not graciously served in this book. He was, in effect, a bully and a ball-buster who used his star power and angry charisma to insert himself into politics and also a spoiled man whom no one thought to check or correct. Maf saw him as insensitive and brutish, an ego-driven and spoiled man with dark forces ready to do his bidding.

The best way I can describe her character was lost and easily swayed. Her drive to be taken seriously and to appear glamorous and high functioning was, in effect, one of her most fatal flaws. From the vantage point we have, Marilyn is reflected with love and is truly endowed with the gravity she deserves. He speaks at length about his own interpretations on the anthropomorphism animals and of the philosophers that have espoused the same sentiments.

A lot of these explanations were interesting to read but went somewhat over my head, though they were grounded in fact.

New Book Arriving Soon: The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe

The amalgamation of all of these elements were sometimes portentous and at other times candidly funny, but I had trouble with the immense weight of the implications made by the narrative. I think readers of a certain generation would get a lot from this story, and even I had no trouble falling in love with little Maf. I appreciated the creativity and candor of this book immensely, and feel that although it tried to accomplish a lot within a relatively small space, it was clearly a book that made me think differently, not only about the animal world, but about some of the foremost legends in cinema history.

A challenging and reflective read. Oh boy, someone did fail gloriously here! I am OK with dogs knowing all human thoughts, feelings and innermost character, even some wisecracks about literature and philosophy out of their barking mouths would be perfectly in order, but here this strategy is simply overdone. Maf the Dog quickly morphs into a sorry excuse for employing an omniscient first-person narrator which perhaps would be rejected today, while dog narrators obviously have carte blanche , even though he is not even omniscient Oh boy, someone did fail gloriously here!

Maf the Dog quickly morphs into a sorry excuse for employing an omniscient first-person narrator which perhaps would be rejected today, while dog narrators obviously have carte blanche , even though he is not even omniscient, but just an insupportable knows-it-all. Not that I'd be averse to being edified, informed or enlightened, regardless of the source of knowledge provided, but somehow this doesn't happen - all those morsels of wisdom make for a bland and incongruous intellectual diet. Maf, by the way, is fittingly colour-blind, but for some reason his sense of smell is just human.

When someone takes off his shoes at a party, he even manages to determine that "they smell of nothing at all", which is so un-doggish it sent me screaming. Before this disappointing backdrop the reader wonders whether there is any substance to the character O'Hagan gives his famous personages of the American sixties, especially where we would be most interested, namely in Marilyn's case, who is portrayed with care, but still not all too convincingly. A dog who had known her mind so intimately as O'Hagan claims Maf does, could have done better than presenting this scene so totally out of context.

Jun 24, J. This was a strange book. Since my boyfriend bought his iPad, I've been borrowing his Kindle, since he doesn't need it anymore. And it's really opening up an opportunity for me to read ebooks, which I'm having trouble concentrating on when they're on the laptop. A lifelong fan of Marilyn Monroe, who is my favorite actress, I always jump on the chance This was a strange book. A lifelong fan of Marilyn Monroe, who is my favorite actress, I always jump on the chance to read about her, novels like this too.

And this is a strange one, told from the view of Marilyn's dog Maf. It's almost like it offers up glimpses of her life, and of Maf's life, not nessecarily from a start to a finish, but simply different portraits of her, and of artists around her, in different situations and places.

The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog

Granted, it's a weird book, but it's endearing and insightful and philosophical, and I quite like it. It's not a pageturner, and it's taken me a while to finish it, also doubtlessly because of my adventures in antidepressants, but it is quite lovely. It's not like it's unputdownable, but it's a nice read nonetheless. I quite liked it. Jan 19, Diana S rated it liked it Shelves: remember , read-in , book-addict-challenge Maf is Marilyn Monroe's pet given to her by Frank Sinatra. And what a life they lived! Not only do you get a glimpse of Marilyn's personal life.

But also, the ins and outs of Hollywood and some details of the Kennedy clan. All through the observations of this smart little dog.

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I give this book 3. Shelves: marilyn-monroe , book-challenge , meh , hardcover-paperback-own. I have only five things to say about this book Bizarre but brilliant An account of the last part of Marilyn Monroe's life from the point of view of her dog Maf short for Mafia - given to her by Frank Sinatra.

I loved the humour and darkness rolled into the narrative of this book - the unexpected philosophical conversations with other animals; the opinions on politics and celebrity; the frustrations of Maf, who knows he is so much more intelligent than those around him, but cannot make himself heard! I'm not a big animal person, and genuinel Bizarre but brilliant An account of the last part of Marilyn Monroe's life from the point of view of her dog Maf short for Mafia - given to her by Frank Sinatra. I'm not a big animal person, and genuinely didn't think I'd enjoy a book from the perspective of an animal quite so much Highly recommended!!

Nov 26, Sam Romilly rated it really liked it. So refreshing to read an intelligent witty and fun book. From the perspective of a Maltese white dog we listen in to the conversations of the great such as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe - as they really were perhaps. It does not attempt to solve any mysteries or come up with new theories of what happened - it is just a pleasant journey from start to finish.

Jul 23, Jeanne rated it liked it. The third star is for the clear intelligence of the author and the too few flashes of good fiction the scene in the art gallery, e. But the book is tedious.


  1. Superficial ‘Opinions’ of Marilyn Monroe’s Dog.
  2. The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his friend Marilyn Monroe;
  3. The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O'Hagan: review.
  4. Book Review: The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of his friend Marilyn Monroe - The Scotsman;
  5. Impossible Bliss;
  6. Tedious enough that it left me without the energy or will to offer my thoughts on what O'Hagan seems to me to be up to. The dog is well-versed in arts of philosophy and literature, history and politics. He has an acute sense of understanding human motivations and can decipher their thoughts well before they are manifested physically. Maf is deliberately crafted as a comical yet reliable narrator through whose lens we witness the tragedy of American culture.

    Book Summary

    His aphorisms are amusing and philosophical, but which failed to make a mark on me as a neutral reader with no strong affiliations with the history of Hollywood. The book is written in stylistic prose, typical of Americanism, doused with Hollywood references which completely evaded me. Which begs the question: who is this book really intended for? The writer failed to inspire in me even the faintest of concerns for Monroe and her ordeals.

    I was untroubled by their associations and personal issues that ailed them. As a reader, I knew a certain kind of fame was attached to these names but that was the extent of identifying them with glamour and Hollywood. I skipped a lot of pages.