A Girl’s Best Friend

Many males fantasized about Marilyn Monroe, but few could climb into her lap on a regular basis. Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan allows us to do just that in his fourth novel, The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, December 6). As the title suggests, this is a story about the famed and tragic actress, told from the point of view of Mafia Honey, Monroe’s Maltese terrier, who was a present from Frank Sinatra in 1960. Maf sits at Old Blue Eyes’ table at the Copacabana; listens to Lee Strasberg’s poeticized lessons at the Actors Studio; and watches as his “fated companion,” so desperate to be taken seriously, navigates the highs and lows of being Marilyn Monroe in the last two years of her life. Maf, equal parts erudite (a sworn Trotskyite, well-versed in philosophy and psychology) and canine (he chases rats), tells Monroe’s story from the ground up. As he says, “Nothing is lost on the littlest of all dogs.” More info at hmhbooks.com