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A place to update and discuss facts surrounding the controversial, tragic death of legendary Hollywood film actress, wife and mother, Natalie Wood who drowned mysteriously Nov. 29, 1981 off Catalina Island. Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Latest Amazon Review of Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour

Amazon.com: Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour (9781597776394): Marti Rulli, Dennis Davern: Books

Thank you to all reviewers for taking the time to offer your thoughts and opinions of Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour, the story I always felt compelled to tell. Of course, as the writing author, I like the
5-star reviews best, but even the 1-star reviews and those inbetween give me a lot to think about, and I appreciate reader input. Following is the latest review and my comment afterward.

2-Star Review By CintiBonnie "bonnie8" (Cincinnati, Ohio United States) 

This review is from: Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour (Hardcover)

A huge fan of Natalie Wood, I never found the previously published reports of her tragic death to ring true. Some of the information in Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour provides real food for thought and makes me wish that if the police will not reopen the case, a respected investigative news show would take a fresh and critical look. That having been said, this 331 page book contains about 31 pages - at most - of actual information. It is a compelling story told in the most tedious and boring fashion possible. I understand that Marti Rulli is not a professional author and was only in a position to write the book as a result of her access to the former Splendour captain but the publisher really should have heavily edited and tightened it up. I dozed off more than once trying to get through this. It was repetitive and unorganized and, at times, whiney. I believe that the book raises serious and legitimate questions about the suspicious death of this wonderful actress but Captain Davern would have been far more credible if he had spoken up sooner than almost 30 years after the fact.
Bonnie, thank you for taking the time to offer your honest opinion. I started the book in 1983 and worked it as a journal forward. I agree, it could have been tighter. I have read thousands of books and appreciate the tight ones best. It was SO DIFFICULT to decide what to keep and what to set aside. I did trust in the publisher's professional editor to help more in that respect, but after 25 years, all of the material suddenly became a "rush job" -- I was so confused. Over 100 pages were cut, so imagine that! I bet you are heaving a sigh of relief  :-)
Some readers (including my own daughter) thought it was far too long to wait until chapter 26 for Dennis to finally "tell all" -- it took my daughter a full day of reading to get to that chapter and she became frustrated (even though she knew the story) and what I said to her I will now say to all: "Imagine how it felt for ME, in REAL time, to wait ten years for that chapter?" So, I didn't intentionally want to frustrate readers, but I wanted them to have a sense of my frustration, too.
I also thought it extremely important to explain how Dennis came to work for the Wagner family, to show what his relationship was like with the family, and to show his mistakes as real mistakes, not as excuses, and I apologize if it was difficult to decide what would be reader-friendly. Yes, as a first time author, I did leave it to professionals, and when I wanted one last shot at tightening, there was no time left to meet deadline. After 25 years of journal labor you'd think there was plenty of time to tighten, but this isn't your everyday, average story, thus, it always posed a real challenge, so, yes, I sometimes whined.
I truly appreciate your input and recognize what should've been avoided, but the repetition was NOT intended as an insult to readers' comprehension abilities. It happens that many of the important details applied in several different aspects of the story. I would NEVER have written a fiction story so loosely, but because this was a living journal, so to speak, I simply had to tell it as it happened. Truth is stranger than fiction. And now I feel that even my explanation is verbose but it feels good for the opportunity to answer a grammar/writing-related part of a review. Thank you for reading Goodbye Natalie.

PS: As for those 30 years, we more than any wish it could have been sooner.


  1. I disagree with the reviewer. Anyone could make up a story about how she died, but you backed up every single detail with the real proof and a lot of explaning. Those extra pages were necessary for the book's credibility.

  2. Some of these reviewers are new to this. They don't realize how long ago Dennis began telling the truth about that weekend.
    Also, she might be reading it as a fan. It's not a biography but that's not a bad idea, Marti.
    You should write a book about Natalie. Melinda

  3. I just posted a Star article from 1985 to show we were talking about Goodbye Natalie way back when. It wasn't easy to get a publisher to support our efforts, but every editor and publishing house executive we met with through the years believed us unconditionally. The polygraph test was never asked of us. Publishers had reasons beyond their good-conscience why they couldn't take on this story. This book is something I will never apologize for because I wrote with the conviction of its truth. I am terribly sorry that it's such a dark story, but that is beyond my control. I would love to write about Natalie because she really was something. I don't think anyone has yet to really capture her special magic. But, what I did write is the part of her story that crossed my path. Believe me, I've asked WHY?! I felt compelled to do the best I could with it and that's what I did.

  4. Marti, I've worked as an editor (magazine and online publishing) for years and I understand criticisms about tightening up certain elements of GNGS, correcting some very minor punctuation and grammatical errors, etc. I find errors in literally every book I read, but that's what my eye is trained to do.

    However, this is such an important story that I feel those criticisms are secondary to the effort to get a large amount of evidence out there that contradicts the official story. I feel the errors are minor and do not detract from the book's value.

    from KB