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Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Valley of the Dolls (1966)

by Jacqueline Susann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Valley of the Dolls (1)

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2,929732,938 (3.57)133

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English (68)  German (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Despite being a classic had I before I got asked if I wanted to participate in the blog tour never read nor seen the movie version of Valley of the Dolls. But, since I'm a daring person when it comes to books did I not hesitate to read it, despite not knowing much about the book. I do not know how big a hit the book was in Sweden when it was published, but I have never really heard that much about the book, could be because I was not born when it was published. So, it was interesting to read a book that so many people seem to like and that seemed to have been an inspiration source for other female writers.

And, the book turned out to be quite good, in the kind of depressing way when you read something that you know will not end on a happy note. And, I was right. Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, they all reach success in their own way, but that doesn't mean that their life will be happy and unhappiness in love, addiction to pills and illness mark their lives. I would say that this book written 50 years ago and taking place over 20 years from the middle of the 40s could just as well has been written today. Not, much has changed in the world and the struggle to get to the top is still a dangerous climb. I mean how many celebrities have not died because of drugs in the last couple of years?

Of all the characters in the book was it Neely that I had the most problems with. Right from the start did I feel that she was annoying and towards the end of the book I really hated her. I really mean that I almost had a throw the book away moment because of her. I get angry just thinking about her while writing the review. Jennifer, I feel sorry for, she is so beautiful, but her mother controlled her life and not even her beauty could make her really happy, or rather her beauty would be the end for her since that was all people saw. And then we have Anne, who only wanted real love, and in the end, she got love, but at a cost.

It's a very tragic book and I do not know if it's a book I would like to read again, but and I'm glad I read the book. Valley of the Dolls is well-written and interesting and it feels timeless.

Thanks to Virago for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
Chick lit of the 60s. Maybe not the best prose I have ever encountered and somewhat predictable but easy to read and highly engaging. However, what I find most fascinating about this book is a depiction of societal attitudes and changes in social norms that were going on at that time (sexism, female roles in society, measures of success, mental illness etc.). That's what Funny Girl by Nick Hornby tried to do but failed miserably. Despite being a better written book language/character-wise the sixties setting felt contrived. I guess that's why it's hard to find a good historical fiction book: even a low quality piece written at the time described would almost always be better at relaying the feel of an era. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Ugh, stuck between a 3 and a 4, so I'll give it 4.
It's not that this book is extremely amazing or profound, but it is entertaining enough and for some reason I tend to like romance that ends on a not so great note. I'm not sure why, lol, but I appreciate things being realisitic. ( )
  jynxmecrazie | Jul 15, 2018 |
This book is like cotton candy covered in glitter, fabulous and unappetizing. The women are so attractive, and the men are so rich, and every single one of them is a miserable bastard. But damn me if their descent into misery isn't the most entertaining thing ever. I would read parts out to my boyfriend and he would be like, "Haha, seriously... what just happened? Did that just happen?" This book is like, the most scathing critique of sexism that has absolutely no idea that it is a scathing critique of sexism.

The movie is TERRIBLE, btw. Maybe I'll watch some Mad Men instead... and yeah the first 100 or so pages seem pretty boring but you gotta get past that, man. I mean, you don't just stop watching Alien just before the chestburster scene, right?

And I leave you with Charlene's "Never Been To Me"

Hey lady, you, lady, cursin' at your life
You're a discontented mother and a regimented wife
I've no doubt you dream about the things you never do
But I wish someone had a talk to me like I wanna talk to you
Ooh I've been to Georgia and California, oh, anywhere I could run
Took the hand of a preacherman and we made love in the sun
But I ran out of places and friendly faces because I had to be free

I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me

Please lady, please, lady, don't just walk away
'Cause I have this need to tell you why I'm all alone today
I can see so much of me still living in your eyes
Won't you share a part of a weary heart that has lived a million lies
Oh I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
Where I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed 'em what I've got
I've been undressed by kings and I've seen some things
That a woman ain't s'posed to see

I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me

Hey, you know what paradise is? It's a lie
A fantasy we create about people and places as we'd like them to be
But you know what truth is?
It's that little baby you're holding, and it's that man you fought with this morning
The same one you're going to make love with tonight. That's truth, that's love

Sometimes I've been to cryin' for unborn children
That might have made me complete
But I, I took the sweet life and never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet
I spent my life exploring the subtle whoring that cost too much to be free

Hey lady, I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me

I've been to paradise - never been to me
(I've been to Georgia and California, and anywhere I could run)
I've been to paradise - never been to me
(I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
While I sipped champagne on a yacht)
I've been to paradise - never been to me
(I've been to cryin' for unborn children )
( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
Valley of the Dolls is a highly entertaining, juicy novel that tells about the rise and fall of Anne, Neely, and Jennifer. The author did a brilliant job of making me feel like I was right there with these girls every step of the way. It stirred up a lot of emotions. I can't put into words how much I enjoyed this book. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Valley of the Dolls is a zipper-ripper that has been called trashy, tawdry, glitzy, lusty, sordid and seamy — and that's just the beginning of its appeal.

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jacqueline Susannprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dèttore, MariapaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Josephine who sat at my feet, positive I was writing a sequel*
*but most of all to Irving
First words
You've got to climb to the top of Mount Everest to reach the Valley of the Dolls.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Dolls - red or black, capsules or tablets, washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer, it doesn't matter as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and idealistic and struggling at the bottom of the ladder of the entertainment industry.

By the time they reach the top, they discover there is no place to go but down - into the Valley of the Dolls.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0802135196, Paperback)

Sex and drugs and shlock and more--Jacqueline Susann's addictively entertaining trash classic about three showbiz girls clawing their way to the top and hitting bottom in New York City has it all. Though it's inspired by Susann's experience as a mid-century Broadway starlet who came heartbreakingly close to making it, but did not, and despite its reputation as THE roman á clef of the go-go 1960s, the novel turned out to be weirdly predictive of 1990s post-punk, post-feminist, post "riot grrrl" culture. Jackie Susann may not be a writer for the ages, but--alas!--she's still a writer for our times.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:11 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Three women seek escape as they learn about the bitterness, corruption, and falsehoods of the show-business world.

» see all 8 descriptions

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