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She's Come Undone (Oprah's Book…
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She's Come Undone (Oprah's Book Club) (edition 1998)

by Wally Lamb

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10,491186273 (3.82)189
Member:sammyinparis
Title:She's Come Undone (Oprah's Book Club)
Authors:Wally Lamb
Info:Pocket Books (1998), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

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She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

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English (180)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (185)
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
This book takes the reader from meeting Dolores Prices as an adolescent to departing from her in her forties. During these 30 years she endures many losses. Some of which throw her into compulsive overeating and others deep depression.
While I always rooted for her, at times, I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stand up for herself.
I would recommend this book but warn the reader that it is dark and difficult at times. ( )
  AstridG | Aug 25, 2016 |
She's Come Undone was up and down, in and out, and all over the place. And long, way too long. All I'll say about the overly contrived ending is that it was a relief when it finally arrived. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
okay — actually weird — but a bestseller so I read — Why?

Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.
  christinejoseph | Jun 25, 2016 |
Listened to this on CD while driving to Charleston. I was crying so hard, I missed my exit and didn't realize until 30 minutes later! Very touching. ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |

“I think... the secret is to just settle for the shape of your life takes...Instead of you know, always waiting and wishing for what might make you happy.”

Damn, but this is one of those hard books to rate, think about, and review. It's a cauldron of chaos, a literary train wreck written into the character's life. We're with Dolores from a young age, and we go through the agonies of aging and tragedy with her. So. Much. Tragedy!

It's a book I couldn't take in all at once - instead I had to ingest small doses, then come back to it later. Wally Lamb writes cleverly well - his wording sucked me in when I dared to continue Dolores' depressing story. There's symbolism, there's growth, there's walking backward, there's surprises, there's pain and beauty.

Dolores is hard to identify - in one way this book is so honest, touching upon things people don't mention enough. Obesity and Aids and rape and horrible husbands and death and...well, so much. This is in no way a simple novel about a woman overcoming obesity. Does she ever survive and find herself? Or does she just survive and find herself in a realistic way, the only way people ever really can?

In some ways Dolores was a turn off, and I don't mean her weaknesses, because I understood those. I mean her lashing out and willingness to hurt those close to her so easily. I know it was because of her age at some point, her anger and frustration and teenage hormones - later I know it was because of her rage and because that was the only way she knew how to fight back. But ultimately sometimes (only sometimes) I just couldn't like the character.

I sympathized with her - she went through awful, horrible stuff. I understood when she fell because so many have fallen there too. I didn't mind that - there was just something a little mean-spirited about her sometimes, but I guess that's another thing that makes her a more realistic and honest character too.

This book is heavy - I don't mean just length, although that's considerable, but because I went through so many long phases with Dolores, phases that were enough to cover a whole novel by each phase itself. I figured when I got to a point, then the rest of the novel would keep following it. But no, more cycles would start and begin, life was lived a long time in these pages, from a child with the world shattered to a woman nearing forty who has found a semblance, finally, of peace.

I struggled between a three and four star rating. The subject matter, the writing style, the heavy depth deserve four stars. I think I didn't enjoy the second half as much, I was growing impatient with it, how it was draining me, and maybe that sucked a rating away from my enjoyment.

I do have to say that She's Come Undone is different, it's daring, it's honest, it's heartbreaking (really), but it's also wonderful and deserves a read. Definitely not a book I'll forget, and it's not something I've read before.

For Dolores, and for so many of us, there's that ray of hope that is at the same time covered with reality's bleakness. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
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Wally Lambprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heer, Inge deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Our day will come
If we just wait awhile . . .


—Ruby and the Romantics
Toward dawn we shared with you
your hour of desolation,
the hugh lingering passion
of your unearthly outcry,
as you swung your blind head
toward us and laboriously opened
a bloodshot, glistening eye,
in which we swam with terror and recognition.

—From "The Wellfeet Whale"
by Stanley Kunitz
Dedication
To Christine,
who laughed and cried and lent me
to these characters.
First words
In one of my earliest memories, my mother and I are on the front porch of our rented Carter Avenue house watching two delivery men carry our brand-new television set up the steps. I'm excited because I've heard about but never seen television. The men are wearing work clothes the same color as the box they're hefting between them. Like the crabs at Fisherman's Cove, they ascend the cement stairs sideways. Here's the undependable part: my visual memory stubbornly insists that these men are President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon.
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Book description
Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herselfd with Mallmomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion andf give herself one more chance before really going belly up. In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Lamb invites us to hitch a ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. At once a fragile girl aned a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably lovable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections. She's Come Undone includes a promise: you will never forget Dolores Price.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671021001, Mass Market Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, January 1997: "Mine is a story of craving; an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our free television was delivered." So begins the story of Dolores Price, the unconventional heroine of Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. Dolores is a class-A emotional basket case, and why shouldn't she be? She's suffered almost every abuse and familial travesty that exists: Her father is a violent, philandering liar; her mother has the mental and emotional consistency of Jell-O; and the men in her life are probably the gender's most loathsome creatures. But Dolores is no quitter; she battles her woes with a sense of self-indulgence and gluttony rivaled only by Henry VIII. Hers is a dysfunctional Wonder Years, where growing up in the golden era was anything but ideal. While most kids her age were dealing with the monumental importance of the latest Beatles single and how college turned an older sibling into a long-haired hippie, Dolores was grappling with such issues as divorce, rape, and mental illness. Whether you're disgusted by her antics or moved by her pathetic ploys, you'll be drawn into Dolores's warped, hilarious, Mallomar-munching world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:30 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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