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She's Come Undone (Oprah's Book Club) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 1998

328 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (1 Jun. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671021001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671021009
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (328 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 746,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wally Lamb's first novel, 'She's Come Undone', won rave reviews when it was published in 1992. It was a finalist in the 'Los Angeles Times' First Novel Award, a Top Ten book for 'People' magazine and a Notable Book for the 'New York Times'. Both 'She's Come Undone' and 'I Know This Much Is True' have been chosen for Oprah's Book Club. Wally Lamb now teaches writing at the University of Connecticut. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and their three sons.

Product Description

Amazon Review

"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 among the most loathsome creatures ever to go by the name of man. But Dolores is no quitter; she battles her woes with a sense of self-indulgence and gluttony rivalled 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Glamour" A heroine to cheer for....This supremely touching journey to adulthood may remind you of "The World According to Garp" and other sagas of emotional liberation.

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First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Luanne on 9 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
The length of this book put me off initially and for a couple of months it simply sat on my shelf, intimidating me, overwhelming me. Eventually I managed to pick it up and, once I had, I could not put it down.
Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone tells the story of Dolores Price from aged 4 through to middle age. I found her to be immediately likeable. She begins as a naive young child and I think she retains most of this naivety throughout, which can be seen in the letters she writes to her grandmother later on in the book. Wally Lamb throws practically every tragedy you could ever imagine at poor old Dolores, including divorce, rape, death, depression, AIDS, abortion, infertility, obesity. But I don't think this makes the book unlikely or a depressing read, as some have claimed. Granted, She's Come Undone is capable of making you cry, but surely I am not the only reader capable of seeing the humour which exists in nearly every page? How can you not laugh at instances such as when Dolores claims to be an artist and is asked "What medium do you work in?" to which she replies, with all seriousness, "Etch-a-sketch."
That She's Come Undone is actually written by a man is truely remarkable. Lamb captures perfectly the hopes and insecurities many women feel. The book is extremely well-written and Dolores Price is so real she literally jumps off each page. This book evokes sadness, laughter, inspiration (though not in an over-sentimental way). The main theme is about wanting to be loved and I found the ending (where Dolores finds happiness but to a degree and not exactly everything she craved for) a refreshing change to the stereotypical endings many books of this type have.
In sum, I would recommend this book very highly and I look forward to reading Wally Lamb's other novels.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Wilson on 19 July 2005
Format: Paperback
After reading previous reviews I really feel like adding my opinion! The cover and other readers have said this book is hilarious but I have to disagree! This book is moving and sad!! Yes the main character's self deprecating thoughts and comments are sometimes amusing but beneath this is the underlying tragedy and misfortune that occurr in her life. Aside from that she is not a victim but a fighter.She deals with every blow as it comes and yet still carries on and gets what she can out of her life without being a superhuman, which makes the book so real!
I do have to agree with other reviewers that its hard to believe that this amazing book was written by a man.
Give this book a go and you wont be dissappointed!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Sept. 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well like many people in Dolores Price's life I almost gave up on her and deserted her. At times this book was very painful to read and I wanted to stop reading about this poor, depressed, overweight girl but like Dolores (herself) I persevered and I was rewarded with a very enjoyable read in the end.I was really quite absorbed by Wally Lamb's wonderful descriptive style of writing. I loved his way he described people, such as one of her therapist,"He has a little potbelly and stuttered so,badly, I spent half my time waiting for him to give birth to the syllables he eventually shaped into questions about my...." Or a woman lawyer she use to go to high school with, "Now she had a hyphenated name and a puffed-out baseball glove of a face." I also enjoyed the way Mr Lamb interweaved the times and music along with Dolores life which was a reminder to all of us who grew up during that time period of some of the important historial events and songs that happened during our growing up years. I also thought Mr Lamb really captured a woman's feelings and I kept looking at his picture on the back cover--as I couldn't believe this book was written by a man. It just amazed me that a man could capture the chacacter and the soul of a woman so well on paper. I would recommend this book as I believe it protrays the lives of many women who have triumphed over impossible childhoods and destructive relationships in order to become independent,self-relient,strong women.She truely did become "undone", Dolores is "everywoman". I just wish this book would have been written by a woman... I noticed on the backcover in Mr Lamb bio that he is married.....
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By qangela on 12 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
This book made me laugh out loud on the tube. It also had me whistling tunes that I haven't heard for years, and it also made me cry. I haven't engaged so strongly with a heroine for a while and Dolores Price is written with such honesty and such a clarity of expression that she is an irresistible character.
The plot of the book involves multiple deaths, rape and emotional abuse and the strength of this novel is that these horrific events are presented in the context of a very well-observed ensemble of characters; and funnily enough, the parts that made me cry weren't the deaths, or the rape, but the little hurts that the characters inflicted upon one another; the small woundings that families inflict on each other over the years.
Some of the characters in the ensemble are ogres but most of the central characters are presented as real, fallible human beings. The character Roberta deserves a novel of her own.
The imperfections in the book come near the end, with slightly clunky characterisations of new and important characters; but this is completely forgivable and is kind of a relief after the emotionally-tumultuous journey that you go through as a reader before this.
This is such a satisfying book - I strongly recommend it. Be prepared to feel some pain, but it's far from all-painful: there's a lot of light there too; and you will feel better for reading it.
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