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Valley of the Dolls [Paperback]

Jacqueline Susann
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 May 1998
Anne is a smalltown girl who captivates a millionaire but falls for an English cad; Jennifer, is a Monroe clone possesses everything - except mortality; and Neely is an understudy-turned-superstar. As friends and as enemies, they learn that fame, fortune and beauty don't always equal happiness.

Product details

  • Paperback: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Time Warner Paperbacks; New edition edition (21 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075152350X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751523508
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Decades ahead of its time...Mesmerizing...' -- VILLAGE VOICE

'Jackie, it seemed, understood by instinct that her readers were ready for the RAW SIDE OF LOVE...' -- Michael Korda, THE NEW YORKER

Book Description

* The ground-breaking pop-culture classic and one of the most famous bestsellers of all time! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a man's world... 18 Oct 2007
Initially I found the book a little dull and thought it was just old-fashioned chick lit, but actually it's really good and addresses a lot of issues that women have to deal with today including careers, being financially independent, when to have children and how to protect a man's fragile ego if you earn more or have a better job than him.

Three women - Anne, Jennifer and Neely - meet up and become friends in New York in the mid-1940s and the book traces their friendship and their lives through the 1950s and 1960s. All the women work in the entertainment industry and go on to be really successful in their fields, but the success doesn't bring happiness and they all wind up relying on pills to keep them awake and thin, put them to sleep or simply to help them forget how lonely they are.

Sadly, the men always seem to disappoint and this book paints a grim picutre of them, but I suppose that's how some women saw men in the 1950s and early 1960s. In Valley of the Dolls, the men are weak, vain, shallow and reluctant to commit or even be loyal to the women they profess to love.

Most of the time they are more concerned with having a pretty, young and thin women hanging off their arms and off their every word than being with an equal. Even Lyon who is younger, more intelligent and has seen more of the world and should know a little better is just as bad.

The book is a sad reminder that yet again, it's really hard for a woman to have it all - a good job, a good man and children. You can only get a couple of those at most but not all three!

Anyway, it's a good book and very readable!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a way to start off the New Year! 11 Jan 2006
Doesn't it seem like the best books are the ones that you've had on your wish list forever and just seemed to keep skipping over? I've had Jacqueline Susann's `VALLEY OF THE DOLLS' on my Amazon wish list for years and never got around to actually ordering it but I decided to start of the New Year with something different and this cult classic was just what the doctor ordered!
Anne, the wide-eyed girl from Lawrenceville escapes her doomed future as a housewife by moving to New York City in hopes of finding a life for herself. But no sooner than she arrives and gets settled in her new job and home does she end up on the cover of every newspaper and the talk of the town. But over the years Anne learns that the life she'd always dreamed of wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.
Neely is seventeen with all the enthusiasm her little body can handle. A performer in vaudeville since childhood Neely has what it takes to be a star. She is the ultimate triple threat she dances, sings like no other and can act too! Inevitably, by the age of twenty-one Neely becomes the biggest star around; unfortunately her ego grows just as big as her rising star. And with the help of her red, yellow and green "dolls" washed down with a little scotch nothing can stop her.
Jennifer has the face and the body to go far, however all she really wants is love. But unfortunately love doesn't pay the bills. And after a few failed marriages to some of Hollywood's most prominent players Jennifer realizes that her body is her ticket to stardom. Soon she becomes Europe's biggest star... because in Europe anything goes.
I absolutely could not put this book down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 15 July 2007
i really got into this book i couldn't put it down. i couldn't belive how it ended such a sad ending i feel so sorry for them all and how could neely do that to her its quite ranchy in place's but there's nothing wrong with that. when i got it i wasn't sure if i was going to like it or not it's not my normal book i go for but it was a great read every spare min i had i was reading it. you should read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dolls, a Super Read 18 Jun 2007
By Lala B
Even though this novel was written 40-50 years ago (and is slightly dated) it is still incredibly relatable to- it weaves together the lives of 3 girls trying to make it in Hollywood and NYC, drugs, sex, binge dieting, bulimia, alcoholism, betrayal, lust, greed, ageing covers all the issues we still face today. A super read, light hearted enough but a page turner, with a twist at the end.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the trashy glitz I was expecting. 12 Jun 2007
I have to say that I was utterly misled by both the cover of this book (slick glittery pink lips holding a pill) and the hype. I ENJOY a good trashy novel - but this wasn't anything like the pulp I was expecting. It was very readable and belts along through 20 years in the lives of the three main female characters. It covers prescription drug addiction, weight problems, mental illness, suicide, well, the whole shebang of depressing topics really. And the ending wasn't the jolly happy-ever-after that I think a lot of chic fic authors are railroaded into writing these days.

Gosh, this is well worth reading. I am reluctant to talk about nay specific part of this novel because I think that would spoil it for anyone who may be pondering purchasing this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glitzy, angry and sometimes shocking 18 Sep 2008
By Roman Clodia TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is a welcome Virago reissue of a 60s classic with a witty and irreverent introduction by Julie Burchill.

Starting in 1945 this follows the careers, love lives and addictions of three girls in New York: a genius singing/dancing star, a beauty with no talent other than her amazing face and body, and the cool ice-queen who becomes the 'face' of TV cosmetic advertising.

The characters are kind of cliched yet Susann makes them compelling, everyday and alien all at the same time; and the drama of their lives never stops. Written in 1966 (or at least published then) this depicts a world where even hugely rich and successful women just want to find a man to love and have his babies, while the men manage to have it all...

Beneath all the glitz and drama though is a huge anger at the fates doled out to women, and this gives the book a surprising depth. Glamorous, addictive and really quite wise as well, this is a fabulous read whether you're a chick-lit fan or a feminist (or both!).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A glamorous and cynical page turner
'Valley of the Dolls' gained its positive rating from me because of the sheer superficial, deliciously provocative entertainment it offers. Read more
Published 5 days ago by LilacLemon
3.0 out of 5 stars book
Probably was amazing when it came out but has not aged well. A reasonably good read and interesting as an insight into what was 'shocking' in the sixties as a read but not great. Read more
Published 18 days ago by mrs b
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I read this largely because of the hype, and yes it was good. I've gotten to the age where I rarely finish books and I made it to the end of this one, which has got to be a good... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Uber-babe
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in sight
Could be a very true story today . The author has done her research very well. I would recommend adults and teenagers read this
Published 6 months ago by mrs maureen rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!!
One of my all time favourite books! You will be captivated by the characters and exported to Post war New York. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Claire Shanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Valley Of The Dolls
I gave this book a 5-star rating because, having in mind the year this book was released in 1964 (if I'm not mistaken), it's actually a very good and very well written book…... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amy Alex
4.0 out of 5 stars trashy but love it
I watched the film of the book with Sharon Tate in and so wanted to buy the book because I think the storyline of stress in the entertainment business, drugs and generally 60s life... Read more
Published 11 months ago by EK
5.0 out of 5 stars VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
A very rare and hard book to find, had one a long time ago but got damaged so i was glad when i found someone who wanted to sell this book, a very good price
Published 16 months ago by Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars Trashtastic!
If you're looking for a modern classic with a contemporary story line then try Valley of the Dolls.

Starting in the mid 1940's and continuing through to the early... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Bookboodle
4.0 out of 5 stars "It was more fun at the bottom when you started"
"After a pause Neely said, 'Anne . . . I . . . we did it.' 'Did what?' 'You know.' 'Neely . . . you mean . . . ?' 'Uh huh. It hurt a lot and I didn't come. Read more
Published 21 months ago by notjim
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