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

4.1 out of 5 stars 332 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 (332 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Review

"The New York Times"

An ambitious, often stirring and hilarious book.

"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.

"People"

There are at least two surprises in store for readers of Lamb's memorable debut novel. One is the author's sex. This male writes so convincingly in the voice of a female, tracing her life from 4 to 40, that you have to keep looking back at the jacket picture just to make sure. The second surprise is how such a string of trials and tribulations can add up to such a touchingly funny book...

"The New York Times"An ambitious, often stirring and hilarious book.

"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.

"People"There are at least two surprises in store for readers of Lamb's memorable debut novel. One is the author's sex. This male writes so convincingly in the voice of a female, tracing her life from 4 to 40, that you have to keep looking back at the jacket picture just to make sure. The second surprise is how such a string of trials and tribulations can add up to such a touchingly funny book...

"People" There are at least two surprises in store for readers of Lamb's memorable debut novel. One is the author's sex. This male writes so convincingly in the voice of a female, tracing her life from 4 to 40, that you have to keep looking back at the jacket picture just to make sure. The second surprise is how such a string of trials and tribulations can add up to such a touchingly funny book...

"The New York Times" An ambitious, often stirring and hilarious book.

"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.

See all Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
I don't often find myself crying when I read books (and this is only the second time I have written an Amazon review) - but I have just finished this brilliant book and found that I had to get online immediately to write about how much I enjoyed it. I found myself crying regularly throughout, sometimes not just because of a poignant moment but because Wally Lamb seems to have such an amazing emotional insight into women's emotions and frailties. I had not expected to be so drawn in to the world of Dolores but I have found myself wishing the hours away till I could settle down in the evening again with the book. I can't see how this book could be anything other than inspiring and emotionally potent to women readers - who hasn't felt like an outcast at times, or lonely, or caught up in a chain of events that fate has set you on. Readers who have complained that too much happens or that any coincidences stretch their credibility are missing the point - we are talking about a span of nearly four decades where we follow Dolores's life. Nothing Lamb has written is impossible. I bought into Dolores's emotional journey and pain and yearnings and cynicism and self-defence mechanisms one hundred percent. This has become one of the best novels I have ever read (my eyes are still puffy with crying!) and as an aspiring writer I am totally envious of Lamb's talent (though not to the degree that one other reviewer spotted - the fact that Lisa Jewell apparently plagiarised this story in one of her books is appalling!)
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