Valley of the Dolls: a Novel Unknown Binding – 1966
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
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!).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In my Top 5 all time favourite reads. So enjoyable it's one of those books you wish would never end.Published 1 day ago by Alfa Female
Excellent book, way ahead of its time. Subsequently bought the DVD which was terrible.Published 2 months ago by Jess
So far head of its time in many ways, this should be on the syllabus in every country. An incredible look into the world of addiction, but also a stark, brave look at the role of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by MR SA MARTIN
Love this book, read it when it came out originally and still enjoy it now.Published 3 months ago by LindaT
Good quality book and received very quick - not yet read but I am sure I will love it.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I grew up with a half-formed idea of this book as expressing, in chick-lit form, essentially the same social issues as 'The Feminine Mystique', but when I finally read it it wasn't... Read morePublished 4 months ago by BuyingStuffOnline
As a feminist I don't know why I like this book so much. I shouldn't. Yet it's a good read for all that. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tanith Panic