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Once Is Not Enough (Jacqueline Susann)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I didn't know if Jacqueline Susann could live up to "Valley of the Dolls" with this book, but she sure did! "Once is Not Enough" is thoroughly entertaining. The story revolves around January Wayne, a tragic heroine who has an unnatural adoration for her father and is unable to have a successful relationship with another man because of it. When her father marries a wealthy woman to secure his family's financial future, January finally falls in love. Unfortunately for her, the man she falls for is Tom Colt, a married man who is older than her father. Tom replaces "Daddy" for January, but it's only a matter of time before the relationship drags her down into the drug-induced haze that every Susann heroine eventually falls victim to.

Like "Valley of the Dolls," "Once is Not Enough" boasts many colorful characters whose lives intersect in a variety of unexpected ways. There are some funny moments in the book, but for the most part it consists of tragedy and unhappiness. The final few chapters threw me for a loop because the ending is more depressing than either of Susann's other novels. Still, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining read. You won't be able to put it down!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mrs. Susann was a cinematic writer. She was not content to write books in which poor people walk around in circles and talk about their problems. Instead, she wrote about rich, beautiful people-probably the only interesting kind-and exposed them for what they are: spoiled, lonely creatures who need to be constantly reassured of their uniqueness. Most serious writers hate Mrs.Susann because 1)she was a woman who defied convention, 2)she had more balls than most writers ever dreamed of having, and 3) she wrote about people most academics would love to be. With that said, Once is not Enough is not as good as Valley of the Dolls. You can tell that it wasn't well edited, but who cares? The protagonist January Wayne is really interesting: a rich, fragile girl with an Electra complex. She's involved in a motorcycle accident that leaves her in a coma and unable to walk. Mike, her daddy, stays by her side, but he loses his touch in Hollywood and becomes poor. He has to marry a rich society witch named Dee Milford Granger, who is secretly in love with a Polish actress named Karla, who in turn is in love with Dee's nephew David, who Dee wants January to marry when she is fully recuperated. There is also a horny magazine editor named Linda Riggs and an impotent Mailer type writer named Tom Holt. Needless to say, these characters commit all kinds of wonderful indecent acts. Once is not Enough is not the kind of novel you read for depth of character. You read it for its spectacle, and thank god, Mrs. Susann lived long enough to fill our boring lives with that. Jackie was a wonderful, brilliant woman who deserved more respect than she got.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
...but I tried by picking up this book. When I was 13 my mother refused to allow VALLEY OF THE DOLLS in the house so I read it bit by bit at the local library and was thrilled by the fast-lane problems, hard characters and handy pills. Even as an early adolescent it was easy to recognize good trashy fun.
ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH is not great literature but it still delivers and now, in retrospect, points up the 70s as a kind of innocent time when everyone went to New York City to find their fortune and fill their heart's desire, as well as drempt of being rich enough to travel around in style. Susann knows that it's entertaining to read about folks who travel at a moment's notice to Los Angeles, London, Rome, Cannes and Switzerland to play out their caprices. It seems daring of Susann to write about January's ambiguous love for her father and to describe nearly sexual scenes between them. The book remains steadfastly moral however, and January, who has everything anyone could wish for, remains alone and unloved, realizing too late that one moment of happiness is not enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
Her third consecutive #1 bestseller, ONCE was also her last completed novel before her tragic early death. Susann knew she was dying when this book was written, and this may account for the book's hysterical and desperate emotional tone. Like all her novels, ONCE is a tale of alienated relationships, sexual obsession, and unrequited love, with a little hint of incest for added spice in this case. The characters are more sympathetic than in any of her previous novels, but the plot is so far out and the dialogue so extreme that ONCE comes dangerously close to high camp. Then again, the early 1970's (the culture which produced this book) was an era of extremes at every level, so perhaps this is not surprising. ONCE still packs a punch (particularly in the final orgy scenes), and like all Susann, is written in such a vivid manner that you can't put it down. Definitely recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Jackie Susann's final novel published in her lifetime is the story of young January Wayne, a girl with an Electra complex so big, you'll blush. "Enough" is a terrific read. It goes quickly, is maddeningly involving and, if I may be so bold, is better written than Susann's classic "Valley of the Dolls." Sure, this is tried and true Susann territory with the milquetoast heroine and the usual stew of sex, drugs (in this case "vitamin shots")and deceit is in place but even so, this time something's different.

In "Enough," New York is no longer a glamorous city but a place becoming overrun with junkies and whores, Broadway shows feature (simulated) sex and nudity (but that's nothing compared to the downtown theater scene!) and movies are less escapist than a reflection of the growing desperation of the late 60s/ early 70s. Susann, to her credit, bravely takes on this new era but you can't help feel that she really doesn't know what to make of it. Some of the attempts at youth culture and lingo seem less than authentic (Did people really say, "How about throwing on some slacks and coming over!" back then?) and other incidents appear to have germinated in stories that Susann may have heard being whispered in passing at a party and wrote down ("Did you hear about the types of parties those kids have nowadays?") And despite featuring a heroine in her early twenties, Susann has January get involved in a bad accident and spend three years (not so coincidentally the "revolutionary" years 1967-70) in a Swiss hospital that does not allow television, radio or newspapers. Perfect - a young heroine who's a tabula rasa with no knowledge of the youth movement. Golly, what a neat trick!

The characters in the book are a fun lot, though I felt Karla was exceptionally frustrating as "the lesbian who wasn't" and David Milford was as stiff as they come (and the casting of George Harrison as David in the film version makes perfect sense.) Look out for the characters of Linda Riggs and Tom Colt allegedly based upon Gloria Steinem and Norman Mailer, respectively. Try not to laugh when you come upon Tom Colt's "ailment", perhaps one of the funniest cases of literary revenge ever.

If you only have read and enjoyed "Valley of the Dolls", you should definitely check this one out. It's a lot of fun but you won't feel especially guilty for enjoying it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first read Jacqueline Susann back in the 70's, and am glad these books have been re-released. This is my least favorite of Susann's "Trash Trilogy" of books, probably because it has the most tragic ending, but it is still worth the read for the shocking behavior of her characters. Especially when you take into consideration the era they were written in.
Once Is Not Enough is about January Wayne, a very spoiled girl who has an unnatural attraction to her own father. A self-centered man who was not around enough as January grew up in boarding schools. January really does suffer, she is in a horrible accident and spends three years recovering. She joins her father and his new rich wife in New York, and wonders what to do with her life since she cannot have her father. She goes to work with an annoying schoolmate at a magazine, and her life on her own begins.
She is courted a good looking man who is in love with another woman, and then meets Tom Colt when she is assigned to interview him for the magazine. Tom Colt replaces Daddy for her, and she falls hard for this older, rude, hard drinking, and married man. I had to snicker at Tom's "little problem", I think every woman did.
Karla is kind of an enigma, and definately the most interesting character in the book. Everyone is unhappy, and just when Mike, Dee, Karla, and January seem to be on the brink of getting it together and doing someting to make themselves happy, tragedy strikes. A plane crashes, and like dominos, the lives that are left slowly crash also.
Of all Susann's novels, drugs are never portrayed in a positive way, and Once Is Not Enough probably brings the worst into play, because January is more innocent that Susann's other drugged heroines. So of course, she falls quicker and harder when she finds them. Good campy trash, fun to read, and well written as usual in wonderful Susann style.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
January Wayne is the daughter of a big time play and movie producer Mike Wayne. She also has a very unnatural attraction to him. When he gets married to rich Deirdre Milford Granger she is upset and searches for love and meaning in her life with other people. Among the huge cast of characters is David Milford who supposedly loves her; Karla a mysterious and reclusive movie star (obviously modeled after Greta Garbo); Linda Riggs, a fashion magazine editor desperately searching for love...and sex and Tom Holt a masculine man who she sees as her father.
OK--this is Jacqueline Susann so you know it's not great literature. However it is a lot of fun to read. It moves quickly and has believable characters and situations. Also it's full of some VERY strong material. There's sex, drugs, orgies, nuns being raped, lesbians and VERY frank sex talk. Also it takes place in 1970 and 1971. It captures EXACTLY what it was like in New York at that time. It captures the mood and tone of the times. There's plenty of talk about nudity in plays, the generation gap, fashions, "vitamin" shots etc. etc. Among other things this is a perfect time capsule of that time and place.
Also this has to be her best written book. I found "Valley of the Dolls" boring and terribly written. "The Love Machine" was better but THIS is just great. She improved as she went along and, by this book, she was a pretty good writer. Sadly, this was her last book (unless you count "Doloros" and "Yargo" published after her death) but she went out on top. Yes it's trashy but it is FUN! My only complaint was the ending which was REALLY strange--but it sets the stage for "Yargo". HIGHLY recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
I remember buying this book in hardcover the week it was released--for the same price a paperback goes today. After Jacqueline Susann's previous novel, The Love Machine, I'd been eagerly awaiting her next book. I was not disappointed.

I read it so many times, the dust jacket was in tatters. I loved it. Once again, Susann delivers. Once is Not Enough focuses on famed movie producer Mike Wayne and his only child, his daughter January. As the jacket blurb says, January is in love with her father. No man ever measures up to him in her eyes.

When January is seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and spends months recuperating in a hospital in Switzerland, she returns home to find the world as she knew it has changed dramatically. Her father is broke, having spent everything he had on her medical bills and having lost his Midas touch in Hollywood. He's remarried to a socialite January can barely tolerate. This new marriage plunges January into an unfamiliar world in which she searches for the one thing she craves most:love. As with all of Susann's novels, there's an abundance of sex, drugs and secrets. Though it was published over thirty years ago, I'm looking forward to reading it again on my Kindle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
In reply to Jhood - Capote described Jackie as a "truck driver in drag" - then apolized to all the truck drivers. He simply was livid with envy.

This novel transends anything every written in the English language before. Written from the heart, it is a combination of soap and science fiction, (Her original ending was to include a sex scene with a space alien. I suggest you read her novel - 'Yargo'.)

This was her last completed novel. She first found out she had breast cancer soon after 'Valley' was published. She had hope thru 'Love Machine' (hense the ankh symbol - symbol of life) but by this novel I believe she knew wouldn't survive.

What does it mean to be loved? To be a human in an inhuman world? To try to make sense of senselessness?

I believe more than all the male writers before her - she came closest to answering these questions (and having a ball at the same time!).

'Once is not Enought' is about trying to live one's life in only one lifetime.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Let me just start by saying that I don't agree with people who use the word "trash" when describing the work of Jacqueline Susann. Her books indeed did involve drugs and sex, but they show the DARK sides of drugs and sex; nothing glamorous about it. The language she uses is very straightfoward and "in-your-face", and above all, very real. A lot of people use the fact that the "f" word is used often as an excuse to call it trash, when, in reality, the "f" word is a word that is used often among the types of people in the book. As in all Susann novels, you'll find a bit of Jackie in the novel, and you might also find a bit of yourself.
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