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Valley of the Dolls Paperback – September 22, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; (6th) edition (September 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802135196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802135193
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Sex and drugs and shlock and more--Jacqueline Susann's addictively entertaining trash classic about three showbiz girls clawing their way to the top and hitting bottom in New York City has it all. Though it's inspired by Susann's experience as a mid-century Broadway starlet who came heartbreakingly close to making it, but did not, and despite its reputation as THE roman á clef of the go-go 1960s, the novel turned out to be weirdly predictive of 1990s post-punk, post-feminist, post "riot grrrl" culture. Jackie Susann may not be a writer for the ages, but--alas!--she's still a writer for our times.


About the most fun you can have without a prescription! Julie Burchill Much imitated, but never bettered DAILY TELEGRAPH Decades ahead of its time...Mesmerizing...The equation of emotional dependencies with drug addiction in one comprehensive personality disorder is, if anything, MORE CHIC TODAY. VILLAGE VOICE Jackie, it seemed, understood by instinct that her readers were ready for the RAW SIDE OF LOVE...for a franker sexuality and a tougher kind of story - for romance with tears AND oral sex. Michael Korda, THE NEW YORKER --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I read this in my book club and after we watched the movie.
I just finished reading the book again, and I found things that I had missed the first time around!
Steven E Barrett Jr
I highly recommend this novel to everyone who wants to have some fun and read about a crazy time.
A. T. A. Oliveira

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 83 people found the following review helpful By nycgirl on December 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you're like me, you never read romance novels, never watch soap operas, and shun editorial trash like Cosmopolitan. But in this age of girl-power books (i.e. Bridget Jones, et al), "Valley Of The Dolls" has become popular once again, and a whole new crowd (the twentysomething female market)is now exposed to this cult classic.
And you know what? It's intriguing. It's captivating. Set back in the 50s, you heark back to the days of glamour girls, Hollywood pictures, and dapper leading men. In each chapter, Susann fleshes out the character portraits of 3 girls who made it big, rags-to-riches style: Anne--a model, Jennifer--a starlet, and Neely--a singer. I hate to admit it, but I was entranced by their stories of sex, scandal, and downward spiral into prescription drug addiction. It's drama about drama queens. I would ordinarily dismiss this book as trashy romance genre--but like others, i can't. Why? well, Susann wrote this book as a groundbreaker--It was written almost 50 years ago but the tales are so incredibly modern you'd think Susann was writing about modern-day life. She paved the way for the tell-all expose, the behind-the-scenes scandals, the agony and ecstasy, the poor problems of the rich and famous. It was "Dynasty" before "Dynasty" was even invented. It was a shocker, and it's tragic. You're not going to find much humor in this novel at all, especially being that the "Dolls" that the book revolves around are drugs. An added benefit of reading "Valley of the Dolls" is that it transports the reader back into the yesteryear; I feel like I'm in a black-and-white movie with Garbo and Monroe--Susann's detail for creating ambience are very much appreciated.
If you think this book is flimsy beach reading--it's not.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By DevJohn01 on January 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Beth Fox on July 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'd seen the movie "Valley of the Dolls," whose characters are pictured on the cover of this book, but only recently did I read Jacqueline Susann's magnum opus. What a pleasant surprise! This engaging novel, despite its length, is a fast read. It is better -- far better -- than the film. (The movie, however, is a "must see" for its over-the-top acting, 60's fashions and "so bad it's good" storyline.)

Although initially billed (to great effect) as a steamy romance novel, the book is much more substantive. Each of the characters is well-developed, and each has human flaws that lead to her success or spell her undoing. Before it was fashionable, Susann used the character of Anne Welles to explore one woman's attempt to ignore the pressures to marry early and instead devote herself to a career. Susann examined the problem of the abuse of legal drugs at a time when it was seen as primarily a teenage phenomenon. Neely O'Hara is initially a sympathetic character, but has enough of the "bitter greens" (envy, jealousy and bile) which, when added to an insatiable ego and a large quantity of pills, leads to her rise and fall. And Jennifer North knows what she has and knows its advantages -- and limitations. These characters are real, and one need not be in show business to know them.

Although written in 1966 (with a story that begins in 1945), the plotline is not dated. Neither is the message: Susann asks whether having everything you ever wanted really is the key to happiness. There is a reason why this book has remained a bestseller and continues to enthrall a new generation of readers.
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