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She's Come Undone Hardcover – August 1, 1992

4.2 out of 5 stars 2,746 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

An award-winning creative writing teacher has created a compelling first novel whose heroine reflects on her troubled journey from childhood to middle age. Bruised by her parents' divorce, her mother's breakdown, and brutal betrayal by a neighbor, Dolores Price tries to retreat from life. Overwhelming anger and defiance frequently blind her to the needs of others, yet even in despair she battles for love and acceptance, supported by some delightfully unconventional friends. There are no simple solutions, but from the shattered remains of her dysfunctional family, she binds together a new beginning. Her struggles to understand pain and achieve forgiveness resonate with a sense of life's complexities. Dolores is not always likable, but her story combines sorrow and wonder in a remarkable way. Recommended for most fiction collections.
- Jan Blodgett, St. Mary's Cty. Records Ctr. & Archives, Leonardtown, Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st edition (August 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671759205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671759209
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,746 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
If someone would have told me six weeks ago that by now I would have read and been completely absorbed by the tale of a 257 pound girl named Delores I would have told them they were out of their mind. But strange things happen when I find myself without something to read. Invariably I turn to our home library to consider reading a book that my wife purchased, or perhaps re-reading one of my old favorites. This time "She's Come Undone" caught my attention. "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," said the back cover. "That's an interesting hook," I thought. "And the author is a man delivering a first person female narrative? Hmmmm... may have to give ole Wally a few pages of my interest."
That was all Wally needed. Within just the first few pages describing Delores' perfectly natural early childhood and allusions to her future woes I was engrossed.
This book is about the possibly healing affects we can have as friends and the potentially destructive power we have as family. It is about the undeniable value of positive self-image and the brutal consequences of inappropriate guilt. It is about divorce, it is about AIDS, it is about obesity, and it is about rape and abortion. It is about hope and love. It contains several hundred of the most physically painful pages that I have ever read, interrupted only intermittently with some dark joke made as Delores faces her struggles. In the space of 465 pages Wally brings to life not a classic heroine who defeats all of her foes, but a woman simply trying to survive. Even after a week I feel sympathy for this illusion created by Wally Lamb, and throughout the day I look for her. Sadly, I see her in many faces.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book recently and once I started it I couldn't put it down. This book is written exceptionally well, and the characters and story flow smoothly and realistically. I was stunned when I realized it was not an autobiography, and was written by a man! The first person voice of a female is quite convincing. I was more than impressed with the writing and the story. Any book that can evoke emotions like this does, is worth looking into.
That said, should you read this book? It depends. All of the highlights above are true, but, sadly the overall effect is depressing. I kept waiting for the situation to improve, for the story to pick up, for the victim mentality to end. It doesn't.
I gave the book 3 stars, 5 for writing, and 1 for the investment of several hours into what proved to be a draining and disturbing look into the life of a troubled young woman. I liken the experience to waking up from a bad dream, and feeling the lingering effects into the day. Your call as to whether you wish to jump on board and go along for the ride.
21 Comments 279 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was terrific! She's Come Undone is a powerful epic, an emotional journey in the life of Dolores Price. Wally Lamb's Dolores is a perfectly flawed character and easy to get attached to. Brilliant writing, a fabulous point-of-view of a female told through the hand of a male. How did he do it with such spot-on honesty?
She's Come Undone begins in the year 1956 when Dolores is 4 and her family gets a brand new television. Soon, this seemingly normal life begins to unravel, leaving Dolores the product of a marriage gone wrong. While reading this book, I feel this moment of her parents' divorce became the crucial building block of Dolores's downward spiral. And while I do not want to spoil the plot for you, I will say that Dolores lives through some of the most terrible events, and desperately struggles (though at times seems indifferent) to regain the normalcy she once had.
Vivid and emotional, this wild ride pulls your heartstrings and strikes your nerves, sometimes within the same sentence. Pages full of pain and sadness, but also sprinkled with a snappy attitude that had me laughing in my seat. I felt a certain kinship, an almost sisterly devotion toward Dolores, and I praise Wally Lamb for creating this wonderfully real and troubled character.
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By A Customer on October 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I got this book last christmas from my grandmother. I looked at it and I didn't have much of a desire to read such a big book that would interfere with my busy teenage agenda. But I sat down the nextday and started to read it. And Wally Lamb's amazing attempt at being a man writing a book through a woman's perspective, pulled me away from my reality and caused me to lock myself away in my room until' I was through with it. I kept having to remind my self that a woman didn't write it. This book remind's me much of my self and how hard it is to go through life being a overweight teenager. The charicters that made fun of her such as the two sisters that lived down the road, make me want to reach inside the book and slap them cause they remind me so much as my past and present enemies. I could feel her pain, her obessions, her anger, and I felt like I was there, I WAS HER. I do warn that this book is very adult and complicated, and I don't reconmend it for anyone who isn't mentaly mature enough to handle the grown-up language and situations that engage within this book. I am 15 years of age, but I have been raised in a home where the reality isn't locked up and hiddin away from me so I can stay shelterd from the disturbing truths. I will not tell you the story for I think that you should explore it for your self, but I wanted people know what the book did for me, now go out and read it and find out what it will do to you.
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