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Once Is Not Enough
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Once Is Not Enough

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,160 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Following its new edition of Jackie Susann's "Valley of the Dolls", Grove Press is proud to reissue a classic novel in the author's pantheon of pop-culture mythologies. "Once Is Not Enough" recounts the colorful life of luscious January Wayne who "can't make it with a guy because she has a thing for her glamorous celebrity dad, Mike" ("Library Journal")
Paperback, 507 pages
Published 1988 by Black Swan (first published 1973)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 08, 2008 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-favs
May 19, 2012 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I once asked a writer friend whether he'd ever contemplated setting aside his literary integrity, writing a Jackie Susann novel, and making millions of dollars. He replied, "Don't you think I'd write like Jackie Susann if I could?" The point being: You can't fake this sort of thing. And I think: You can't. Whatever it was that might have occurred during the editorial process, and whatever labors Michael Korda (or whoever) labored to labor, there is an integrity to this novel that sucks you in an ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls with massive electra complexes who usually only read magazines
Yeah, but it should have been....

Despite its incredibly brilliant title, this book was no Valley of the Dolls. Actually, that's incorrect, it was Valley of the Dolls, and that book only needed to be written once. Or at least, reading that book once was enough for me.

Oh, maybe I just wasn't in the mood this time, I don't know.... It wasn't bad or anything -- I mean, obviously it was bad, but you get what I'm saying. I just wasn't gripped, and if you can't get into this on a flight to Las Vegas, t
Sep 17, 2011 Dfordoom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trash-fiction
I’ve always loved trash cinema but in the past year I’ve discovered that trash fiction holds just as many delights. And fiction doesn’t get much trashier than Jacqueline Susann. Once is not Enough, published in 1973, was the third of her blockbuster bestsellers.

While it didn’t quite equal the success of Valley of the Dolls (which has sold around 30 million copies and has been claimed to be the biggest selling novel of all time) it did reach Number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Susann
Lesley Miller
Sep 01, 2012 Lesley Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read so many books in my life that it can be difficult to remember them all. I met a friend for lunch recently and we were talking about the reading we did in our youth and I remembered this.

I am giving this book the rating my 15 year old self would have done as I found it racy and exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed it at the time.

The question to my much older self is whether I should read it again? I would hate to spoil the memory of a teenage read so will have to ponder.
Jan 30, 2016 amelieincognito rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susann is the human manifestation of the addem 'write what you know', put less kindly she could be said to be retilling old ground already examined in Valley of the Dolls or The Love Machine. The context and social situation of her characters never really varies from novel to novel and the focus on the misery of celebrities or (wannabe-celebrities) may come across as a bit indulgent to some. That said, I don't think anyone contextualises and recreates this narrow social strata and subject matter ...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
Sep 25, 2014 Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of trashy, scandalous, but nonetheless very entertaining novels
Ok, so a friend of mine at work lent this book to me because she has a friend who actually changed her name to January because of Jacqueline Susann's heroine, January Wayne, who is found in this horribly trashy and scandalous book. Did I like the book? Yes. Did I love the book? No. Did I get anything fascinating or enlightening out of the book? No. This book, to put it simply, entertained me. I'm actually glad that my friend loaned it to me, because I don't think I would have ever had the inclin ...more
Apr 03, 2010 Susanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ah, the days when alcohol was officially one of the major food groups.

Normally I love these soap-opera sagas. And I would have enjoyed this ride through Doll-land NYC, but continually controlling my gag reflex over the whole father-daughter lust thing got to be a strain.

At least the incest theme in The Love Machine was only hinted at and the character got help. Even the other characters are aware of the incest theme in Once Is Not Enough and yet no one ever points out how sick the father-adult
Aug 15, 2016 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The book brilliantly succeeds its goal: to be as outrageous as possible. The whole time I read it I couldn't help but shudder to myself and be happy I missed all the 70s. I feel like it should be read in tandem with Go Ask Alice, which came out two years prior. There are many similarities in both books: the daddy fixation (though January takes it much much further), falling in with pernicious youth, the laughably hilarious descent into drugs, and basically the same end. However, the author of Go ...more
Michael Dipietro
**spoiler alert**

Huh. This book didn't really start until about page 400. Up until that point was a whole bunch of meandering backstory, intertwined relationships and character development leading up to a whole bunch of nothing.. It had that classic Susann character that everyone desperately wants and no one can touch - they'll let you in only so far but won't be possessed and blah blah blah. That was pretty enjoyable to read as usual.

This book has all the trademark elements of smut. I mean, it
Sep 15, 2012 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like The Valley of the Dolls, this is trashy, fun, a product of its time, and really better written than it needs to be in spots. January is the daughter of Mike Wayne, a handsome, powerful, rich movie producer who puts her in an expensive boarding school after her mother's death. She lives for her weekend visits with him in NYC and develops the electra complex of all electra complexes. After graduation she goes with him to Italy, but ends up getting in an accident that disables her for three ye ...more
Mar 08, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
This is a pleasure, no guilt, no shame. I just loved it. Apparently, some people won't be seen in public reading books like this or think they're above such 'trash.' Well, I'm not. The TV movie is even better, with David Jansen and Deborah Raffin, who really embody the father/daughter complexity of the book.
Aug 29, 2009 Marcella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
January Wayne is a young and beautiful and possibly the last innocent woman in New York City during the early 70's. The story follows her and those who influence her during her first year back from Europe. As much as January tries to hold on to her moral integrity, those around her have other plans. It's hard to go into details without giving away part of the book. It's a fast read. I found myself not wanting to put it down.

The last 10 pages of this book don't seem to fit with the rest of the s
Thain Gar
It was a horrible mistake to choose this book while I was going through a down time myself. I have never read anything more gloomy, dramatic or queer. May be I'm just too used to reading fluffy, "up-ending" books. After every chapter, I was like, whoa, this is too much for me. While I wanted to know the ending very badly, sometimes, I just wanted to skip everything in between. The ending was just, wow. Wow, not as in, this is amazing, but more as in, this is mind-blowing. Cliffhangers were proba ...more
Adele Goetz
Mar 12, 2009 Adele Goetz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Durga Karki
Jan 06, 2015 Durga Karki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not used to reading so much of foreign literature but this book, I have to admit, is very good. The way the author has tried to describe the tiny things from various angles and perspectives have left a strong imprint on my mind. However, the twists, somewhere, donot seem to be realistic but it feels like they are just created because the writer wanted it. Nevertheless, the book is, I must say, flawless. It is interesting, and for a South Asian reader like me, who is not accustomed to the li ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Juliac rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melodrama much? Hey, I'm all for a lot of angst and drama, but this took the cake. I liked it. I really did, but some parts were just plain weird. Like the ending. WTH did it mean?
Aug 10, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to give this book only 2 stars because of all the really well written books I've given only three stars to. I know these stars are supposed to be about "liking" a book, regardless of talent, skill or execution from the writer, but that's how my mind works.

OK, so, a little bit of trashy summer reading. It was fun and awful - all tell, no show, shallow characters, ridiculous scenarios (which I fully believe could happen, and perhaps have lived myself), seconals, speed, eating disorders and
Jan 22, 2016 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I was in high school, I read all of the books that were recommended to me. This is the book that I wish I hadn't succumbed to the recommendation. The only reason that I finished the entire book is the fact that I hate to start a book and not complete it. Although the book did contain a few interesting parts, overall it was a tasteless novel. Since my high school days I have refined my taste in books and listened to my own instincts.
Megan Coffey
May 21, 2015 Megan Coffey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was like guilty pleasure reading. Not a lot of substance, but wildly entertaining. Kind of like reading an US weekly magazine. You know you're not going to get a lot out of it, but you can't help but read about the latest celebrity gossip. I really enjoyed this book, even more than Valley of the Dolls. I think perhaps the author's skills grew with each book she wrote (3 total). It's unfortunate she passed away, I wonder what else she could have written. And hey, if Nora Ephron likes th ...more
Urška O.o
Jan 12, 2015 Urška O.o rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To knjigo sem začela brati samo zato, ker je bil to edini roman v nemščini, ki so ga premogli v koprskem antikvariatu. V slovenščini/angleščini ne bi prebavila niti enega poglavja, tako pa vztrajam in se matram, vse s ciljem, da bi izboljšala svojo nemščino. Na srečo nemščina ne zveni niti malo pocukrano in še tako osladne besede v nemščini zvenijo robato in grobo, tako da je vseeno nekako znosno. Bo pa še trajalo, da jo končam.

Ocena se ne more spremeniti ne glede na to, če se pregrizem do konc
Jul 14, 2015 smcdonaldpoet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, 'Valley ...' is my all time, emotionally psychological favourite (Canadian spelling alert!) but I think this is very, very close second!

Two words:

almost perfect!

Again, I just CAN'T, you know.

Jacqueline Susann is my spiritual godmother and some things are just too hard to talk about. Suffice to say, I read this in ... '74-ish when I was 13 or 14 and it rocked my already rocky, tumble-down world.
May 25, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this back in the 1970s when it was released, and recently re-read it. It was just as I'd remembered it; a combination of corny and trashy. I won't go over the storyline here; you can read the stock review on this website for that. All the characters are just over-the-top in the classic Jacqueline Susann style. Happy reading.

**#56 of 120 books pledged to read/review during 2016**
Tammy Reed
Jun 15, 2015 Tammy Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having first read this book in my mid to late teens, I found it quite different when reading in my mid forties. At 15, this was exhilarating, wanton, and exciting. At 45, I describe it more as trashy and slightly unsettling; however, it does happen in real life that the relationship between parent and child is twisted.

That being said, Susann always manages to entertain.
May 04, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jackie Susann's biographies hint at "daddy lust" though I don't think anything happened on that front. OiNE explores the theme, with the daughter of a famous but washed-up film director yearning for his a very uncomfortable way. There's also a subplot about an aging, reclusive actress (shades of Marlene Dietrich) that could be its own book.
Cris Mtz
Jul 06, 2015 Cris Mtz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esta novela me la regaló mi mamá. Me enganchó en aquella época. Antes de que existieran las redes sociales, antes que inclusive tuviera internet, ya habia leido la historia de Jauary y su relación "especial" con su padre, de no haber sido por ese final tan... tan... :S "Interpreten mi silencio"
Aug 17, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As outdated as her books may feel, something about Jacqueline's take on relationships resonates with me. The story is about a young woman in her early twenties, January, and her relationship with her father. As I said before, the topics that are tackled like drugs and homosexuality are presented in an old-fashioned way, like once they would have been shocking, but now you can see all that on cable TV, but her cynical and frustrating, yet somehow rewarding, view on relationships strikes a univers ...more
Andrea Buschman
I wanted a classic read for the summer, and I didn't want to read Valley of the Dolls again, so when I saw this I was eager to read it. January was a lost little girl with an unhealthy obsession and she was seriously uptight. Her Coolness indeed. The only character that didn't have a secret agenda was Hugh. What was up with the ending? Worst acid trip ever.
Oh come on. Every teenage girl in the 1970s read (or should have read) Jacqueline Susann and found it fascinating. This is the rating I would have given it when I read it. Today, unless in a fit of 70s nostalgia, I wonder if I'd even finish it.
I thought I would never read another Jacqueline Susann novel after I finished the last one, but a couple of months later, and here I am. This is my third Susann novel and definitely my favorite thus far. Once is Not Enough goes a little off the deep end with January's Elektra complex, but it is entertaining and a page turner. There are many hysterical moments, such as when January's friend Lydia explains that she thinks semen makes a fantastic face mask. This book is what I would categorize as " ...more
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Jacqueline Susann was one of the most successful writers in the history of American publishing. Her first novel, Valley of the Dolls, published in 1966, is one of the best-selling books of all time. When The Love Machine was published in 1969, it too became an immediate #1 bestseller and held that position for five months. When Once is Not Enough was published in 1973, it also moved to the top of ...more
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