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The Love Machine

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,594 ratings  ·  81 reviews
In a time when steak, vodka, and Benzedrine were the three main staples of a healthy diet, when high-powered executives called each other "baby" and movie stars wore wigs to bed, Jacqueline Susann wrote three of the juiciest, best-selling novels of all time. Following its new edition of Valley of the Dolls, Grove Press is proud to reissue the other two classics in Jackie's...more
Paperback, 511 pages
Published December 14th 1997 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1969)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,309)
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Jessica
Aug 18, 2010 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: students of twentieth-century gender roles; girls who just wanna have fun
So I've been having a pretty spectacular summer full of excellent beach days and trips out of town, but even with all the sweating and skin-showing, something does seem a bit off. So I sat down and did some thinking as I sipped a very tall glass of black iced tea cut with mint. Through the haze and humidity, the thought slowly dawned that the fly in my tanning oil might just be my reading list. Naomi Klein? Coetzee? With these temperatures?? I settled back in my deck chair, nibbled some homemade...more
Jennie
I'm no longer afraid to say it. I LOVE JACQUELINE SUSANN! The lead male character of this particular novel, Robin, is a big pile of jerk, no question about that. The women he wants are untouchable, the women who want him (of which there are plenty) are superficial. He wants money, alcohol, a good steak, and lots of meaningless sex. But I love it anyway. It's tawdry and obnoxious and smutty and not particularly well-written, but Susann always has me thoroughly engaged. Somewhere underneath the sh...more
Jafar
The only page worth reading in this book is the prologue.

I got the impression from some of the reviews here that this book is a classic and celebrated “trash.” I thought it might be a good time for me to ignore my prejudice against the genre and give it a try – with me moving back to the sunny and happy Southern California and all. I was hoping for good, fun, and entertaining trash. This book is not trash. It’s crap. I leave it at that.

It is also possible that my sense of fun and humor is hopele...more
Tilly

Well...
I found it under my little sisters bed. WTF I thought, she is supposed to be an 'intellectual' isn't this the same lady who wrote that 'dolls' book I secretly read at 14?
My (ex) bf wasn't back for days, and I was stuck upstate with too much time on my hands and too much family drama to ignore I decided to read it..
Realised the Robin guy was... Well, my boyfriend!!!
Couldn't put it down.
Decided to hate him.

I don't believe I learned about 'men' because of 'the love machine'.

This book i...more
Calvin Campbell
This ain't trash. This is SOLID GOLD!
BeautifulNerd
Think this suffered the misfortune of resting in the shadow of Valley of The Dolls, so I may have rated it higher had I read it out of that context. But definitely a great read. Hilarious and jaw dropping at parts.

Um, good luck Maggie!
Leslie Talbot
Just awful. Like, five-star-so-terrible-it's-wonderful awful. I read this book once a year and never, ever get sick of it.
Spencer
Dec 08, 2008 Spencer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody who liked 'Valley of the Dolls'
I don't know how Jacqueline Susann was able to make Robin Stone such a prick yet still really likeable
Maddy
Aug 15, 2011 Maddy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
My favourite part involved psychoanalysis
Kevin
Thanks to Grove-Atlantic Press, the novels of Jacqueline Susann are back in print 15 years after the mass market Bantam editions went out of print.

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS is still, after 30 years, one of the all-time bestselling novel of all time. Those expecting a weak sophomore effort in LOVE MACHINE will be glad to hear that her second novel is actually the best-written of all her novels.

This insiders view of the television industry (and specifically the rise of womanizing heel, TV anchorman Ro...more
Eletta0925 Fouche
The was a pretty good book. I was actually expecting the sexually driven drivel that has become the basis of any book written by a woman because that is what they think women want to read.
It was refreshing to read a book that focused on relationships in a manner that was not completely driven by sex. Although there is PG rated,non descriptive sex in the book.

I think for the time frame this book was written in, she was addressing subjects that may have still taboo in society. Lesbianism, gay, tra...more
Peyton
It definitely wasn't as good as Valley of the Dolls(Valley of the Dolls) but still enjoyable.

The book started off a little slow for me and I think it had a lot to do with the character of Amanda. Amanda is a sad beautiful blonde with a sweet heart in love with a man who will never love her back, but she's a bit of a pushover and in my book a bit of a bore.

The book really picks up when we meet Maggie Stewart who overcomes her obstacles and hardships just to come out stronger and become a perfec...more
Michael Dipietro
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Manuel Soto
Okay, so I loved THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. It's probably one of my favorite books of all time. I love all glamor-tragedy aspect of it. Very beautiful. SO because of that, I didn't expect this book to be remotely as good as VALLEY.

It was almost better.

Almost because I couldn't look past the glaring misogyny, homophobia, transphobia that overpowered the book. IT almost felt like the book was written by a man (a sexist ,white republican) but it wasn't.

However, I loved everything else about it. This...more
Theresa Leone Davidson
Reading a Jacqueline Susann novel is the equivalent of eating a Twinkie (and I in no way mean to be critical of the Twinkie): her books are not substantial, there is nothing profound, and they certainly are not good for you. Nevertheless, reading one once in a very long while will not turn your brain to mush, just like eating a Twinkie once in a very long while won't turn your body to mush. Her novels are entertaining, even if they are about the sleaziest bunch of people you'd never want to meet...more
Sarah
A racy and scandalous expose into the lives of the beautiful and wealthy, this is definitely Susann’s best work that I’ve read. While Robin’s Freudian desperation is somewhat cloying, the overreaching effect, that this long-forgotten episode in a person’s life can ripple through the lives of everyone he meets over the next 40 years, is effective and engrossing. All of the characters are one-dimensional caricatures, which perhaps makes the story more readable, since it can mostly be adapted to mo...more
wenjo
read it when I was 16. My English teacher asked every student what book we last read. He shamed me in front of the class after I proudly stated The Love Machine. I was impressed with myself because 1: It was the longest novel I had read thus far. 2. It was an "adult" book with sex and alcoholics throughout. He told me that it was trash. I went home and re-read some of it, especially the sex parts, which helped a modest Catholic girl learn the art of masturbation. And then the ending. The narciss...more
Kathryn
Better than Once is Not Enough; not quite the delicious trash level of Valley.
Kristina
This is the second time I read this book. The first time was well over 30 years ago. I know most people would scoff at reading Jacqueline Susann, but anything that entertains me is good in my book and this book did entertain me. I'm not much of a "high brow" reading and I mostly read murder mysteries but once in a while, I need a good trashy Hollywood novel and this book fits that bill.

Personally, I think Ms. Susann does a great job with character development and plot. The ending of this is a bi...more
Susanne
It took me a while to get into this book because so few of the characters are likeable, nevertheless I couldn't put it down. Although the ride wasn't quite the "trashy" fun of Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann Valley of the Dolls , it still had plenty of twists and turns and surprises. I think fans of the romance genre would like this book, as well as anyone looking for an entertaining - though not necessarily light - read.
Danna
After reading Valley of the Dolls, I decided to try another Jacqueline Susann novel. I liked The Love Machine better than Valley, but at the same time, it just feel like more of the same. The stories had similar characters and plots, and I wasn't caught up in it at all. The Love Machine is, perhaps, even trashier than Valley. In addition to drugs, lust, and drama, there are transvestites, orgies, and more. If you're looking for a trashy novel to read on the beach, this could be it.
Adele Goetz
Okay, a Jacqueline Susann novel: Campy? Check. Sleazy? Check. Weirdly Misogynistic? Double check. Entertaining? Totally. The best things I learned from this book (and "Once Is Not Enough", the 2nd part of my JS double feature) were two new ways to say "in bed"...JS's preferred terms are "in the kip" and "in the feathers". One sounds like you are in an army barracks and the other sounds like you are doing it in a barnyard, but you never know when that info may come in handy.

Victoria
Jul 09, 2010 Victoria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who wants a break from serious fiction.
This is an overlooked book by Jacqueline Susann, author of Valley of the Dolls. It's a book I have read over and over and yet always am eager to get to the next page, even though I know what's going to happen. While the book is a bit dated, the psychological themes and network news politics are still relevant. It's the story of a charismatic man who functions with no emotion until a buried event from his childhood is revealed and forces him to face his past and future.
Ashley
It's definitely not as good as Valley of the Dolls. It takes a while to get into the story (as it did with Valley of the Dolls) -once you know the characters the story gets exciting but then towards the end it got a little slow again. I was very involved with the characters though and it has the same splashy story lines as Valley. I do wish the main character was a woman. All in all pretty enjoyable.
Lee Anne
Let's talk about context here: when I give this book 4 stars, it's not quite the same 4 stars I gave David Copperfield. But this book is a 4-star book if you go into it expecting sex, drinking, drugs, ridiculous romance, melodrama, anachronistic yet surprisingly tolerant portrayal of homosexuality, glamour, fashion, celebrity. It was exactly what I hoped it would be.
GL
Loved 'valley of the dolls' and 'once is not enough', but not this one. I didn't like the characters and felt very distant from all of them which is the complete opposite to how I felt about characters in the other two books I've read. Nearly gave up on this a few times throughout, but made it to the end - which I found as lacking as the rest.
Kristy
Sep 20, 2007 Kristy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone in the world
I'm not embarrassed, and I don't owe an explanation to anyone about this. Yes, I read Jacqueline Susann novels. And if you don't like that, well, clearly you haven't read one, or maybe you have no taste for kitsch, in which case, why are you looking at my page, anyways??

Go away, humorless voyeur!!
Rachel Burt
I got into this book right from the start. I like how she goes deep into her characters, even the ones who at first I thought were secondary, so you really understand what makes them tick. I did get angry about what happened with Amanda, but I got over it almost as fast as Robin did in the end.
Pants
Well, I was sort of confused jumping from valley of the dolls to this book, and it's definitely not as good as valley of the dolls. If you like Susann's writing style, I think you'll enjoy it...but I wouldn't go into it expecting something equal or better than valley of the dolls.
Michelle
This was the absolute most perfect end-of-summer pool read. I read through it quickly, loving the scandal and craziness, then immediately handed it off to a coworker. And am now seriously considering reading another Susann book. Her books are like drugs.
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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
More about Jacqueline Susann...
Valley of the Dolls Once Is Not Enough Yargo Every Night, Josephine! Dolores

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