Ollie's Reviews > Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
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Oct 04, 11

Recommended for: trashy readers
Read from September 22 to October 03, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

The original bonkbuster. The novel guilty of Jackie Collins, Danielle Steel and Sydney Sheldon's existence. Perhaps, even, the original beach holiday read. Valley of the Dolls has it all, including a lot of kitschy one-liners and bitch fights that make Dynasty look positively Shakespearean.

Three beautiful women climb the Mount Everest of fame and success, aided along the way by dolls, colourful little pills that help you sleep or get through the day when your career as the world's greatest singer/model/actress gets too much. Starting at the end of World War II and spanning that period to the end of the sixties (when the novel was written), it has a tone of authority as to the goings on in the show business world, glazed with that veneer now seen on the TV series Mad Men. The characters' barbiturate addiction made me think of Judy Garland and Elvis Presley, and their deaths; the philandering studs, of Warren Beatty; and the closeted gay actor, Rock Hudson. This sort of story would later become Jackie Collins' main selling schtick as she told interviewers that her novels were based on Hollywood's secret underbelly.

What makes this a cult classic that rises above its imitators - aside from the unintentional comedy - is the sour taste it leaves behind after the last page is turned over.
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