Sally's Reviews > Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
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's review
Jul 24, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, beloved-books, because-i-loved-the-cover
Read in January, 2009

What an amazing book - I couldn't put it down. I had always envisaged this as old-school chick lit (and had avoided it until Virago released their delightful 30th Anniversary covers and I had to buy it for that) but it really isn't - it is a scathing attack on how women are used and abused by the entertainment media and spat right back out again while men are revered and protected. It is certainly bleak but the way the book is written with such clinical passion (yes I know - an oxymoron but apt) suggests Susann may have had first hand experience in the scene.

The story could easily have fallen into melodrama but Susann is careful to make the reader feel very much like they are looking in, you cant sympathise with Anne, Jennifer or Neely, you can only examine them and feel sorry for them - they are all naive and deeply flawed. Anne is innocent to a fault, Jennifer has terribly low self-esteem and Neely is the ultimate Britney Spears - too much, too young, too fast - she becomes nothing but a selfish monster ready to crack at any moment. Susann's characters are totally believable and recognizable. You really want to take each girl by the neck and shake her around a bit to make her see sense. A really brilliant story, would recommend to anyone.
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03/02/2016 marked as: read

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Cathy DuPont Sally: I'm reading Hit Lit by James W. Hall and this is one of the books on the list of 12 he and his students delve into. Quite interesting the underpinnings of the book and think (in my estimation) you found it. Apparently a lot of people didn't. Take a look at Hit Lit if you're in the library. In my opinion you have a good eye and great observation. Congrats, you got what many people didn't. In fact, I didn't 'get' it when I read it in the late 60's. Reflecting now, yes, I finally get it.

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