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2018 Book Club Books > SHE'S COME UNDONE

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message 1: by Mel (new)

Mel (gingergonzoreads) | 652 comments Mod
I figured I would make this topic since Peter hasn't had a minute and I wanted to talk about the book so far.

I am about halfway through and I don't know if it's just me but, Im not into it. Dolores is so incredibly negative (and yes, I realize coming of age and all) but damn. Maybe Ive outgrown this sort of thing or it just doesn't speak to me.


message 2: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Klopfenstein | 16 comments I like it but I do agree that Dolores is incredibly negative and immature. The way she talks to her mother and grandmother really bothers me. I could never talk to mine like that. I do relate to her eating her feelings though. I was a heavier kid growing up and did that a lot.

message 3: by Michelle (last edited May 31, 2018 02:12PM) (new)

Michelle (la_medusa) I have about 30 pages left. This is my second time reading it. Read it once about 18 years ago.

I think Delores is funny as a young girl. Her sassmouth. I forgot how much this book makes me cackle.

She has a rough life (and it just gets rougher as the book goes along). I feel for her. Maybe I relate to her.

The people around her, like grandma, come across pretty awful. I don't blame her much.

I definitely don't agree with all her actions (oh, at ALL), but I appreacite her realness.

I also think Wally Lamb, for a man, does a pretty good job of getting inside the head of a disturbed woman. (That shrink, and the "mommy" thing he does in Part III freaks me the hell out though. wtf.)

message 4: by Michelle (last edited May 31, 2018 01:47PM) (new)

Michelle (la_medusa) I think Mr. Lamb might have the weight stuff a bit skewed though. He makes Delores sound heavier than she is. Do people who weigh 260 lbs. really make the side of a car sag? I don't know, but I don't think so?

Sure, it's probably a lot of weight for a lady of 5'5" to carry, but lots of average men weigh over 200 lbs, and I don't think they're that hard on shock absorbers. Are they?

And THREE chins? Really? idk....

message 5: by Mel (new)

Mel (gingergonzoreads) | 652 comments Mod
Michelle wrote: "I have about 30 pages left. This is my second time reading it. Read it once about 18 years ago.

I think Delores is funny as a young girl. Her sassmouth. I forgot how much this book makes me cackle..."

Ive definitely cackled at some parts but, it's kind of meh in general. Im just not into the story. Ill finish it, of course, but Im looking forward to the next book

message 6: by Mel (new)

Mel (gingergonzoreads) | 652 comments Mod
Michelle wrote: "I think Mr. Lamb might have the weight stuff a bit skewed though. He makes Delores sound heavier than she is. Do people who weigh 260 lbs. really make the side of a car sag? I don't know, but I don..."

It depends on their height and I think that Dolores is 5'6 or something. I don't think the car would sag at that weight. I think it's for emphasis or perhaps Dolores' perception of her weight?

message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (la_medusa) It does seem sometimes in the story like Delores does have some dysmorphia about herself.

But it was also the 1960s & 1970s, and people weren't as collectively overweight as they are now, so I guess it would've been pretty rough for her back then. Plus, there were zero body-positivity attitudes yet (some of the things grown-ass people say right to her face are MENTAL).

The descriptions still sound more like he's writing about at least a 400 lb. person sometimes though.

message 8: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments can anyone see this comment?

message 9: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments Okay, please disregard the comment asking if anyone can see it. lol
I've had Goodreads for a long time, I only recently began to use it when I joined this book club. I just realized I'd never verified my email ( it's my really old email that I don't even use anymore, that's how long Goodreads has been unattended. lol )
I have been making comments for days now and they don't show up.

message 10: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments Anyhooter!

I was trying to say: OMG! I literally came to Goodreads this morning for the specific purpoyof starting this thread. lol
Also, I wanted to start the topic do I could be like: Am I a bad person for LOATHING Dolores?

My God, not only is she negative af, she's disrespectful to her parents and Grandma, she's is ridiculously egocentric - no one else in the WORLD matters to her, unless she wants something from them.
I do really like the book. I read it back in 1998 or 1999 ( and hated Dolores even more then. lol ) and got a different takeaway from the book than I'm getting now that I'm 41. I guess it's how much I have grown in 20 years.
I honestly wonder if some of my contempt for Dolores is how relatable she is for me personally. it's like some of her persona is too close for comfort to the worst parts of me.
Anyway, thanks for starting this thread.
I am very excited and grateful to be here. 💙💙💙

message 11: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments idk, I feel like 260 pounds is quite heavy. I can imagine her face having 2 folds under her face as well as 1960's model cars were kinda more "springy". Especially considering how aerodynamic cars are now.
But I also feel like Dolores is obsessed with her weight and it's probably hyperbole on her part. I do things like that. I dramatize my flaws to a point where they become my focus at times. I did this a helluva lot more when I was a teen/20 something girl.

It's really funny how much 20 years can change a person. I knew she was crazy when I read the book years ago, but now I am recognizing how brilliantly he is narrating true mental illnes without putting much emphasis on it. If that makes sense. Like he's demonstrating what mental illness looks like, particularly TO someone that doesn't realize they are ill.

message 12: by Mel (new)

Mel (gingergonzoreads) | 652 comments Mod
April wrote: "Anyhooter!

I was trying to say: OMG! I literally came to Goodreads this morning for the specific purpoyof starting this thread. lol
Also, I wanted to start the topic do I could be like: Am I a bad..."

No, you're not the only one. Dolores is the most self-involved character ever and I want to smack the shit out of her. I was a really heavy teenager & got some crap but, I always had a million friends despite my angsty self-loathing.

The problem is that she doesn't have any sort of positive influence around her, which is so sad.

message 13: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (52gatos) | 73 comments yea i agree. she was pretty frustrating to read. the first time i read this book was definitely over 20 years ago and maybe i’ve just grown up but her outlook annoyed me much more this time around.

message 14: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Williams | 2 comments I’m not done with the book but so far I concur!!

message 15: by Bianca (new)

Bianca  Dani Flores (danibinx) | 1 comments While I do agree that she is extremely negative... I think it's really refreshing to see a main character tell their life story and it not be some triumphant positive tale of self-discovery. Some people have horrible lives. Some people don't have the tools to get better. I think it's kind of cool that Wally Lamb chose to tell the story of a person who didn't have the resources to get better. A lot of people out there don't have support systems in their lives to become their best selves. If we can look past the negativity of the character and appreciate the authentic realness of the character, I think we can come to understand why Dolores is the way that she is. I agree y'all! It is a frustrating read. I think we're all waiting for the story to get better, but the whole point of reading is experiencing someone's life, and this character just happens to have a horrible life. As frustrating as this would be if it were a real person, it is frustrating to us as a reader to have to follow along in Dolores' life. I first read this book in college, and it profoundly affected my life because I too was a troubled kid who hid my pain and maybe didn't have resources readily available to me. Even though she is incredibly annoying, negative, and frustrating LOL, this story is still incredibly important to those people out there who don't have a hope to cling on to. Even though this story never seems to get better, it gives the reader a sense of not being alone. Those of us who felt or feel hopeless at least have a book out there that tells THEIR story. A story of helplessness and yeah maybe even a story of frustration and pain. It may be a depressing story, but like Peter says ALL STORIES ARE IMPORTANT. Any thoughts?

message 16: by Mom2triplets04 (new)

Mom2triplets04 | 38 comments Read 80 pages. I related to the mom and dad divorcing, It’s really slow moving and it’s really meh now. Hoping it gets better.

message 17: by Angel (new)

Angel Eisnaugle _thebookangel_ | 8 comments I started reading it this morning and couldn’t stop! I didn’t want it to end.

message 18: by Mel (new)

Mel (gingergonzoreads) | 652 comments Mod
Bianca, I never thought of it that way so thank you for your perspective. I just find her negativity so cumbersome

message 19: by M. (new)

M. (chellatrix) | 32 comments I got a copy so I could re-read it, but I'm not feeling motivated. I enjoyed it a lot the first time around, and it was probably one of my first brushes with more literary fiction, but it feels to heavy to me right now. No pun intended. :)

I was traumatized by the fish tank thing.

My main association with this book is I was reading it during a day at the local nature park with my boyfriend (now husband) and his mother. She blew up at me shortly after, saying I read too much and couldn't be much company for her son.

We worked it out eventually, but at the time I couldn't comprehend how someone could make reading a bad thing. I still read a lot, obviously, and sometimes he reads his own book alongside me. Sometimes I go to bed early to read. Sometimes I spend way too much on books. But my husband knows this is essential to who I am, and has never given me a hard time about it.

Hell, he even sits through booktube videos, where I have conversations with the vlogger. :)

message 20: by Dayna (new)

Dayna Safranek | 4 comments I am listening to it on audible after reading it years ago in high school. I have forgotten a lot of it. I loved it in high school and I’m not sure if it’s the reader of the audiobook or the fact that I’ve grown so far apart from the character of Delores and the other characters in the story that have me so stalled. The first time around I actually could associate with Delores and now I just dislike her.

message 21: by Love Lei (new)

Love Lei Xo | 13 comments I finished the book a few days ago. It's been such a long time since I've identified with a book character. I can definitely empathize with being over weight from eating your feelings.
Honestly I almost stopped after Part 1. It brought on an PTSD anxiety attack. My heart shattered for her. Living your life based around fear of a person/persons is SO hard. Fear of fat sucks as well.
However, I was rooting for Dolores!! I NEEDED to know what happened with her, so I read on. I'm SO glad I did.
I found that her life (and her mother's) very closely paralleled my own mother's life. Including the psychiatric ward. The time frame was right too. That aspect really drew me in.
I can honestly say that I laughed, and cried, a few times.
I wish there were more to the story though. I NEED to know what happens with her life. Is there a sequel?! If not, there needs to be!

message 22: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 5 comments I read this book about 20 years ago, and it’s one of just a small number of books I’ve rated as “1-star.” I remember feeling like the author just tossed in all the horrible experiences he could think of, and I couldn’t relate to Delores at all. I’m wondering if I’d feel differently about the book now that I’m older, but I’m a bit hesitant to try it!

message 23: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments Okay, so I just finished it.
This is a really good book. I think that because I have such a strong opinion of Dolores, that in itself is proof that Lamb did an excellent job. I still don't like her. Lol But it's okay. I mean, I definitely sympathize with her. Life is really, really tough for so many people. Though it has it's moments of exquisite beauty, which makes it all worthwhile. Being a human is such a difficult, confusing but also euphoric experience. Dolores just has an incredibly self absorbed and egocentric perception of the world and life - and all the etitlements she feels should accompany it.
I mentioned before that it's very likely that I see too much of myself in her and that's why I find it uncomfortable to be in her presence. Now that I have finished and can reflect, I know it's the truth. It's been my experience that as I age and collect wisdom, I CRINGE when I think back to the arrogance of my ignorance years ago. Thank God for growth and humility, right? Lol

There are so many points that I can't wait to discuss with you guys, but I don't want to drop any spoilers for anyone.

So how does this work? Does Peter do a live stream and that's the point that we discuss it? Or...?

message 24: by Dayna (new)

Dayna Safranek | 4 comments There isn’t a sequel. Wally Lamb had written another book after She’s Come Undone called I Know This Much Is True but it has nothing to do with anything to do with She’s Come Undone. He has other books, but none are sequels to this book.

message 25: by Dayna (new)

Dayna Safranek | 4 comments To answer you April, we pretty much discuss the book here and Peter does a live stream.

message 26: by Eva (new)

Eva Mato | 9 comments I agree on that sometimes it's very difficult to empathize with Dolores, but it's not that difficult once you realize all that happened to her. For me the worst character is Dante. If he was a real person and I was to meet him, I would love to throw a chair to his face. Or push him off a cliff. Haven't decided yet.

message 27: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (la_medusa) lol Dante is so the worst.

Giant manbaby.

message 28: by J.N. (new)

J.N. (jncahill) | 299 comments 52 pages in and I'm really liking it but it also reminds me a lot of White Oleander by Janet Fitch, though Dolores isn't as likable as that MC. Her grandmother is really annoying though!

message 29: by Michelle (last edited Jun 05, 2018 06:43PM) (new)

Michelle (la_medusa) Geez, I thought I was the only one who found grandma treacherous.

A lot of people are saying Delores is disrespectful, but it goes both ways.

Respect has to be earned..."granny-babes."

message 30: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments LMAO about Dante!!!! 😂😂😂
Yes, COMPLETE douchebag!
But I still sympathize more with him than with her. Is that crazy? Lol
I don't want to give spoilers, but even though she admits her wrong in it all ( how they "meet", etc ) even at the end of the book, she still feels she was the victim. It's like just when I start to like her, she reminds me why I don't.

message 31: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (la_medusa) She was a total creep in how she met/conquered Dante.

But I had zero sympathy for him in the end. omg douche squared.

Maybe Delores got what she deserved with that whole deal.

message 32: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments LOL about the Grandma, too. Idk, I like the Granny. I was closer to my own Granny than anyone else in the world. My Grandma ( born in 1926 ) and me ( born in 1977) were perfect examples of generational gaps - but also hereditary curses. Sharing anxieties, etc.
I hate Dolores at times for how she treats her grandmother. But I think that's just because of how I feel about feminism in general. We are so gung ho about "equality" but kind of treat women badly when they don't share our ideals. Dolores kind of resents her grandmother for being "old fashioned" which is ironic because living a more "traditional" life is a choice as well. I don't know if I'm making sense, but one reason I really like Roberta is that though she and the grandmother could not be more different, Roberta still respected her. And that commands my respect.

message 33: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments Michelle,
yes! I do agree with you. He was so narcissistic! Especially the part where she asks him to make the coffee and he's like "Girl, please! I've gotta go write this poem!" lol

I think I think too deeply though, because I get the feeling the whole reason he's such an assface is because his high school sweetheart never answered his letters. lol Particularly as he was bearing his soul in them. Make no mistake, Kippy was no saint, but Dolores cutting their contact with each other was not only creepy as hell, but it was not her place to play fate. I think that's why I feel so strongly about it.
Either way, I have to admit, this book was kind of a master piece.

message 34: by Michelle (last edited Jun 05, 2018 07:02PM) (new)

Michelle (la_medusa) Neither of my grandmas were stuffy or opressive. I guess they leaned more toward Roberta's temperament. Even though my paternal grandma was uber-Christian, she still was funny and liked to partake in the reefers and whatnot.

Maybe I feel bad for Delores because she doesn't get to have a warm, loving grandma.

She got stuck with a bitter, judgmental old witch.

But some of the stuff that comes out of her grandma's mouth did make me laugh. "Cute little old lady" type stuff. Mostly she was insufferable though.

message 35: by J.N. (new)

J.N. (jncahill) | 299 comments Guessed the Jack thing would happen but what an asshat. Won't surprise me if this girl has some serious issues later on with all this victim blaming crap from her grandmother, mother, school and now Jack.

message 36: by Bianca (new)

Bianca  Dani Flores (danibinx) | 1 comments Dante is such trash! lol. The sad thing is we probably all know a Dante. They are everywhere!

message 37: by April (new)

April Treadwell | 9 comments They really ARE everywhere! lol
Particularly in my inboxes.... 😂😂😂

message 38: by Peter (new)

Peter Monn | 23 comments Mod
Hey everyone! Sorry I've been absent on here and thanks to Mel for starting the thread! I'll be more on top of things going forward. Don't forget the She's Come Undone Live Stream today at 4pmEST. http://younow.com/petermonn

message 39: by J.N. (new)

J.N. (jncahill) | 299 comments Michelle wrote: "I have about 30 pages left. This is my second time reading it. Read it once about 18 years ago.

I think Delores is funny as a young girl. Her sassmouth. I forgot how much this book makes me cackle..."

So agree! I didn't condone a lot of her actions but I also thought her grandmother was awful for the most part and her mom also had her moments (the period thing made me really upset, wtf). The shrink part was so weird. I was afraid she was going to end up with him (thank God that didn't happen).

message 40: by Hollie (new)

Hollie | 9 comments I know im probably behind with reading this book, but I just ordered my copy today and hopefully arrives early next week! am so excited to read this one. When I told my mum I ordered this book, she said that Wally Lamb is a really great author, so hope its good! :)

message 41: by J.N. (new)

J.N. (jncahill) | 299 comments Eva wrote: "I agree on that sometimes it's very difficult to empathize with Dolores, but it's not that difficult once you realize all that happened to her. For me the worst character is Dante. If he was a real..."

For real. I don't condone Dolores basically stalking him but he was an asshat. Making her feel stupid, being a giant man baby about everything and if he was that anti-kid, he should have been way more upfront about it. I'm super pro-choice and that part pissed me off so much. Dolores never really gets over it, either. It made me really want her to find happiness even though I don't particularly love her as a person, I love how "real" she feels? I like that Lamb didn't shy away from anything.

Did anyone else cry about Gary and then Mr. Pucci? I was listening to the audio and had to stop it for a bit because I was sobbing.

The grandma did grow a little on me in her later years. Even though she was very racist I liked that one moment seemed to make her question herself some. I felt bad that Dolores never went to see her while with Dante but it definitely speaks about how she was feeling about herself and the marriage. Roberta ironically seems to end up being the grandmother Dolores needed.

I really liked how it wrapped up. Was expecting it to be a completely sad book in the end but it ended up being more of a tough bittersweet read. I loved it. Would make a great miniseries.

message 42: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (52gatos) | 73 comments Wally Lamb's other book "I know this much is true" is in the Kindle store for $2.99 today, FYI.

message 43: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Mcneal | 22 comments That’s a great price. Thank you for telling us.

message 44: by Mom2triplets04 (new)

Mom2triplets04 | 38 comments I finally finished this book I wound up getting audio from library. I disliked the main character and felt the book was meh 3 stars. I already donated the book back to the used bookstore. Not sure I liked Wally’s writing style. Something about it just gave me bad vibes like he hates woman or something, have not read Any of his other books though so can’t compare

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