Jacqueline Susann's scorching "show biz" novel about easy sex, devastating drug addiction, and clawing one's way to the top is - IMO - So bad that it's almost good. (Remember - I said "almost")
With all of its cheesy dialogue, naivety wake-up calls, and unintentionally hilarious situations - You really need to read this one for yourself to fully experience what all the fuss is about.
Originally published back in 1966 - "Valley of the Dolls" was Susann's very first novel, and, believe it or not, sales for it, literally, took off like a rocket.
To date - "Valley of the Dolls" has sold over 31 million copies, making it one of the biggest and best selling novels in publishing history.
*Note* - In 1974 - Jacqueline Susann (56 at the time) died of lung cancer.
The first time I read Valley of the Dolls was close to fifty years ago when it was originally published. As a seventeen year old, it was an escape into a world I knew nothing about. The "book" that disclosed all the details of the new, fast life available to women at that time. I devoured it one summer after a particularity strenuous university year, focusing mainly on the sexy bits to increase my limited knowledge in that area, and largely forgot about it after.
Imagine my surprise to find a seductive, black covered, red edged and gilt fly papered version on the "New " shelf of my local library. How would this read today? Surprisingly, still as entertaining, and scandalous as ever, but ultimately a too true book about women, their lives and the friendships they forge, not to mention the men who make those lives more difficult and confusing. It is worth reading again, especially in a time when the strides made by feminists are under siege.
It was a little long for my taste in tawdry books, but the characters are engaging. There were a lot of really bad grammatical errors, but its still a good read in your cabana near the pool.
Unbelievable in every way.
The mother of all trashy, addictive, guilty pleasure reads!
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