Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: Has anyone read She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Has anyone read She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb?
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 6:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 954
Back To Top

It's funny, it was published in '92, I had never seen it before I found it on amazon in my life, but the day I finished it from the library, I found five copies in various stores.

Anyway, all I have to say is "...Wow." I'm really having trouble figuring out if I actually liked it, or if it just made such an impression. It didn't exactly make me feel "good" in fact very little about it was terribly happy or pleasing until the very last moment, but it was so incredibly real. Wally Lamb created a genuine person.

I finished it on saturday, and I'm just sort of sitting back in minor shell shock, and reading happy fluffy stuff until I recover.

I'd love to know if it hit anyone else that hard, or if it was just me.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
Posts: 3,730
Back To Top

Not me, I didn't like it. I absolutely hated the main character and I couldn't get past that.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 954
Back To Top

That's true, I didn't find her terribly... well, anything really. She sort of seemed like a blank canvas for her experiances. Oddly, I sort of thought of her as secondary to everything going on around her.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
Posts: 1,739
Back To Top

Years ago, when it was on Oprah, I believe.  I didnt care for it, as I recall.

Subject: She Came Undone
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2008
Posts: 1
Back To Top

Weii, I loved it....though it was a long time ago  will admit.  i was fascinated by the fact that it could be so very true-to-life could be written by a man.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,241
Back To Top

I hated it.  Like others on this forum, I so disliked the main character that that dislike transcended any other feelings I might have had about the writing etc.  I had to force myself to finish it.

I have a copy of "I Know This Much is True" sitting on my tbr pile and I don't know whether to even bother.

 

 

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
Back To Top

I also loved it, as well as Wally Lamb's follow-up (although I liked She's Come Undone better).  Agree with Ellen's comment that it was hard to believe it was written by a man.  I have both on my book shelf if anyone's interested.  Definitely recommend them!  He also has a new book coming out or it just came out - it's been years since his last one.  I have it on my WL, in a long line. 

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2008
Posts: 92
Back To Top

I hated it.    The main character pissed me off so bad that I couldn't see past it to appreciate anything else about the book.  She was such a victim.    I wanted to SLAP her silly.  And then slap her again to make sure she got the point. 

 

 

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
Back To Top

I loved She's Come Undone and had already read it when Oprah put it on her show. When she was describing it I knew that would be the book she picked.  I bought copies for my female friends and relatives. I liked his second book I Know These Things Are True because it was about twins and I am a twin. His newest book is on the way to me from Amazon.com. I am looking forward to reading it.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,284
Back To Top

I finished it on saturday, and I'm just sort of sitting back in minor shell shock, and reading happy fluffy stuff until I recover.   Geneve, to me that is a well written book.  I have read a few books that stayed with me for several days after I finished it.  A few of them, I couldn't even bring myself to pick up another book for a few days until I 'got over' that book. 

In fact, there was one book (Law of Similars) that had me angry at the end of the book and it did not turn out like I had hoped or expected.  But, to me, that is the sign of a good author and a well-written book.  I did read both of Lamb's book (Shes Come Undone and I know These Things are True)  and I did like them.  I will definitely buy his new book that is coming out (or maybe is already out) and give it a try.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2007
Posts: 681
Back To Top

I did like the book. This is one I could have hated for sure.   I think most of the way through it I hated it, had to keep reading on though!   Although it was slow in parts and the main character can be irritating, I think that she was meant to be more of a 'drab' personality.  If she wasn't so hard to get on board with I think that it would have taken lots away from the actual story. 

When I finished it I was happy I didn't give up on it.  I don't think that I Loved the book, but I still think about it now and then.  It seems like one of those that I am going to take differently when I read it again sometime. 

Hard to believe that it was written by a man huh!  Very well written.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
Back To Top

I read it years and years ago, but remember loving it.  I have a tendency to like depressing books, though.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
Posts: 1,334
Back To Top

I read it years ago.   I recall loving it.  

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,537
Back To Top

I read I know these things areTrue first and so I picked up She's come undone.  Frankly, I wish I hadn't.  I agree that it is one of those incredibly well written books that leave you feeling like you didn't like anyone in it, didn't care for the story, wouldn't read it again.  On the other hand, I have read every word of I Know These Things are True cover to cover, word for word, four times.  The book is about transformation and is also incredibly well written. 

She's come undone felt like it is about woman as victim and there is no transformation for this woman.  In this I agree with Misty, but without the slapping part.

Last edit, I promise!  Doesn't it seem that the Oprah picks are often about women as victim?



Last Edited on: 11/12/08 10:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
Posts: 1
Back To Top
I loved this book. I thought it was one of the funniest books I ever read. You have to think of it in terms of "what else could possibly happen in this character's life." Also like I Know These things are True.
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
Back To Top

I didn't like it either.  I really disliked the main character.

Subject: Lamb...
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 18
Back To Top

Read this years ago.  It intrigued me and it obviously had no happy ending.  My own sister lived her life for over 50 years angry, bitter and seemingly had a life of gloom and tragic incidents.  When I read the book I understood my Sis at a level I hadn't been able to in my past.  I also read the other Wally Lamb books and look forward to reading his current novel.

Date Posted: 11/13/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
Back To Top
I LOVED both books. 'She's come undone' felt to me like an incredible story of transfermation, and, as a mentally ill adult, I empathized with the main character totally. I had to keep turning to the back cover to stare at the Authors picture, I simply could not get it through my head that this was written by a man. Usually when a story makes me go stare at the Authors pic in disbelief repeatedly during the reading, that's a BAD thing. He has another book coming out? AWESOME. Definate Wish list.
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
Back To Top

I read it when it was in the Oprah book club. They said it was funny, but I didn't laugh once. Kind of a depressing book, I thought.

 

Date Posted: 11/13/2008 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
Back To Top

Reading "I Know This Much is True" convinced me to get therapy for myself when our family learned my son had a diagnosis of schizophrenia.  In my case, it was truly a life-changing novel.

Lamb also has been an author-in-residence at a New York women's prison.  His students wrote their own stories and they are compiled in a book by Lamb titled, "Couldn't Keep it to Myself".  It was very moving!

SCUndone is on my massive TBR pile.  I'll get to it eventually.

Date Posted: 11/13/2008 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 37
Back To Top

I loved it. It's one of my favorite books, but I too tend to like depressing books.

Date Posted: 11/14/2008 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
Back To Top
Oh, yes - Couldn't keep it to myself is INCREDIBLE. Most of the writings in it are either short autobiograpies or autobiographical sketches, or short fictionalized autobiograpical short stories. The copy I has, has as it's front cover pic, an interpretation of the Mona Lisa done by the same women. This is an amazing, amazing book. The thing in this book that made me saddest was a story he told in the preface. he talked about how he got involved in teaching a class in writing at the women's prison, and how rewarding it was for him. He told about telling a friend how fulfilling his volenteer work there was, and the woman responding with 'Good God! they have a writing class?! Maybe I should go hold up a bank or something, then I can get free writing lessons from a best selling author, too!' I agreed when he said how sad that made him - as if anyone would really want to trade lives with these women, either their current life, there in prison, or the lives that led them there. It makes me sad, sometimes, how some people think.
Date Posted: 11/14/2008 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 15
Back To Top

I, too, love those depressing books and thought it was INCREDIBLE.

Date Posted: 11/14/2008 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2008
Posts: 92
Back To Top

I didn't hate it because it was depressing.  I love a good depressing book as much as the next person.  I hated it because the main character was a douche. 

 

<sorry>

Date Posted: 11/14/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2005
Posts: 3,730
Back To Top

Same here Misty. My feelings aren't because it's depressing. The main character is horrible. I don't think she went through any transformation whatsoever. She wasn't any better of a person at the end then she was at the begining.

As a mentally ill (though I really hate that term, I prefer to just say I have issues) I could not sympathize or empathize for her at all. She gave people with problems a bad name.

Page: