Although "Valley of the Dolls" was written in 1966, neither the plotline nor the message is dated. Susann asks whether having everything you ever wanted really is the key to happiness. There is a reason why this book has remained a bestseller and continues to enthrall a new generation of readers.
This has been added to my "guilty pleasures" shelf: it's entertaining, easy to read, and provides an indulgent glance into a life I will probably never experience. Although this was published over 40 years ago, the story line is not dated. Things have changed since Jacqueline Susann penned this drama, but the novel's overall themes and the main characters' misadventures are still relevant to those of today: sex, marriage, success, drugs, social status, money, greed, happiness; all are questioned and toyed with in "Valley of the Dolls."
This is the kind of book I like to read while sitting on the beach. The kind of book you read for fun when you need a break.
The "Dolls" refers to the three women in the book (who are friends sometimes and then not other times) and also to the pills (they call "dolls") that they take.
It seems like a silly book at initial glance (especially with the pink cover) but after finishing the book I was left thinking about women, friends, circumstances in life and how we make our choices of what to do.
I could totally see how this book flew off the shelves in the 60's and how it inspired a movie. It was SCANDALOUS! I wouldn't really describe it as well-written but I flew the through the 450 pages thanks to the juicy storyline. The book basically chronicles 20 years of the lives of three women who are involved in show business. It follows them through drug addiction, endless partying, mental hospitals, and suicide.
Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a quick enjoyable read. Although it is quite long and it did take me a while to get into, once I did, I could hardly put it down.
I simply love this book and it's characters! This book is timeless. I have re-read it many times...This book (and Once Is Not Enough) are definitely my guilty pleasures. (and yes I am a guy)! I highly recommend this book!
I read VALLEY OF THE DOLLS for a "Sixties Theme" in my online book club, The Reading Cove.
All I can say is, wow! I was not expecting this to be such an evocative, well plotted, well nuanced and well layered novel. The characters of Anne, Jennifer and Neely all came to life, like actual people. The interrelationships were honest, flawed and very, very human. The primary settings of LA and Manhattan really came to life as well; you really feel the show biz atmosphere of the 40s, 50s and 60s.
I was completely drawn into the principle characters' lives, and felt a high emotional resonance throughout the story.
The ending left me feeling sad, and wishing things had gone a little differently...but the character development was phenomenal enough to support it. Now, that's good writing!
I plan to read Jacqueline Susann's other books ASAP. She's the writer Jackie Collins always wanted to be!