Valley of the Dolls Book Review Jacqueline Susann
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Remember, this is a novel so there is license-galore taken with just about everything within it's 450 pages. First published in 1967, the book goes over the top telling the story of three women's lives and careers in the entertainment industry. There is the model, the singer and the actress. They all have different backgrounds and end up in New York via different paths, yet the road to destruction becomes very similar.
This book is packed with drugs and booze. In fact, the term "dolls" isn't slang for the lovely ladies. It refers to a dated showbiz term for tranquilizers, uppers and downers. While there are many fun and funny moments in the book, there is no doubt that it deals with addiction at some very raw levels. In the end, it turns into a very sad story as most stories do with those that don't find recovery and redemption. The characters in this time, and in this industry, deal with the pressures of fame and with maintaining and certain look and persona. This, in the end, becomes their downfall.
“Never judge anyone by another's opinions. We all have different sides that we show to different people.” -Jacqueline Susann, Valley of the Dolls
There is some "hitting bottom" here and revelations but don't' expect a heart-warming story of recovery and happily every after. Regardless, it's a great read that has stood the test of many decades. While much of it is tabloid-esque, I don't think that detracts from the pain and the lessons that are woven within the story. If you haven't read the Valley of the Dolls book yet (yes, there's a movie too), I recommend it:
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