Valley of the Dolls, Hardback
1.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


With a cover design by founder of Biba, Barbara Hulanicki Valley of the Dolls took the world by storm when it was first published in 1966.

Never had a book been so frank about sex, drugs and show business.

It is often sited as the bestselling novel of all time. Dolls - red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight.

For Anne, Neely and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach.

These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry.

Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there's nowhere left to go but down - to the Valley of the Dolls.




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Valley of the dolls is part gossip column and part case study on how hollywood chews women up and spits them out. There are some feminist ideas in there, and it's certainly a comment on the culture of fame, but there are also a lot of anti-feminist ideas. Women just need a good man, a man who doesn't want them and is therefore strong. And babies, all women want lots of babies. Sucessful women are monsters but really only want a good man to fuck them. Not that a book must be feminist to be well written, but this book didn't even have that going for it. It's trashy and it's hateful and it's like a gossip column if the columist lived with the people they were writing about and was happy to air all the worst parts of them, ignoring or glossing over anything good. In short, the book is complete trash. The pacing in the first half is terrible, I nearly gave up a million times. The pacing does get better in the second half and we do get Neely in the sanitorium, the only scene of the book I genuinely felt any emotion about. The plot is over the top and the dialogue is, in some places, laughable.

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