30th June | £9.99 | Paperback
2016 marks the 50th anniversary since Valley of the Dolls was first published. I was very young child in 1966 but ever since I was old enough to read ‘proper books’, I’ve been aware of this book and its classic status. I’ve never read it before, I don’t know why – but from what I’ve read of it so far, the story could be as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.
Valley of the Dolls has now been re-issued by Virago, with beautiful pink sprayed edges. I was lucky enough to have been sent a paperback copy by the publisher and whilst the book is truly a thing of beauty, my eyesight is not the best and I’ve struggled with the small print. I’ve bought myself the Kindle version to make it easier to read and although I haven’t been able to finish the book in time for this blog tour, my review will follow.
Before Jackie Collins, Candace Bushnell and Lena Dunham, Jacqueline Susann held the world rapt with her tales of the private passions of Hollywood starlets, high-powered industrialists and the jet-set.
Valley of the Dolls took the world by storm when it was first published, fifty years ago. Never had a book been so frank about sex, drugs and show business. It is often cited 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
- Fifty years ago, in 1966, Valley of the Dolls achieved the No. 1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list, and stayed there for an unprecedented 28 weeks.
- Virago Modern Classics designer hardback and merchandise (notebook and mug) also available, designed by the founder of Biba, Barbara Hulanicki
- Valley of the Dolls remains the all-time pop-culture classic, a pioneering work that tackled drug addiction, women’s rights and gay rights, profoundly influencing generations of cultural figures from Gloria Steinem to Lena Dunham
- Valley of the Dolls has sold over 40 million copies in 30 languages
The publisher has created this quiz for die-hard Valley fans – which Doll are you? (for my result – see below!)
https://www.playbuzz.com/littlebrownbookgroup10/which-doll-are-you – click through to find out which character you are!
Praise for Valley of the Dolls
“Valley of the Dolls is truly a timeless classic . . .Today Neely O’Hara would become a YouTube sensation, Jennifer North would be an Instagram influencer, and Anne Welles would be a Snapchat queen. No matter how high-toned people want to be, there’s nothing more addictive than a juicy, scandal-filled, drama-laced soap opera!”—Mickey Boardman, Paper Mag
“Jackie, it seemed, understood by instinct that her readers were ready for the raw side of love . . . for a franker sexuality and a tougher kind of story—for romance with tears and oral sex.”—Michael Korda, New Yorker
“Racing against time for fame, Susann knew how to give readers what they wanted: a shockingly contemporary page-turner that went deep into the stuff of taboo, but still adhered to old scripts of women suffering virtuously in their undying love of men.”—Tim Murphy, Nation
“I marvel as always at the raw energy, the detail, and the grim authenticity of the book’s depiction of New York show biz society in 1945 . . . I grew up as a writer believing that this kind of bestseller was ‘trash’ . . . But I have learned from Jackie Susann. I have always respected her power.”—Anne Rice
“Susann predicted the celebrity culture we live in now. Actually, she invented it: fame is as fame does.”—Letty Pogrebin
“If Jacqueline Susann was not precisely the ‘voice of the 60s,’ then she was its aching female heart.”—Amy Fine Collins, Vanity Fair
“Decades ahead of its time . . . Mesmerizing . . . The equation of emotional dependencies with drug addiction in one comprehensive personality disorder is, if anything, more chic today than in Susann’s time.”—Mim Udovitch, Village Voice Literary Supplement
“Jacqueline Susann’s questioning of glamour and fame, so unsettling in its honesty, crept into my head and stayed there, lingering for years until I was finally able to give it my own expression.”—Lori Goldstein
“Exciting news for all you modern Dolls (#squadgoals) and aspiring millennial readers . . . the story feels more relevant than ever.”—Micaela English, Town & Country
“Valley of the Dolls remains a pop-culture touchstone: a gleefully salacious story of friendship, sex, backstabbing and pills (or ‘dolls’).”—Alexandria Symonds, T: The New York Times Style Magazine
“Valley of the Dolls is a zipper-ripper that has been called trashy, tawdry, glitzy, lusty, sordid and seamy—and that’s just the beginning of its appeal.”—Nancy Bachrach, NPR
“One of the sexiest novels ever written.”—Earl Wilson
“A generation that knows ‘Sex and the City,’ and which connects to Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls,’ may not instantly connect the dots to Susann, who did it all first, and in Pucci. A culture that cavalierly tosses off the term ‘chick lit’ doesn’t fully realize how fast Susann was out of the gate so many decades ago in the way she gave frank talk to women.”—Shinan Govani, Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Jackie played a role in merging publishing with the entertainment industry and turning it into really big business.”—Esther Margolis
“As an adolescent I ‘borrowed’ a copy from my mother’s bedside basket of books without telling her. The Pepto Bismol–pink cover was irresistible to me, and the novel rewarded my curiosity . . . a salacious read I’ve revisited several times in adulthood.”—Laura June, The Cut, New York Magazine
“Susann’s lurid descriptions of three pill-popping young women struggling with fame and beauty—based off her own life—were vivid and relevant enough to a generation of women
clamoring for stories about themselves.”—Kate Dries, Jezebel
Jacqueline Susann is a legend in American publishing. Susann was the first author to have three consecutive #1 books on the New York Times Bestseller List. She was married to her beloved husband, producer Irving Mansfield, until her untimely death on September 21, 1974, after a courageously fought battle with breast cancer. Susann’s intensely private twelve-year fight to overcome the disease was not known publicly until after death. She was 56.