Plot summary[ edit ] In , beautiful ingenue Anne Welles moves to New York to start a new life, seeking to escape the ennui of her hometown of Lawrenceville, Massachusetts. Anne is warned, especially by Henry, not to get involved with Lyon, a known heartbreaker. After a short period of dating, Allen reveals to her that he is secretly a millionaire testing her feelings for him, and that he is in love with her, before proposing to her. Anne befriends Helen Lawson , a brilliant but ruthless Broadway legend, who Anne is drawn to due to her apparent vulnerability and loneliness. Anne also ends up befriending Jennifer North, a kind-hearted actress famous for her attractive figure who is also involved in the production.
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One is a culturally-important, best-selling, drug-fueled, homoerotic classic with several unfortunate movie adaptations; the other is well, a culturally-important, best-selling, drug-fueled, homoerotic classic with this gem in it: "Give me back my hair, you little bitch," Helen yelled. She turned to Anne. I may spend some of my free time reading and deeply thinking about important literature, but people who know me also know I am a habitual online reader of celebrity gossip.
It probably speaks to some weird primal impulse to raise individuals to mythic proportions and then tear them down, but also, more relevantly to this discussion, a manifestation of the rather schizophrenic cultural attitudes that define "success". If we really think "success" should be moral and material, why do we think they are contradictory? Hell if I know. And if any book offered the answers, perhaps novels that followed this narrative arc and purpose would be less compelling.
Does this make The Valley of the Dolls a good book? Heck no. Each of the three main characters we follow hardly has two characteristics to rub together: Anne is a frigid New Englander, Neely is talented and needy, Jennifer is beautiful and… untalented.
This obsession with the men in their lives is all the more baffling for how none of the male characters barely even has one characteristic, let alone any attractive ones. Rating: 1. Think Cribs aka taste, what taste? Preferably the good kind. Only literary critics like sad, bad sex. Punish characters for getting the money, sex, and drugs. Because we are hypocrites. Sprinkle in some homoerotism.
At least one character should die via suicide.
Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls
Valley of the Dolls
Comfort Reads: Why ‘Valley of the Dolls’ Is the Ultimate Guilty Pleasure