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Valley of the Dolls: 04/14/07

Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls is one of those books I heard of as a child as it was one I think every adult I knew had read. I even remember one adult telling me in the voice one uses to talk about impolite things, "Oh they're not those sorts of dolls." That much I had figured out already. Why else would adults be reading it?

It was also one of those books that I figured I'd never read. Flash forward to last year. Before I was telecommuting, I used to listen to Radio 4 at work. They did a radio play version of the novel and I was surprised to find myself entertained by the story. As with so many of the books I've heard Radio 4 adapt, I wanted to read to read the novel.

The book covers two decades in the lives and careers of three women: Anne, Neeley and Jennifer. All of them are thrust too quickly into fame and fortune and are not emotionally equipped to deal with the stress of such high profile lives. One by one they turn to the dolls to help them sleep or stay awake or just plain cope.

The film version has a happy ending and one that frankly I find more in character for Anne. Neeley and Jennifer start the book rather broken and more willing to succeed by any means possible. Anne who starts the book with such high standards falls just as hard as her friends even though she is the most resourceful and smart of the three.

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