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Wow. The masterpiece of literature that is:


The book, not the film.

All I can say is I fucking love it. There is a campy line on EVERY page.

by Anonymousreply 7209/25/2013

Yes, it's actually a very good book and pretty hair-raising if you read it knowing who the characters are really supposed to be.

by Anonymousreply 101/12/2011

Who are the characters supposed to be?

by Anonymousreply 201/12/2011

Neely Ohara is suppose to be Judy Garland...

by Anonymousreply 301/12/2011

And Jennifer was supposed to be Marilyn (I think), and Helen was supposed to be Ethel Merman, on whom Jackie Susann had an obsessive quasi-lesbo crush.

by Anonymousreply 401/12/2011

If you love that crap you would love Harold Robbins early work.%0D %0D I wouldn't call either author's books "literature", however it is fun crap.

by Anonymousreply 501/12/2011

In the the book Helen Lawson forces Anne to be her BFF, and even has a telephone installed in Anne's room at The Martha Washington Hotel for Women.

Also, Jennifer was in a long term lesbian relationship with a girl from school. Then she married Tony who only wanted to do her up the butt. Can you imagine if *that* was in the movie?

Also, I seem to recall that Lyon almost had a gay affair with an older man when he was young but chickened out...or maybe that was Robin Stone in The Love's been years since I read them.

by Anonymousreply 601/12/2011

Howdy, Price!

by Anonymousreply 701/12/2011

I was a kid when my mom had the book sitting around the house. I used it to masterbate to.

by Anonymousreply 801/12/2011

In the book Jennifer goes on to another relationship after Tony Polar is put in the home %E2%80%94 she takes up with an ambitious politician and she's either dating or married to him when she offs herself.

I still remember Susann referring to New York as "an angry concrete animal," which is the kind of great pulpy-cheesy prose that came so naturally to La Jackie.

by Anonymousreply 901/12/2011

[quote]Also, Jennifer was in a long term lesbian relationship with a girl from school. Then she married Tony who only wanted to do her up the butt. %0D %0D He didn't ONLY want to do her up the butt; she wouldn't let him do it up the butt till after he married her.

by Anonymousreply 1001/12/2011

Neely O'Hara was based on Judy Garland, of course.%0D %0D Jennifer North was partly based on Marilyn Monroe (of course) but also partly based on Carole Lanids, a beautiful 1940s starlet Jacqueline Susann had an affair with and who killed herself with pills after Rex Harrison broke off their affair.%0D %0D Helen Lawson was mostly based on Ethel Merman, who was just as loud, obnoxious and crass in real life as Lawson was in the book.%0D %0D Anne Welles was partly based on Grace Kelly and also partly based on a sort of cleaned-up fantasy version of Jacqueline Susann herself. Susann imagined herself to be from an upper-class Philadelphia family. %0D %0D Tony Polar was based on Dean Martin, whom Susann somehow knew and believed was mildly retarded.%0D %0D The book is a great read, and better than the movie. Susann's follow-up novel "The Love Machine" is even better. Nobody writes books like this anymore and it's a shame because they were so damn entertaining.

by Anonymousreply 1101/12/2011

Jackie Collins is still turning them out. So was Olivia Goldsmith until her cosmetic surgery procedure went wrong.

by Anonymousreply 1201/12/2011

Can you imagine if Susann were still alive today and what she would have to say about our celebrity society?

by Anonymousreply 1301/12/2011

There's a little Polly Bergen in Anne too, and a little David Begelman-Freddie Fields in Lyon Burke. Begelman of course robbed Garland blind in the early 60s.

The "taking the song away" incident ("Give a Little More" in the movie) was based on something that Betty Hutton claimed happened to her when she was playing a supporting role in PANAMA HATTIE starring Ethel Merman on Broadway. Merman (who is the basis for Lawson) allegedly took a song away from Hutton (who was also a pill fiend like Neely, though Neely is mainly Garland).

The book is set at a different time than the movie. The film is set in the present day of the time it was made. Also the movie leaves out how the three girls know each other -- they room together in the book.

by Anonymousreply 1401/12/2011

Didn't Susie Lee have something to say about Polly Bergen?%0D %0D Merman also took a song away from Betty Grable in "Du Barry was a Lady." Grable hated her for the rest of her life.

by Anonymousreply 1501/12/2011

You do realize that Jackie had an affair with the Merm, don't you? It ended rather badly.

by Anonymousreply 1601/12/2011

LOL--I fucking love that people on this thread are referencing the infamous "Turn over!" scene. Susann considered the "shocker scene" of the book.

by Anonymousreply 1701/12/2011

I love this line from Helen Lawson: "And what should an ing%C3%A9nue look like? A fucked-out redhead with big tits?"

by Anonymousreply 1801/12/2011

^ LOL-that's supposed to be "ingenue"

by Anonymousreply 1901/12/2011

The book takes place over a 20-year period from 1945 to 1965.

by Anonymousreply 2001/12/2011

So...%0D %0D What's your favorite Helen Lawson show?

by Anonymousreply 2101/13/2011

Price, I bet I read that book 1000 times as a kid (my parents had it hidden in their bedroom when I was a young teen, and of course, when I found it, I had to read it), and I do not recall anything about any lesbian relationships whatsoever.%0D %0D %0D There was mention of Ted Casablanca being a "fag," as in something like, "These women faint when some fag deigns to dress them." Then, later, Neely defends him, saying he ISN'T a fag.%0D %0D %0D There is nothing else in the book related to same-sex relationships, as far as I can remember.

by Anonymousreply 2201/13/2011

there was no girl on girl in the book.

by Anonymousreply 2301/13/2011

Hello? Pilar?

by Anonymousreply 2401/13/2011

Two of them go to Europe for the "sleep cure" to lose weight, that wasn't in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 2501/13/2011

Does the 1980 miniseries version follow the book more closely? I remember that version being totally different from the film in many ways the one time I saw it. Also, does anyone know if that version is available to view anywhere? I can't find it on YouTube or DVD.

by Anonymousreply 2601/13/2011

r22, There was a lesbian relationship in the book. Jennifer had a girlfriend when she was younger. It was told in flashback and took place before the events in the novel.

by Anonymousreply 2701/13/2011

Page 172 (Google Books) is where Jen starts to lez out with Maria.

by Anonymousreply 2801/13/2011

Susann's last novel Once Is Not Enough is a good read as well. She wrote it in her last years and it's a lament of how the show biz/NYC society glitz and glamour world changed. Plus lots of trash including nuns getting gang raped, a lesbian affair, a character based on Norman Mailer who is a Prince Tinymeat, vitamin shots, a drug orgy and a low key incestous relatioship between a father and his daughter.

by Anonymousreply 2901/13/2011

... and introducing Deborah Raffin as "January"..

by Anonymousreply 3001/14/2011

The gang-raped nuns sequence is bizarre--even more bizarre is the idea in the story that having a powerful orgasm is one way to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Susann had some fucked up ideas about sexuality.

by Anonymousreply 3101/14/2011

No "The"...

by Anonymousreply 3201/14/2011

My friend has a first edition Jacqueline Susann signed copy of the book and the DVD signed by Patty Duke. He likes "Valley Of the Dolls" a lot.

by Anonymousreply 3301/14/2011

I read it when I was about 13 and thought it was fascinating. I tried again when I was in my 40s -- hoping that it would be campy fun---and was bored blind by the leaden prose and witless plotting.

by Anonymousreply 3401/14/2011

I always liked the way her heroines burst into tears at the top of a page, but were fine by the bottom -- sometimes the middle.

by Anonymousreply 3501/14/2011

"Once" has all that R29 described, and more.

Jackie outs Garbo (called "Karla" here) as a bisexual so miserly she whores herself out to lesbian millionaires who support her in style. (In real life at the time, Garbo was the "close friend" of Cecile de Rothschild.)

This book also started my fascination with amphetamines, for better or worse.

by Anonymousreply 3601/14/2011

I forgot there's also a character in Once who's a combination of Helen Gurley Brown and Gloria Steinem. An ambitious and slutty editor of a woman's magazine. This character saves the semen ejaculated by the men she sleeps with and once she has enough saved up she uses it for a face mask! Brenda Vacarro played the character in the movie and got an Oscar Nomination for her portrayal!

by Anonymousreply 3701/14/2011

I am loving this thread. R33, Susann deliberately signed hundreds if not THOUSANDS of her books--at the time, signed books could not be returned to the publisher for a refund (is that still true today?). Not that it's not fabulous for your friend, just a little less unique.

And R37--Linda's whole "half a glass" of semen dialogue was challenged by one of Susann's male editors, who tried to explain that men really didn't cum that much. Susann fought him and the line stayed in.

by Anonymousreply 3801/14/2011

"We are not Lesbians like those awful freaks who cut their hair and wear mannish clothes. We are two women who adore one another and who know about being gentle and affectionate."

by Anonymousreply 3901/15/2011

[quote]"We are not Lesbians like those awful freaks who cut their hair and wear mannish clothes. We are two women who adore one another and who know about being gentle and affectionate."

Hear, hear.

by Anonymousreply 4001/15/2011


by Anonymousreply 4103/10/2011

I thought Neely O'Hara was based on Betty Hutton who also had a song taken away from her in some show she did with Merman.

by Anonymousreply 4203/10/2011

Based on Hutton and Garland

by Anonymousreply 4303/10/2011


by Anonymousreply 4404/24/2011

The wig-flushing scene in the book was even more hilarious than the movie:

"Helen snapped. %E2%80%98Christ, you couldn%E2%80%99t even hold your faggot. Not even with twins as a bargaining point. Hey %E2%80%93 are they faggots too?%E2%80%99 She started to leave, but Neely blocked her way.

%E2%80%98What did you say about my children?%E2%80%99 Neely%E2%80%99s voice was quivering.

%E2%80%98What%E2%80%99s wrong with having little twin faggots? I hear they%E2%80%99re very good to their mothers. Now out of my way . . .%E2%80%99 She shoved past Neely and headed for the door.

%E2%80%98No you don%E2%80%99t, you old bag!%E2%80%99 Neely shouted. She leaped after Helen and grabbed her by the hair. Helen pulled away, but Neely held fast.

by Anonymousreply 4504/24/2011

and in the book Helen was losing her hair due to Chemo, but Hayward refused to wear a bald cap and they went with the white hair instead. I think it would have been more dramatic with the balding look. Because in the movie you just wonder why Helen didn't color her hair....

by Anonymousreply 4604/24/2011

Why it's a dirty book. Pure smut if you ask me!

by Anonymousreply 4704/24/2011

Too bad the movie was not closer to the book. But then I do not think the movie would be the CAMP classic that it is today...

by Anonymousreply 4804/24/2011

Thanks, R39 -- NOW I remember. Maria was in Spain, right?

by Anonymousreply 4904/24/2011

Thanks r45 for the read. The whole time I could hear Patty Duke's voice as Neely telling off Helen!

by Anonymousreply 5004/24/2011


by Anonymousreply 5104/24/2011

[quote]Because in the movie you just wonder why Helen didn't color her hair%0D %0D I've always thought she looked better with the white hair. Not in her youth, but in that scene.

by Anonymousreply 5204/24/2011

agree r52

by Anonymousreply 5304/24/2011

I'm not the Butler, Neely.%0D You're not the breadwinner, either.

by Anonymousreply 5404/24/2011

lol r54

by Anonymousreply 5504/24/2011

Did anyone here read the squeal to the Valley of the Dolls??

by Anonymousreply 5604/24/2011

Jennifer's lesbian relationship with Maria was presented in a very matter-of-fact, normal way and not insulting or stereotypical. Jackie Susann was way ahead of her time.

by Anonymousreply 5704/24/2011

Jennifer: What have you ever given me?%0D %0D Tony: My cock! And that should be enough.

by Anonymousreply 5804/24/2011

Valley of the Dolls and The Love Machine, the best trashy novels ever written!! I own them both and reread them quite frequently. Neely O'Hara and Helen Lawson were obviously Judy Garland and Ethel Merman; but Anne Welles could have been anybody; I never figured that one out. I guess Jennifer could have been Marilyn but she seemed level-headed and not emotionally screwed up like Monroe. The movie versions of both books were awful especially Love Machine which was especially bad.

by Anonymousreply 5904/25/2011

Anne Wells was partly based on Jackie Susann herself, but it was a VERY cleaned-up and fantasized version.

by Anonymousreply 6004/25/2011

[quote]and in the book Helen was losing her hair due to Chemo

No, in the book Helen had her hair colored in Jamaica and the hairdresser ruined her hair which broke off.

[quote]Did anyone here read the squeal to the Valley of the Dolls??

LOL @ "squeal"... I read Shadow of the Valley which wasn't bad. The author is no JS but it has some wild things with one of Neely's twins screwing his step-sister, Anne's daughter. (I guess by that point, Lyon was married to Neely--can't remember.)

by Anonymousreply 6104/26/2011

r61 I guess I remember reading that they wanted Hayward to wear a balding cap but she refused. I think they should have had Lawson's hair cut real short then, otherwise it really doesn't make sense the wig, why not just color your hair?

by Anonymousreply 6204/26/2011

Okay, two people have asked why Helen Lawson didn't just color her hair.%0D %0D Probably because it was too thin. Lots of women get thinning hair with age, either because of female pattern baldness or the hair gets finer as it goes gray. Sure, you can dye thin hair any color you like, but it'll never be thick enough for glamour styles.

by Anonymousreply 6304/26/2011

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Anonymousreply 6409/25/2013

I hated casting of Barabra Perkins in the movie .

Anne Welles was a blond. Patty Duke and Sharon Tate were perfectly cast.

Remember Jenifer Norths horrible mother who eas constantly begging her for $$?

I especially loved the scenes with Gino at El Morrocco (father of the guy anne was dating before she met Lyon) and his comments about Helen in the book.

Jen met Maria at Swiss boarding school and used her for $$. She was supposed to fly to meet her for skiing somewhere but booked it back to the US instead.

by Anonymousreply 6509/25/2013

You might enjoy "The Group" too.

by Anonymousreply 6609/25/2013

[quote]Neely Ohara is suppose to be Judy Garland...

And Judy Garland was supposed to be Helen Lawson -- what perfect symmetry!

R8, more reading and less masturbating, and your spelling might improve.

by Anonymousreply 6709/25/2013

The bizarre ending of "Once is Not Enough" is even more bizarre if you look for the Susann novel "Yargo." It's a sci-fi novel that pretty much begins where "Once" ends- with a woman being abducted by aliens on the beach, but it's not the same novel. I guess Susann had a bizarre idea of where January ended up and put those thoughts into a different story.

by Anonymousreply 6809/25/2013

Grace Metalious' "Peyton Place" is a lot of fun as well. I actually enjoy it more than VOD.

by Anonymousreply 6909/25/2013

[quote]My friend has a first edition Jacqueline Susann signed copy of the book and the DVD signed by Patty Duke. He likes "Valley Of the Dolls" a lot.

My friend just got the book signed by Patty Duke now too. She studied the signature and loved the inscription, authenticated it and then said "I'm very grateful to this woman, she brought me the most loyal and wonderful fans".

by Anonymousreply 7009/25/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Anonymousreply 7109/25/2013

Candy Bergen was offered AnnE but turned it down. Marlo Thomas (pre nose job) was up for it, too. Petula Clark tested for Neely. Rocky Welch turned down Jennifer (Thank God!)

by Anonymousreply 7209/25/2013
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