Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls is an odd book. Not its content, more its reputation.

It’s supposedly a cult classic, surrounded by a haze of dark glamour that always settles over a particularly outré publication. It’s just that, nearly 50 years later, I’m like “So?’. 

That’s upsetting, because clearly my mind has been so saturated with the sex and violence and tragedy that exposure to the 21st century involves that I just can’t be shocked. Some New York society ladies lost their virginities and took a lot of sleeping pills, or married a gay man. Got anything else?

I’m disappointed because the foreword by Julie Birchill (who wrote Sugar Rush) builds it up as a big deal, a feminist big deal at that. And I know that in the 60s, it probably was. I just don’t think that it deserves more than respect now – it was ground-breaking in its day but in 2014 it all just reads a little naive.

I was excited to see it the charity shop and rushed to buy it (despite its hideous chick lit cover à la Lolita), thinking I was about to get schooled in 60s Hollywood scandal.

Boo, is all I can say. Boo.

Am I right? Tell me!

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