Jacqueline Susann's Shadow of the Dolls [NOOK Book]

Overview

Valley of the Dolls was sexy, shocking, and unrelenting in its revelations of the dangers facing women who dare to chase their most glamorous dreams. It shot to the top of the bestseller lists in 1966 and made Jacqueline Susann a superstar. It remains the quintessential big, blockbuster, must-read, can't-put-down bestseller.

Before her death in 1974, Susann spent many months working on a draft for a sequel that continued the stories of Anne ...
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Jacqueline Susann's Shadow of the Dolls

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Overview

Valley of the Dolls was sexy, shocking, and unrelenting in its revelations of the dangers facing women who dare to chase their most glamorous dreams. It shot to the top of the bestseller lists in 1966 and made Jacqueline Susann a superstar. It remains the quintessential big, blockbuster, must-read, can't-put-down bestseller.

Before her death in 1974, Susann spent many months working on a draft for a sequel that continued the stories of Anne Welles, Neely O'Hara, and Lyon Burke. Now, after nearly thirty years, the perfect writer has been found to turn Susann's deliciously ambitious ideas into a novel that matches the original shock for shock and thrill for thrill.

In Jacqueline Susann's Shadow of the Dolls, Rae Lawrence — herself a bestselling author — picks up the story in the late '80s and brings it right into the new century. Long a devoted “Valley” girl herself, Rae has re-imagined the original characters in a contemporary reality (and adjusted their ages just a bit), exactly as Jackie would have wanted her to. And if you've never read Valley of the Dolls, no matter. Sometimes the present is even more surprising and fun when you don't remember the past.

And what a story! Neely's golden voice has brought her fame and success, but now she craves acceptance in social circles where her kind of celebrity means nothing at all. Anne, born and bred in those very circles, must choose between returning home or pursuing a fabulous television career — and the kind of passion she once knew with Lyon. And Lyon, who loses everything including Anne, looks for happiness in the most unexpected of places.

Taking us behind the closed doors of New York, East Hampton, and Los Angeles, whetting our appetites for more with a new generation of young women and men who grow up far too fast, and spicing the whole story with a generous sprinkling of sex, drugs, and cosmetic surgery, Jacqueline Susann's Shadow of the Dolls is the ultimate beach read for our time. But feel free to devour it any time of the year, wherever you are.

It's been a long time since readers had this much fun between the covers. It's time to jump back in.

Anne Welles . . . She finds the courage to leave the only man who ever made her feel like a woman . . . She fights her way to the top of a television career that is even more cutthroat than she's been warned . . . She finds security and contentment with the kind of man she was destined to marry . . . Now she must choose between destiny and her dreams.

Neely O'Hara . . . Her talents take her to the top, while her troubles drag her through rehab after rehab . . . She grasps at the things Anne has turned her back on (her class, her man) . . . She always knows exactly what she wants, and will do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true.

Lyon Burke . . . He takes lovers over love . . . He hustles other people's
talent while neglecting his own . . . He always knows how to look, which restaurants offer the perfect drink and the most cachet, who to pursue, and where to find the best percentage . . . He waits so long to realize his dreams that in the end it may be too late.

Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls was one of the sexiest, most shocking, and most sensational novels ever to fly off the shelves. Now, thanks to bestselling novelist Rae Lawrence — working from Susann's own draft for a sequel — the fun has just begun.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Back in the 1960s, Jacqueline Susann’s groundbreaking novel, Valley of the Dolls, became a blockbuster hit. Prior to her death in 1974, Susann penned a screenplay sequel that, thanks to the added talents of Rae Lawrence, is now available in novel form. In Shadow of the Dolls, fans of the original surviving Dolls characters -- Neely O’Hara, Anne Welles, and Lyon Burke -- should enjoy following them into their troubled middle years, where the same plagues of insecurity, overindulgence, and raw ambition are still at work. The work stands on its own, however, so newcomers can also enjoy Susann’s dark take on the shallowness, adultery, backstabbing, and conniving of the glamour set. From the heights of giddy stardom and its inherent rewards to the pits of depression and ultimate degradation, Shadow of the Dolls is a deliciously voyeuristic look at a lifestyle most of us can only guess at.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This tedious, tame sequel to Valley of the Dolls arrives 35 years after the original publishing phenomenon. Claiming to be based on a first draft by Susann (1921-1974), it certainly is aptly titled, as it languishes deep in the shadow of the original. Susann capitalized on readers' hunger for gossip by giving her fictional characters aspects of real-life celebrities, creating a thrilling guess-who puzzler featuring composites of Judy Garland, Ethel Merman and Dean Martin. Neither guessing games nor drug use (the other thrill of the original) play much of a role in Lawrence's novel. There's no sex either not just by Susann standards, but even compared to a Regency romance. Seven times characters venture near a bed only to have the action abruptly skip over the deed with "Afterwards... " ("...he lit a cigarette"/ "...they turned the television back on"/ "...he brought her a fresh glass of water"). Fans of the rough and tumble, blunt but addictive prose and plotting of Susann's original will find this rambling series of episodes (there's not enough drive to pull them into anything resembling a plot) lacking. Neely, Anne and Lyon are all back (burdened with dull teenage kids), but the pseudonymous Lawrence has no idea what to do with them. Most of the notable events take place between chapters (Neely wins an Oscar for playing arch-rival Helen Lawson in a big-screen biopic, Anne and Lyon divorce, Neely aborts Lyon's child). Susann's original (reissued by Grove in 1997) still packs a wallop; the sequel is a pulled punch. (June 26) Forecast: Lawrence and Valley of the Dolls are both record breakers: the former received a top advance for her 1987 debut, Satisfaction, and the latter has sold a historical 30 million copies (and still sells 2,000-4,000 copies a month for Grove). Nevertheless, the two aren't going very far together. Susann is still a camp/cult favorites, but two lackluster biopics (Isn't She Great and TV's Scandalous Me) haven't heralded a revival. This novel will be get a lot of press coverage, and will be much talked about, but poor word-of-mouth will dampen sales. Expect a hit, but not a major one. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In 1966, Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls was a scandalous must-read that introduced us to ambitious, young, single women in New York City, a glamorous world of fame and drugs. Nearly 40 years later, Lawrence (Satisfaction) has adapted a first draft that Susann wrote before her death in 1974 to provide a sequel to the original story. Beginning in 1987, the novel opens with the words "Whatever happened to Anne Wells?" Fans of Valley of the Dolls will enjoy reading about Anne and Neely O'Hara and Lyon Burke and their teenage children although, surprisingly, the main characters are only ten years older than in the original book. The drugs have been updated to Percoset and Xanax, and plastic surgery is every woman's friend. Anne has to start over after leaving Lyon, who lost all of their money in a stock scheme. Neely's out of rehab and ready for a comeback and a new husband. Lawrence manages to stay true to the tone of Susann's novel and has once again captured the emptiness and loneliness of the characters' lives. A major publicity tour will help generate interest in this sequel, but will readers still be interested in these characters? For large public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/01.] Kathy Ingels Helmond, Indianapolis-Marion Cty. P.L. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
They're b-a-a-a-a-c-k! The two surviving heroines of Jacqueline Susann's seminal 1968 trash epic, Valley of the Dolls, are a lot older but not significantly wiser in this sequel by the author of Satisfaction (1987). Former model Anne Welles is married to movie agent Lyon Burke, and singer Neely O'Hara is knocking 'em dead in Vegas. They've had their share of life's rewards and life's disappointments. Anne has a beautiful little daughter and everything money can buy, including a Fifth Avenue apartment and a house in Southampton. She knows her husband will never be faithful, but she's come to terms with that (discreet tippling on expensive wine helps a little). Several-times married Neely has identical twin sons who live with their father—not that she cares much. Getting her act together after a stint in rehab, she's as brassy as ever, wowing the "fat people with fat wallets" out in the Nevada desert while she dreams of a movie career to rival Barbra Streisand's. For the most part, their bad-girl days are over, and an occasional Valium or Xanax is about it for cheap thrills. Flash forward: Anne has divorced Lyon and hosts a morning TV show. Neely is stuck in a going-nowhere relationship with producer Dave Feld, and her comeback fantasies have evaporated. Her son Dylan is taking suggestive photographs of Anne's daughter Jenn, who's only 13, and simultaneously carrying on an illicit affair with an older woman, Anne's friend Gretchen. What's a mother to do? Get pregnant again! The culprit: good old Lyon, Anne's ex, an upper-class Brit who's inexplicably attracted to Neely's raucous charm. Neely pops a few pills, frets, and throws tantrums, but life goes on. Will Lyon survive histempestuous relationship with noisy Neely? Will icy Anne ever warm up to her newest wealthy suitor? Will someone please throw a bucket of cold water on all those copulating teenagers? Capable but unexciting rehash of classic sleaze. $250,000 ad/promo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307815507
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Publication date: 2/8/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 143,580
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Rae Lawrence is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Satisfaction. She lives in New York City.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Read an Excerpt

Prologue, 1987.

Whatever happened to Anne Welles? people used to ask.

It was a parlor game played at parties, after the dishes were cleared and the fresh bottle of vodka came out, after everyone had drunk too much but no one wanted to go home yet. Whatever happened to that sitcom star who got arrested for carrying the gun onto the airplane? Whatever happened to that rock-and-roll singer who married the swimsuit model? Whatever happened to that talk-show host, that child actress, that overweight comedian? And, Whatever happened to Anne Welles?

No one ever had to ask what happened to Neely O'Hara.

Everyone knew. She was still in the tabloids at least once a month.

The pictures were always the same: Neely caught off-guard, looking grim and puffy in her signature oversize dark blue sunglasses, wearing a thousand-dollar designer version of sweatshirt and track pants, her hair tucked up into a baseball cap, her hands covered with jewelry.

The headlines screamed from supermarket checkout stands: Neely O'Hara hires live-in psychic after third marriage fails! Neely and Liz make bizarre rehab pact! Neely O'Hara threatens suicide after record-company lawsuit! Neely O'Hara's Comeback Diet!

But whatever happened to Anne Welles?

Women recalled her Gillian Girl commercials almost word for word. They could recite the names of the products they had bought because of her. Candlelight Beige lipstick. Summersong perfume. Forever Roses nail polish.

What the men remembered was something else: a beautiful girl dancing across the television screen, her long dark hair streaming out behind her. Sometimes she wore an evening gown and swirled to an old Cole Porter tune. Sometimes she wore a little white bikini and kept the beat of a current disco hit. At the end of each commercial, she looked straight into the camera, looked straight into their eyes, and winked.

Where was she now?

She married some rich guy and moved to Europe, someone would say. Or: She went into rehab, my cousin's best friend is married to someone in Hollywood who saw the medical charts. Or: She invested in a chain of restaurants and lost almost all her money. No one really knew. To most of the country, it seemed that she had disappeared into thin air.

In New York, no one had to ask what happened to Anne Welles.

She still made the columns, she still went to parties, she still could be seen jogging around the Central Park Reservoir in the early mornings, her thick brown hair held back with red velvet ribbon. At thirty-four she was still beautiful, though the only photographs that appeared of her anymore were the grainy black-and-white pictures taken at charity events for the Sunday society pages.

She had married Lyon Burke and moved into a ten-room apartment on Fifth Avenue with a glorious view of the park. The Bellamy, Bellows and Burke Agency represented some of the highest-paid movie talent, so there was no need for her to work. Her only daughter, Jennifer, went to the most exclusive girls' school in the city. Anne filled her days the way so many other women did on the Upper East Side: exercising, shopping, getting facials and manicures, redecorating her apartment, entertaining her husband's business friends. Anne and Lyon were one of the most sought-after couples in the city, and every day's mail brought at least half a dozen invitations: to dinner parties, to museum galas, to weekends in the country, to charity events, to gallery and film openings.

Anne Welles Burke had gotten everything she dreamed of. She had married the man of her dreams, the first man she had fallen in love with. She had the child she always wanted, a sweet girl with Lyon's blue eyes and Anne's fine Yankee bone structure. She lived in the apartment she had always fantasized about, surrounded by the best furniture, the best carpets, the best paintings. She had come to New York with nothing, and now the city belonged to her.

New York! New York! In the early spring evenings, after Jenn had gone to her room to do her homework and before Lyon came home from the office, she took a glass of Chardonnay onto the balcony. She looked down into Central Park, full of pink and white blossoms. She looked west across Manhattan, where another spectacular sunset streaked the sky. She looked south at the skyline, still as breathtaking as when she had first arrived fifteen years before. And she said to herself: Mine, mine, mine.

Sometimes she poured a second glass of wine. Music wafted in from the open windows of a neighboring apartment, a strand of Joni Mitchell, or early Van Morrison, or an old Dionne Warwick hit she had forgotten the name of.

But she still remembered the words, and she still remembered the girl she had been when she sang them aloud to herself, dancing around her first New York apartment, a tiny studio in a West Fifties tenement building, with broken-down plumbing and linoleum floors. It came back to her now, how happy she had been in those days when she had nothing to speak of except a pretty face and a degree from a pretty college and all her pretty dreams. Everything was ahead of her then. She'd felt as though the whole city were whispering to her at night: If, if, if.

The second glass of wine never tasted as good as the first, but she always drank it faster. Mine: The perfect apartment filled with perfect things (who knew a throw pillow could cost three hundred dollars?), but no matter what the decorators bought it never felt finished or quite full enough.

Mine: The perfect husband, who had had so many affairs that she had stopped counting, stopped even caring. Lyon loved her as best he could; maybe it wasn't his fault that his love ran out a few yards short of fidelity. Mine: A perfect child, Jenn was everything to her, so why did she still feel half-empty inside?

And then she wondered: Whatever happened to Anne Welles?


From the Hardcover edition.
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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

Exclusive Author Essay
If you had told me five years ago that I would write a sequel to another author’s work, I never would have believed you. But one day the phone rang; it was my editor, telling me that Jackie Susann had left behind a couple hundred pages of rough draft. Would I take a look?

I had read Valley of the Dolls too many times to count. The first time I read it, I was still in my teens, and much of it went over my head, though I couldn’t get enough of the naughty parts -- the sex, the pills. Later, I began to understand what made Jackie’s characters tick: They want everything -- love, fame, money; it’s never enough.

I read the draft and met with Jackie Susann’s literary manager, who had flown out from California. We talked about one of the challenges in finishing the draft: that Jackie’s work had always been absolutely contemporary and “of its time,” but that the pages she left behind were set in the ‘70s.

I took a deep breath and asked about moving Anne Welles and Neely O’Hara into contemporary times without making them older -- in other words, doing a complete update that takes the characters right up to the year 2000.

The room was quiet for a minute, and then we all started talking at once about the fun stuff that could be brought into the book, things that didn’t exist back then -- the Hamptons as glamour spot, People magazine, Botox. We were laughing and waving our hands around. The chemistry was fantastic. We went to contract before I had written a single word.

I had written a novel before, but this time around it was much more fun. I already had these wonderful and complicated characters. Does it get any better than Neely O’Hara? I kept a photograph of Jackie in my office -- in it, she’s wearing a pink Pucci dress -- and every day, before I turned on my computer, I would take a minute to get focused.

There were other challenges. The movie of Valley of the Dolls has an entirely different ending from the book. I wanted to write a book that would appeal to fans of the book, to fans of the movie, and to people who were coming to Jackie Susann for the first time. I must have rewritten those opening pages 20 times.

The world is different now. The dolls have changed, and what shocked people in the ‘60s is now the stuff of prime-time sitcoms. But what’s at the heart of of Valley of the Dolls -- the sex, the ambition, the money, the friendships, and the betrayals -- all of that is timeless. I tried to capture that spirit in Shadow of the Dolls.

One of the first reviews ended with the sentence “Jackie would be thrilled.” I can’t think of a nicer compliment. (Rae Lawrence)

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Big disappointment

    Whoever inherited the rights to Susann's works must have been desperate to hire this writer. I kept waiting for this sequel to even approach the talent of the original but it never happened. The plot was choppy, characters unrealistic, and it was easy to put down. Definitely NOT worthy of the Susann name.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    I enjoyed Valley of the Dolls, and now Shadow of the Dolls was very enjoyable, too. I'd recommend this book.

    Love, love, love this book. I was so excited to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004

    Definitely not as good was 'Valley'

    'Shadow' had its moments but unlike 'Valley', it wasn't all around perfection. They absolutely ruined my favorite character, Neely and it just wasn't that entertaining. I was sad when 'Valley' ended but not so much when I got finished with 'Shadow'. However, I reccomend it for anyone wanting 'closure' to the first book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2002

    Shadow of the Dull

    This long awaited sequel to Jackie Susanns's novel Valley of the Dolls is a huge disappointment. All the characters except for Jennifer, Tony, of course, and Helen are back. The big problem for me with the book as with the movie is that the story of the original Valley of the Dolls is a period piece. Adjusting the ages of the characters and putting it in a contemperary setting just does not work. For example, the heyday of these characters in this sequel is set in the 1970's. That makes Neely's character completely obsolete, since she is a victim of the studio system and starred in movie musicals, both of which were non-existant in the '70s. And no one refers to pills as dolls, anymore, unless they are being campy. I just don't understand why Lawrence couldn't just continue the story in 'real' time, meaning, starting where the original ended in 1966. Aside from all of that, I just found the story, boring. We live in an age of entertainment news up to our necks. We know all about celebs private lives. The burden of expose novels, is to shock us even further. That was a simple task in 1966. Today, the burden is more difficult.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2001

    Want Something Trashy? You Got It!

    Anyone who is a fan of the original Valley book (or the gloriously over-the-top movie) is going to love this book. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting much, but Rae Lawrence has managed to bring the characters of Neely and Anne back to life. The ending was a little on the disappointing side, but I'm hoping that there will be follow-up titles focusing on the women's offspring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2001

    Grrrrreat!!

    I couldn't put this book down for two days! This was excellent.....just as good as the first. I have to admit, I didn't think it was gonna be as good.....but it was. I finally got to know what happened to the girls :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2001

    What happened to Anne Welles?

    We finally get to find out what did happen!!This book is a great read, although it takes liberties on the ages of the characters....you just can not put this down!!...I am hoping for a movie in the works...I do have to say the ending was not what I wanted or expected....there are several other 'Surprises' as well....great book for Valley fans.....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2001

    sexy and fun!!! like Candace Bushnell but less edgy

    I got an early copy of this at an Idaho book fair - girls, you are in for a real treat! Neely O'Hara is just as wonderful/awful as ever, Anne is still brilliant about everything except men, and Lyon is The Man You Hate To Love. I read this in one sitting and I liked it so much I went back and read Valley again. The writing style of this book is different but like the original, you get caught up in the characters right away, their hopes and dreams, their triumphs and their mistakes. Very funny in places too. I read a lot of serious nonfiction (biography mostly) but when it comes to novels, what I really want is A GOOD TIME. This delivers!!!

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    Posted September 8, 2013

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