"Mine is a story of craving: an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our free television was delivered...."
Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly-up.
In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. At once a fragile girl and a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably lovable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections. She's Come Undone includes a promise: you will never forget Dolores Price.
©2011 Wally Lamb (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"A heroine to cheer for....This supremely touching journey to adulthood may remind you of The World According to Garp and other sagas of emotional liberation." (Glamour)
"There are at least two surprises in store for readers of Lamb's memorable debut novel. One is the author's sex. This male writes so convincingly in the voice of a female, tracing her life from 4 to 40, that you have to keep looking back at the jacket picture just to make sure. The second surprise is how such a string of trials and tribulations can add up to such a touchingly funny book..." (People)
"An ambitious, often stirring and hilarious book." (The New York Times)
Yes, the story was good but just so sad and dysfunctional.
I really liked the main characters grandmother- she was a woman who was doing the best she could and I felt for her throughout the book.
I did not care for the narrators tone or the voice she used for the adolescent and adult Delores. It was a little bit distracting.
Yes, I probably wouldn't re-listen to the book though.
This book is just sad- from beginning to end. If you are looking for a pickmeup story- might want to listen to something else.
"She's Come Undone" is the unlikely story of Delores Price, whose life is repeatedly marked by tragedy, abuse and illness. When she loses control of her life, Delores resists help and trusts no one. But she ultimately discovers a strength she didn't know was inside her. She is not a stereotypical gritty heroine who fights against the odds to get a better life. She is bewildered by the many twists and turns her path takes. In the hands of a less gifted writer this story could have become absurd, but it does not. Delores emerges as an unforgettable character who maneuvers her way through the obstacles she encounters, even when she is unsure where to go. She will stay with me forever.
Best: The story is excellent. This author creates very believable characters. Least: Linda Stephens' performance.
All of the characters have something to love and much to dislike about them.
Linda's performance was not that of a professional reader. Her voice is pleasant. But her reading was awful. Periods and commas where used in exactly the same way, and in many cases are added to the reading in inappropriate places (by Linda, not by the author). It was very distracting. I almost stopped reading because of it. Then the story grabbed me and stopping was not an option. Linda has the voice, she needs training and practice.
Movie was a great idea. As for characters; I would have no idea how to second guess the professionals, since I rarely watch a movie and do not know who the current actors are.
I hope there will be a remake of this audio book with a different narrator, or a trained, experienced Linda Stephens.
I bought the unabridged audio version, so I didn't miss a thing from the print version, which we were reading as a book club. It was a long book, so being pressed for time, I needed to be able to be able to get through it while doing things that I wouldn't be able to do while "reading" and vice versa.
Can't think of any other book I would compare it to.
Can't tell you my favorite scene without it being a spoiler. But trust me, when you get to it, you'll know. It was the favorite scene of everyone in my book club who read the book.
I absolutely wanted to listen to it all in one sitting, it was that good. But I didn't opt for the abridged version, which I could have listened to in one sitting because I didn't want to miss any of the story. I'm glad I didn't. It was a book club selection, and I wanted to be able to fully participate in the discussion..
I was amazed at how well Wally Lamb is able to get into the mind and emotions of women. I'm really looking forward to reading more of his work.
While this book remains my favorite book of all time, the unabridged narration is pretty disappointing. The performer is too old to be Dolores and she makes some annoying missteps in her reading. Jack Speight (whose bumper sticker reads
Too many to mention! Just overall a perfect, flawless story. The imagery, the characters, the development of a truly beautiful female narrator which was remarkably captured by a male author.
Think I'll pass. Not a huge fan at all.
Dolores, of course!
Just wish that the narrator did justice to this incredible book.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Nearly 200 titles into my audiobook habit, I'm still trying to figure out what makes for a good listen vs. a traditional read, especially within my favorite genres. I've grown somewhat wary of audio editions of literary novels -- they are almost always character-driven and light on plot, and therefore difficult in some cases to follow in audio. But it's still my favorite style of fiction, so I keep trying.
At first, She's Come Undone was on track to disappoint me in that very way. The first few hours are pure character development, no forward momentum in the narrative at all. I could not imagine getting through another 15+ hours of that, could not imagine what could possibly fill another 15+ hours, short of tedium and repetition.
But there is one quality an audiobook may possess that you cannot get in print -- an actual voice reciting the inner monologue of your protagonist. If that voice is first person and at least sometimes comic (as is the case here on both counts), a narrator that captures that voice can make the listening experience far more effective than the voice inside your head when you read in print.
That's the case here, for me at least -- look at the other reviews and you will see contrary opinions on the effectiveness of Linda Stephens as narrator. Add in the decidedly mixed reviews on Goodreads provided by (presumably) a large percentage of print readers, and She's Come Undone is clearly a love-it or hate-it kind of book. There is little middle ground.
I come in on the love-it (or more accurately the like it well enough) side, and that is primarily because of Linda Stephens's narration. In addition, Dolores, battling her weight issues, depression, family dysfunction, bullying, bad relationships, and some serious tragedy, is similar in many ways to someone very close to me, so I found the story highly relatable. Some of the events and symbolism (the whale) are indeed as heavy handed as the harsher critics claim, but for me, no showstoppers there, just a four-star listen rather than five-star.
As long as I have my Audible, I'm content.
I don't know who ever said this book was funny. It is FAR from funny. But it's oh so good! It shows how one can go from broken and weak and fearful to indomitable. The unlikely friendships, the roller coaster ride of a life, the uncertainty and foolishness and eventual embrace of agency-- that made it worth the read.
Devora de la Mer
This novel fascinated me. I would relive this novel again because the women characters are so vividly portrayed and unsentimentally represented, despite their many hardships and strangely ordinary and sometimes extraordinary experiences. I could not put this reading down and so I know I would enjoy "hearing it again.
There are several memorable moments that stand out for me among so many of them portrayed in this book The main character, Delores has to come to terms with what caused her to experience such a debilitating loss in confidence resulting in her obesity. She does this at several critical points in the novel, when she is at college, when she leaves college, when she is trying to work why she became undone, with others help, and during her marriage. Each time the revelations she uncovers show how important it is to try and understand our own traumatic experiences and not let them overwhelm us.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Delores reveals all of her secrets to a loved one, its comical, tragic, and very satisfying to feel the character's anguish and relief that she has finally unburdened herself.
She unravels and then reveals.
This narrator is perfect for portraying the many women in this novel. Her voice is rich and conveys the depth and breadth of emotions they express.
Beautiful, sad, and hilarious!
I like that Dolores finds happiness at the end. I read the book when it came out and remember loving it. Of course, I still feel the same after listening to it.
Obviously Dolores Price...she remains strong
This book did make me cry, especially at the end.
Love anything that Wally Lamb writes...he's amazing!
What would I do without audio books?!!
I understand that sometimes a book needs to disturb you enough to affect you - but the pain has to be worth the gain. Although the message in the end was good, this writing was draining, and a bit like slow torture. Instead of wanting to find out what would happen next I found myself dreading the next sad/bad thing that would happen to the main character. I did see the humor at times, but the overall picture drawn was so relentlessly sad that I couldn't enjoy it when it did occur.
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