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Go Behind the Scenes of Valley of the Dolls

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Publisher's Summary

At a time when women were destined to become housewives, Jacqueline Susann let us dream. Anne, Neely, and Jennifer become best friends as struggling young women in New York City trying to make their mark. Eventually, they climb their way to the top of the entertainment industry only to find that there’s no place left to go but down, into the Valley of the Dolls.

©1966, 1967, 1997, 2016 Tiger LLC, Bernard Geis Associates (first hardcover edition); Bantam Books (first paperback edition); first Grove Press edition; Fiftieth Anniversary Edition. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Editorial Review

Sparkle, Laverne, Sparkle!

Did you know that "dolls" are pills in '60s drug slang? Because I sure didn’t, and for years it went way over my head that Valley of the Dolls is about three glamorous starlets who get caught up in drugs and show business. After my fellow editor Kat sweetly explained this to me, she led me down a rabbit hole of cute "doll" paraphernalia (pill boxes, mirrors, etc.—you get the idea) that celebrities and fashion designers have created in homage to this iconic story about fame, glamour, luxury, and romantic entanglements. Its high-profile fans run the gamut from Jonathan Adler to RuPaul. When I heard Laverne Cox was lined up to narrate, I jumped on the chance to experience this classic for the first time. With her distinctive and fabulous voice, she captures the high-stakes drama of three young women dead set on making their dreams come true, at any cost. —Rachel S., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Valley of the Dolls 50th Anniversary Edition

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

WHY????

OMG...This was one of my favorite stories....I read this novel as a young girl, and even though it was a bit dated at the time that I read it (in the mid 90's)...I still never forgot it! Jacqueline Susann's other stories really couldn't hold a candle, nor did the movie version. . . so why ruin this potentially fantastic audio version with the wrong narrator!?!? I leave you with a list of narrators that would've worked soooo much better:
- Julia Whelan
- Rosamund Pike (I know she's basically an A-List actress now...so maybe this is a reach...but she has some recent audible titles and she's perfect for this one)
- Carey Mulligan
- Cassandra Campbell
- Vanessa Williams (yes...another high paid actress...but she'll also do some audible narration from time-to-time)
and....I could go on and on....
Audible: Laverne Cox is talented and great, but NOT the right narrator for this book!! Come on!!

36 people found this helpful

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Reader was NOT right for this story

I've loved this book for fifty years. I was anxious to hear it read, but a black transgender woman was not the voice I was expecting! I love Laverne Cox and what she's done for the LGBT community, but to hear Anne Wells and Lyon Burke read in this particular voice was jarring to say the least. I finally had to stop and just re-read the book for myself. I mean no disrespect to Laverne Cox but this was not the correct casting.

29 people found this helpful

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A great book ruined by a DREADFUL narrator

The narrator is just dreadful. Thankfully I have long loved his book or I would never have listens. Her dialects are so wrong, her lisp on the letter S, her simpering voicing of the 3 main characters. So very inappopriate and disppinting. I am surprised the producers proceeded with it.

40 people found this helpful

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One of my all time favorite books but.....

I was so so excited to see this book come to audio. However, the narrative was so terribly mis-cast. Laverne Cox is a great talent but this was just a poorly chosen project on both sides. I tried many times to throw in the towel on the recording but out of love for the book, I stayed with it till the bitter end. Is it too late to ask for a 51st anniversary edition with a new narrator? I’d be happy to try again.

17 people found this helpful

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Not the voice for this one!!

The narration ruined this book for me! I was excited to listen to this book because I remember my mother reading it when I was a kid, but the voice was all wrong for this book and I almost did not get through the book. Very disappointed!

17 people found this helpful

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  • 12-13-18

awful narration

I love Laverne Cox as an actor and a human being, but her narration of this book is awful. I tried multiple times to finish it and couldn't. *sigh* I REALLY REALLY wanted to love it. The best I can muster is, "Ugh!"

13 people found this helpful

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My ears are bleeding...

As a Gay man, I always loved the movie and I remember a miniseries in the 90's but I had never read the book. So when I saw that Laverne Cox was the Narrater for this 50th anniversary of Valley of The Dolls I was very excited. I thought she will bring so much to the book and maybe act some of it out with her voice... be careful what you wish for!

The book is dated but still I love the book and there is so much more that is in the book that was not in either the movie or miniseries, how could those even compare being the book is 17 hours. I love the book but not the narration.

Why Miss Cox did the voices she did is beyond me. The voice she uses for Neely is like nails on a chalkBoard after a while! And Jennifers voice that Laverne uses is not much better. I almost had to stop listen to the book and return it but I got through it, I may still return it though as there is no way I could ever listen to her read it again!

Does anyone listen the the Narrators while they read/record the book? Is there no one to say "WTF are you doing?!"

12 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story, wonderful book, but…

I usually give the narrator a break, it must be a tough job. Initially this was just OK, but as I got deeper into this beloved story from my younger years, it became worse and worse. Her attempts to try different voices for the characters is catastrophic. Makes a great book an irritating bore. Very difficult listen. Susan Erickson would’ve been ideal to read this book.

25 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

No. Enough Already!

I read this novel in my 20s which was sometime in the 1990s. I knew then it had been a huge classic for a long time already. I enjoyed it tremendously. It was high camp and it was a lot of fun to read. I followed it up with the movie, another great classic, and felt like I'd taken part in something that formed 20th century pop culture. Great literature, this is not, but it is a great read and it does have a message to deliver.

Which leads me to my following point, about messages to deliver: Audible should not be a political platform on which to deliver politically driven messages. To wit: a book ABOUT women WRITTEN by a woman which they chose to have narrated by a trans woman simply because she is famous and presumably would attract the LGTBQ crowd and also, YET AGAIN, deliver the message that trans women are "real" women and just as deserving and in fact MORE deserving than non-trans women to have honours (such as narrating an anniversary edition of a famous women's novel) heaped upon them.

Laverne Cox is a good actress. I've seen her on "Orange is the New Black" and enjoyed her performance as a trans woman there. But she is a terrible choice as a narrator for this book because she sounds all wrong, and I've seen the majority of comments here offer the same opinion. Had she had the voice and range to deliver this book, I'd have been fine with it and written a positive review. But I am angry about the decision Audible made for no less than a 50th anniversary edition of this book. Why is a trans woman a MORE important voice than a non-trans woman of greater talent in a case such as this, is what I'd like to know? If that wasn't a political/commerical decision on Audible's choice... then I don't know what is. Really disappointed. I'll be asking for my credit back. I chose here to speak up about something that deeply offends me. As a reader and as a woman. And as someone who really loves audiobooks. And someone who refuses to see women erased to enable a political agendas to be furthered. As she says herself, Laverne Cox didn't even have a notion this book EXISTED before she was asked to do this project, so it isn't as though she had a deep and soulful attachment to it. And yet, she was the final choice to narrate it?? How ridiculous is THAT?! Enough already!

20 people found this helpful

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It's OK

It's an old favorite and guilty pleasure. However, the narrator's lisp finally worked my last nerve and I stopped listening.

20 people found this helpful