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She's Come Undone [Paperback]

Wally Lamb
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,457 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1996 Oprah's Book Club
The paperback edition of the beloved, bestselling novel about Dolores Price and her heartbreakingly comical coming-of-age journey.

"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 thirteen, 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, and 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.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Oprah Book Club® Selection, January 1997: "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." So begins the story of Dolores Price, the unconventional heroine of Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. Dolores is a class-A emotional basket case, and why shouldn't she be? She's suffered almost every abuse and familial travesty that exists: Her father is a violent, philandering liar; her mother has the mental and emotional consistency of Jell-O; and the men in her life are probably the gender's most loathsome creatures. But Dolores is no quitter; she battles her woes with a sense of self-indulgence and gluttony rivaled only by Henry VIII. Hers is a dysfunctional Wonder Years, where growing up in the golden era was anything but ideal. While most kids her age were dealing with the monumental importance of the latest Beatles single and how college turned an older sibling into a long-haired hippie, Dolores was grappling with such issues as divorce, rape, and mental illness. Whether you're disgusted by her antics or moved by her pathetic ploys, you'll be drawn into Dolores's warped, hilarious, Mallomar-munching world.

From Publishers Weekly

In this engaging first novel, narrator Dolores Price recounts her life story from age four to age 40. The troubled product of a stormy marriage, she is already sipping Maalox in grade school. Then her father walks out on her mother, who suffers a nervous collapse, and Dolores moves to her repressive grandmother's house in Rhode Island. By the time she reaches eighth grade, she has only one friend: a boarder who eventually rapes her. Anesthetizing herself with junk food and soap operas, Dolores becomes an obese, isolated young woman who attempts suicide during her first semester in college and spends seven years in a mental institution. Oddly enough, this relentless parade of disasters makes for interesting reading. The author keenly evokes his protagonist's profound alienation and self-loathing, endowing Dolores with a bleak sense of humor that keeps readers rooting for her. Ironically, the book itself "comes undone" as its heroine develops self-esteem, at which point an absorbing portrait of a woman on a collision course with her problems turns into a disappointing series of cliches about love, forgiveness and Dolores's ticking biological clock. Nonetheless, this is a promising debut.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IN ONE OF MY EARLIEST MEMORIES, MY MOTHER AND I ARE ON the front porch of our rented Carter Avenue house watching two delivery men carry our brand-new television set up the steps. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable June 10 2013
By JaRee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this story, and was very impressed that a man wrote this story. He hit so many deep feelings of the main character.

I could not put this book down, I needed to know if the main character has a good life at the end. The story was told as if you were on this journey every step of the way.

Would strongly recommend it. I have just ordered another Wally Lamb book. Love his writing
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sad but enjoyable... May 22 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a sad but enjoyable novel. It’s an interesting look at mental health and how it affects the individual as well as other family members and friends. It’s a novel of acceptance, growth and understanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great writer May 21 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
one of my best books in the last few years. I just kept reading and wondering what would happen. Not at all boring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this is one of my all time favourite stories April 7 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Over the years I have read this book twice. The first time I read it I finished it in one day - I was very connected to the story and the character. Sometimes a book will do that for you. I was amazed that a male author could capture the spirit of the character. I know when I finished the book I felt good - I wanted to get to the end but was sad that it did finally end as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Jan. 17 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A friend recommended this book to me years ago. I read it and felt very connected to the main character. This book may not be the most uplifting read but for me I found it heart-felt. It's a little treasure for anyone who has ever felt out of place.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Meh got through it Aug. 31 2012
By scarlet
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was good but not great. I would have been fine to have never read it. I picked it up because of so many rave reviews but I wasn't that impressed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sad but true Oct. 3 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dolores is the main characeter in his Wally Lamb novel--not a short novel either, I might add---and while one would expect to be put off by her, Lamb somehow makes us watch---nay, want to see where she's going, how, when, why, and ever other question you can think of. This is a fascinating tale, and one that will keep you glued to the pages of this remarkable book, even if it's not the current page-turner like Nora Robert's "Spellbound" or McCrae's "Katzenjammer." Frankly, I thought it was just great and I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in serious literature.
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I read this over the summer and kept my mind on Dolores a lot of the time while at or work or away from the book. It speaks to the part of everyone that we know we should try to change (less TV, too fat, don't get around to quitting a bad habit, etc.) but just can't get motivated enough to go through the discomfort. We all tend to get snuggled into our problems and hug them to us, at the same time kicking out with clawed feet at it, kittens in a playfight embrace. Dolores is comfortable with her excess weight in a way, yet wants to be thin. She wants love but pushes it away. This book relays those feelings, gives us hope, but never preaches.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved every bit of the story line!
Its been about 9 months since I read this book and I still think about Doris every single day. Oh my gosh this book was riveting, heartbreaking, heart stopping, heart pounding. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2010 by M. Okwengu
4.0 out of 5 stars Handle Like Hendrix reviews She's Come Undone
First of all, I love coming of age stories that progress into the adult life.

This book was interesting and intriguing and I was always wondering what would happen next... Read more
Published on June 22 2009 by C. Dey
3.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted and funny
This is a good choice to read after a long serious book. It's short and lighthearted, like taking a vacation.
Published on May 11 2009 by Anne McKinnell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favourites
I read this book for the first time in 1997, and I think I've read it every year since. I never fail to feel uplifted at the end. It's still hard to believe that a man wrote it.
Published on March 31 2009 by J. Macgillivray
4.0 out of 5 stars What a good read
I've read this book over and over. I love it. It was therapeutic. I decided to post my own review as reading the other reviews, one made me angry. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2008 by Tiara D. Champagne
5.0 out of 5 stars I've loved this book sincve the day i was born...Sort of...
I first read this book when i was 7 years older, and since then it has been my favourite. I don't really have much to say, except i have never felt so passionatly about a book in... Read more
Published on July 16 2006 by R. Plaskett
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