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She's Come Undone Paperback – Dec 1 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; New edition edition (Dec 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671003755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671003753
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.6 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,458 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 31 1997
Format: Paperback
I read the book without knowing it was an Oprah selection. I was attracted to the book, and engrossed in the plot quickly due to the weight struggle of the primary character. I ended up disappointed because the character was not developed, and the weight issue was somewhat trivialized, esp. the process of losing weight. Instead of truly understanding the psyche of the main character, the author chose to toss trauma after trauma on her. After a while, I didn't particularly care about the next trauma, I didn't admire her coping skills or her self-actualization, and I didn't wish the best on her. I wished that the book would end, and felt obligated to finish it. I read another person's review, and agreed, that in some ways this book reminded me of an adult version of a Judy Blume novel. I have also read a lot of positive reviews, and if the book served to awaken or help others, then it can't be all bad. But for me, having faced some similar life experiences and feelings, I could gain no insight
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Zeezee Packer on June 5 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're like me, you tend to read all the Oprah selections ("A Virtuous Woman," "Ellen Foster," "Bark of the Dogwood," "Fall on Your Knees"), so it should come as no surprise that "She's Come Undone" made her list and mine as well. I like Lamb, but the guy does not write short books. Delores is the main character in this latest novel, and she is quite the unlikable person. But something about the way Lamb paints her is unique and welcome to WANT to know more about her---to see what makes her tick. And boy, do we get an earful. Delores eventually finds her place in the world, but not before a long trial and error process. As if the story itself isn't good enough to entice you to buy this book, Lamb's excellent writing style is superb and makes for an easy pleasurable read.
Also recommended: Fall on Your Knees and the novel Bark of the Dogwood
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane Doah on March 31 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Our book club recently read three great, great books, one of which was SHE'S COME UNDONE. The other two were LIFE OF PI and Jackson McCrae's CHILDREN'S CORNER. I was so impressed with Oprah's other recommendations; I had to try this one, despite the cover. It was definitely worth it. Wally Lamb writes a humorous, poignant story, but what I appreciated the most was that he never cut his heroine any slack. He never cheated the story on her behalf. When she was good, she was realistically good, and when she was bad, she was just as real, at times horrid. I must admit I really hated her at one point, when she did something I could not excuse, whatever her reasons. But I never stopped loving her, or rooting for her; I even catch myself wondering how she's doing now. The book does more than tug at your heartstrings, though. Lamb has crafted a artful work that challenges as it entertains.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 in Dolores'life.

The only thing I vaguely didn't like (and I can't even really blame the author) was that it took awile, for me atleast, to get to know Dolores and figure out why her story was one to tell. But it definatly was.

SHE'S COME UNDONE deals with controversial topics such as suicide, rape, and homosexuality.

This book was very well written and Lamb wrote in the voice of a female very convincingly. I never really hated Dolores though I never really liked her either, she did some things that I do not agree with. Despite all that, I could somehow relate to her.

My favorite character was Mr.Pucci. He just seemed really nice, sweet, and supportive.

SHE'S COME UNDONE is a story of madness but also of learning. I truly enjoyed this book as much as a person could as a book dealing with this kind of subject matter.

Reviewed by Callie at Handle Like Hendrix
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wally Lamb is a magnificent writer, and the fact that this was written from a woman's point of view, just makes it all the more better.
She's Come Undone is the second book I've read by this author, I Know This Much Is True being the first. His books seem to me to be so touching and realistic.
This is the story of a young girl in search of happiness. The relationship between her parents is terrible,she was raped, she's extremely overweight, she has no boyfriend, and later she desperately wants a baby. All these things make her very unhappy and depressed. If only she could change a few things she knew she'd be happy.
When it happens that she's no longer overweight, and has the boyfriend she always wanted, she finds that she still has no
happiness. As the book proceeds, and at the end, she discovers
that the happiness she was searching for, all along, was there
all the the time. You just have to know where to look.
I loved this book, and I'm sure it won't be the last time I read it. Since I can give it no more, I'll give it 5 stars:)
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By A Customer on June 20 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm usually not one for anything I'm "told" to read (Oprah, New York Times bestseller lists, etc) but this one is an exception. My first thought on reading about the premise of this book was, "Oh, no. Surely not." I couldn't imagine myself being taken with a novel that deals with a two-hundred-something pound girl, let alone one who has the myriad problems she has. But the most intriuging aspect of Lamb's book is that Doleres Price is a real person. Well, not literally, but the way Lamb paints her, she's a lot like one of those people we've all met at one time or another--and probably looked the other way. She's flesh and blood (and a lot of it, by the way) and the delving into the psyche that Lamb provides via Doleres is just, well, amazing. Well written, with eccentric yet believable characters, like McCrae's "Bark of the Dogwood" or Boyle's "Drop City" this unique achievement deserves all the accolades it has received. A truly stellar performance from the master himself. Many writers spend their time creating idealized versions of themselves - book shelves are crammed with protagonists who are smarter, prettier and more sensitive than anyone around them. How refreshing to meet a character who is human, with all the shortcomings of anyone walking down the street. Thank God for Wally Lamb and his eccentric, remarkable, and brilliant books. Would also recommend "The Bark of the Dogwood" for another excellent read dealing with abuse, psychological difficulties and humor. Great fun.
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