- Oprah's Book Club Selection
She's Come Undone Mass Market Paperback – Jun 1 1998
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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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Also recommended: Fall on Your Knees and the novel Bark of the Dogwood
Now I will admit that I don't usually go for tear-jerkers. I've had to deal with a lot of tragedy in my early life (loss of a parent) and don't really need anything to jog my memory. Still I can take serious literature, but for some reason the idea of reading this novel again (or finishing it) fills me with horror. I get the same gut reaction (to wretch) from this book that I get from "The Red Badge of Courage."
It just seems so morbid to read a book about someone who for a majority of the book has literally NO REASON TO LIVE. Why vicariously glimpse a life that is not even pathetic, just horrible... If you like this sort of My-life-is-so-bad-my-mother-never-loved-me tangle, be my guest. ...
Great cover art though, no question.
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
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
Most recent customer reviews
This honest and gritty story blew my mind. I was heart broken as I read and was deeply moved. I cheered from my armchair as I saw the transformation occur. Amazing work. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I don't even know why this book captivated me so much but I could NOT put it down. Thank you Mr. Lamb.Published 18 months ago by Linda B.
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. Read morePublished on May 22 2013 by Scarlett
one of my best books in the last few years. I just kept reading and wondering what would happen. Not at all boring.Published on May 21 2013 by Christina Schellenberg