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Valley of the Dolls

Narrated by: Laverne Cox
Length: 17 hrs and 39 mins
3.8 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Summary

Before Jackie Collins, Candace Bushnell and Lena Dunham, Jacqueline Susann held the world rapt with her tales of the private passions of Hollywood starlets, high-powered industrialists and the jet set. 

Valley of the Dolls took the world by storm when it was first published 50 years ago. Never had a book been so frank about sex, drugs and show business. It is often cited as the best-selling novel of all time. 

Dolls - red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer, it doesn't matter as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry. 

Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there's nowhere left to go but down - to the Valley of the Dolls. 

©1966 Tiger, LCC (P)2018 Audible, Inc

Critic reviews

"About the most fun you can have without a prescription!" (Julie Burchill)

"Much imitated, but never bettered." (Daily Telegraph)

"Decades ahead of its time.... Mesmerizing.... The equation of emotional dependencies with drug addiction in one comprehensive personality disorder is, if anything, more chic today." (Village Voice)

"Jackie, it seemed, understood by instinct that her readers were ready for the raw side of love...for a franker sexuality and a tougher kind of story - for romance with tears and oral sex." (Michael Korda, The New Yorker)

What listeners say about Valley of the Dolls

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An all time favourite

loved the story but found the narrator difficult to listen to and irritating. a real shame.

9 people found this helpful

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A poor choice of narrator

One of my ALL TIME favourite books, but Cox is hard to understand and completely infuriating as the narrator. I’m a big fan of Cox in OITNB and I was excited to see her take on audio narration, but I’m sad to say it’s not her path. I gave up about 30 minutes in, if I hadn’t read the book 2-3 times, I’d never of known what happened in that half an hour

7 people found this helpful

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not a narrator

great story, terrible story teller, try not to let that put you off. the book has aged well.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book, terrible narration

I bought this title after listening to the abridged Radio 4 version, which I think is read by Madeleine Potter. It is cool, perfectly read, almost in a Mad Men way, with a softness that brought forth each character's different personalities without overly dramatising them. BUT- Laverne Cox's reading of this book is just - inappropriate. She's just totally wrong for this book, although her voice is full of warmth and character, it strays into abrasive screeching and cartoonish shrieking that I just couldn't associate with the ice-cool Anne, or Neely, who is supposed to have a wonderful voice. And the pronunciation of Lyon as "Lion" not Lee-on really starts to grate. Most of the book sounds like it's being read for comic effect, particularly the (mercifully few) sex scenes, and halfway through it just got so annoying to hear a great book being mashed up like this. I haven't been so disappointed in a reading since Tyrion suddenly went from Yorkshire to Welsh in "a Game of Thrones"... The book itself is a wonderfully modern tale of ambition, relationships and sex in New York, fuelled in the latter part by "dolls", the red pills the characters begin to rely on. Although spanning the late 1940s to 60s, the stories of boyfriends and husbands, which must have been very racy in their day, still have a lot to say about relationships. I struggled to stick with it though.

4 people found this helpful

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Meh

Some entertaining parts, but I was surprised at how bland the characters were. Cox’s voice for Neely is painful to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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wonderful book, awful narrator!

I love this book, it's one of my all time favourites but unfortunately the narration is probably one of the worst I have experienced. I returned this title because I couldn't stand to listen to it any further, such a shame as it's a fantastic book ruined by such bad narration!

2 people found this helpful

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The worst narrator since the creation of audible

I've never listen to a book and felt straight out angry about it. Specifically, the narrator. First to say I liked Cox in OITNB, I have nothing against her as an actress but My OH My was this painful! I'm genuinely interested to know who is the person who listened to this and approved it? I can't imagine anyone in their right mind listening to this and not wanting to cut off their ears. It's downright painful. The most accurate explanation of the narration is the way you pretend to be a barbie doll when you play with kids, LIP SMACKING included for added sassiness! Basically made a mockery of the book and its characters. Cox should've been informed that this is now a classic, not a contemporary chick flick. Absolute abomination.

1 person found this helpful

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Lion, Lion,Lion!!!

Just no. I’m sorry, but this was the wrong choice for narration. Did no one in production think to correct the character name? Lion instead of Lyon (Lee-on) this makes it extremely distracting and annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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Love the book, defo worth listening to.

Took a while to get used to narrator, worth the perseverance. Neely's accent is irritating.

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Great book, bad narration

What can I say about this one? If you haven’t read it yet…then why the hell not?! Stop reading this and go get yourself a copy! It is… everything. It is so glamorous and filled with humour. There aren’t any happy endings here but watching the three main characters climb the mountain then fall into the valley of the dolls is worth it! You will love them and root for them whilst you despise them and judge them. It is addictive, scandalous, trash…and also a total classic! I describe chick-lit as sweeties for your brain… this is more like a Martini. Also, I hate to admit this… but ever since I first read this in my teens, I have been a little bit in love with Lyon! * a note of the narration. i love her as an actress but ot just didn't work here. my husband heard some and asked wtf i was listening to... also he's not called lion. sigh

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-10-19

Good book, poorly narrated

The book gives a good insight to Hollywood in the 40s, 50s and 60s. The narration was poor though. It was stilted and definitely didn't flow; because of this, it seemed that the book to ages to finish.