22 July 2006
Books of 2006: Part 9 and 10: Icon and Valley of the Dolls
So, I finished Icon a long time ago, and basically waited to post a note about. So sue me. Anyway, liked Icon, but found the book took a long road to get to its point. It was also marketed in the same catagory as The Da Vinci Code, but really its just an old-fashion World War II thriller set in 2000.
I have always wanted to read Valley of the Dolls, if only because the movie version -considered by many to be a misfire - was camp at its highest.
Still, Susann is credited for starting the whole mass-market approach to book publishing, writing a scathing look at Hollywood. Its been reported that Susann based her three main female characters on Judy Garland (Neely), Grace Kelly (Anne) and Marilyn Monroe (Jennifer) and after learning of that, it really made the book interesting for me. Plus, while it was published 41 years ago, its tale of drug addiction, bed hopping and stars out of conrtol is still revelant today.
Still, I could see why many were shocked with what happenend in this book. While we were coming out of golden years after the end of World War II and sexual reveloution was upon us, 1965 was still, for some, a halcyon days. It was decades ahead of its times, really. No one in 1965 thought things like that happened, but they did and continue the same way today.
Her book, in 2006, is not as shocking, not as surprising, but it is a terribly good read. This is the grandmother of all beach books, but it is also a brilliantly written book that shines the light into the dark corners of fame.