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She's Come Undone (Oprah's Book Club)
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Product Description

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.

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.

Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded 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 orbits 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 she really goes under.

Customer Reviews:

  • A journey to healing and acceptance
    I read half of this book one night i couldn't sleep, and i decided not to read it fully. It was just too depressing. But then a month later, i was sick and bedridden, and i picked it up again, and finished it that day. I am glad i did.

    The first half of the book describes the trauma which Dolores, the heroine will spend the rest of the book to overcome. Don't expect that afterwards all will be "and they lived happily ever after". It is more close to reality than some fairy tale story: "and they learned to live with the reality" is a more appropriate ending.

    The biggest surprise in reading this book, is that is written by a man, from a female's perspective and Mr Lamb did a good job in my opinion. It is the journey of a female to healing and acceptance. Worth a read. ...more info
  • anything but funny
    After literally years of not reading a novel because I just didn't have time, I wanted a good read.

    I picked this book up on an impulse, never having heard of Wally Lamb.

    Throughout the misery of this book with a thoroughly unlikeable heroine, I kept thinking how strange it was that a woman (assuming Wally Lamb was female) would write something like this - neither I nor any woman I know would have thought, reacted or felt this way.

    Well - once I finished (and the ending is LAME, to say the least!), the last page revealed that Wally Lamb is a middle-aged man with a family, which at least explained that part.

    It was well written, if clich¨¦d and predictable, but sickeningly graphic in parts. As for funny - unless you revel in seeing people heading for disaster and being jerks, I don't really see what's funny about it all.
    ...more info
  • This was written by a man?!?
    After having finished "She's Come Undone" I had a hard time believing it was written by a man. That just goes to show how fully Wally Lamb infests himself in his writing, and the finished work shows this dedication. This book has everything laughter, joy, and sadness. It's hard to put this book into a category because it touches so many levels. It is wonderfully written and turned me into a big Wally Lamb fan. This book had the ability to touch my heart or "Undo" it which few books were able to do. Read it!!! ...more info
  • Another Awful Oprah Selection...
    I would say this is the worst book I've ever read, but that wouldn't be true, so I did give it two stars even though I was itching to give it one.

    If you like books about the people who never fit in, are kind of mean, are clinically depressed, have f---ed up families, who are clueless about why their lives are as awful as they are, or truly enjoyed the Confederacy of Dunces...then this is the book for you.

    The author took way way way (did I say way) too much time adding in tons of details, making the character's life more and more pathetic. This book could have been half as long as it was. And what is with the Whales? Other than a metephor for unhappy fat people which seems trite?

    I'm not sure if I'm glad or annoyed that at least there was a happy ending to this tale. I did not feel that the character went through real growth, but instead just grew fed up. Maybe that's considered growth.

    There were only two highlights for me in this book. When she finds him cheating and eating a hotdog and when she breaks up with him at Burger King. Other than that I felt that reading this book was just a waste of time....more info
  • To be read again and again
    I first bought this book when I was a teenager. I lent it to a friend, who lost it, so I recently re-bought it to read again. This was either my third or fourth time reading it.

    I found that, as I had suspected, this book would still strike a chord with me in my mid-twenties, but in a different way. As a teenager, I identified with Delores's angst and sarcastic armor, and now I identify with the parts of the book in which she grows into a woman. Of course, being able to identify with the character is certainly not the only reason I continue to love this book.

    As many have said, despite the depressing (and sometimes downright horrifying) events of Delores's life, she still manages to evoke a tremendous sense of humor (albeit dark humor most of the time). This book will make you laugh, make you cry . . . The symbolism of the whales in the book is beautiful and simple. As a person who didn't really "get" symbolism in high school, the symbols were easy to recognize and relate throughout the story. This is a wonderful read for those interested in psychology/sociology, because the reader picks up on things about Delores that she herself doesn't yet recognize.

    Some may find this book somewhat disturbing. There is a lot of swearing and sex, but none of it gratuitous. It is all necessary for you to understand the beautiful and complex person that is Delores Price. I recommend this book to anyone--male or female--who has ever felt tremendous pain and wants to feel validated (and who is not easily offended!).

    In conclusion, this is a book which I will continue to read until well in my 30's (and probably beyond, if the book lasts that long!), because each time I get something different and new out of it....more info
  • In my top 5 favorite books
    Wally Lamb's best book. This is a book I can relate to and when I read it several years ago, I loved it and then somehow lost my copy. I bought this one as it is a book I wanted to read over and over. It is just as good the second time around. The characters are ones you may not agree with at all times but you certainly understand and can relate to them. Excellent book...a must have for everyone's library....more info
  • Timeless
    I first read this book when I was 14 years old and recently re-read it (more than 10 years later). I can't imagine not owning this book.

    Wally Lamb is a genius and extent to which his main character, a woman, is believable is almost disturbing. I have never seen a man write with such accuracy the complexity of any female character. Dolores isn't a "romantic", a "sporty tom boy", a "psycho", popular, a nerd, or any other label normally applied to the heroine in a male author's book.

    She is a "good guy", a heinous monster, a hero, mentally ill, incredibly intelligent, etc. The situations are real, even when they are painfully graphic. The motif of the whale is powerful...

    All around, this is a great book and quite possibly my favorite novel....more info
  • small spoiler
    My mom suggested I read this book and when I seen the title and that it was written by a man I'm sorry to say that my first thought was oh boy one of those women hater books. But I figured I'd give it a chance and am I glad I did. I was so pleased with this book. The author really did a great job of getting into the mind set of these women characters of his book. I was so please with the out come. I caught myself jumping up and cheering with her at the end. She had made it and I was so happy for her. :)
    I think this is a great book. I suggest it to everyone I know. I don't judge books by their cover any more :) ...more info
  • Not a good read if you are depressed or have anxiety!!
    I started this book months ago, put it down, read all my other books, and finally read it out of desperation. Once I got past the first few chapters it was hard to put down. I kept hoping that Delores's life would perk up, but when it seemed to be getting better everything would fall apart again. There are TOO many depressing events to process. Unfortunately this book has left me with a ton of anxiety and a lump in my throat. I do like the author's style of writing and this is why I give this a two star. I can't imagine why anyone would say this book is "hilarious." Obviously, that individual didn't read this book cover to cover....more info
  • this is the fifth time i read this
    i read this book when it first came out....every once in a while i'll re read it. i learned alot from dolores price. great book to be enjoyed over and over again....not only a "chick" book...my husband was moved by the story as well....more info
  • Saddest Book Ever
    Wow, all the reviewers who used the adjective "hilarious" to describe this book need to have their heads examined. Everything bad that could possibly happen in this book happened. It is full of sadness and tells the story of girl who never seems to get life. Yes, she does find love in the last few chapters of the book, but that does not make up for the 400 something other pages of pain and misery. I don't mind books with adversity in them, but I like to be left with a sense of hope in the end, not relief that the book is finally over!

    I would give a short summary of the plot, but I wouldn't know where to begin. Perhaps I will just give a short list of some of the horrible things that happen in the story, either to the main character or supporting characters. Baby miscarriage, wife beating, mental illness, neglect, rape, failed marriages due to cheating spouses (yes I did mean that in the plural sense), obesity which leads to self loathing and other things, abortion forced by a father who didn't want the child, and last but not least, every supporting character that means anything to the main character ends up dying, usually in a horrible way....more info
  • Still My Favorite Book!
    I read this when it first came out and again many many times since. Every time I read it, I feel like it is the first time and I get so wrapped up in Dolores Price again. I read this book when I need to see that life could be worse. I read it when I need a laugh. I read it when I need a cry. I keep waiting for another new one from Wally Lamb. Soon, I hope. ...more info
  • She's Come Undone
    It is obvious that this is Lamb's first novel. I had a hard time identifying with Dolores, the main character. Although her childhood into early adulthood went through many phases, each phase was severely fragmented and her persona was disconnected. Lamb made a valient effort, but it was painfully evident that this woman's character was written by a man. Characters came into the plot, would play a substantial part, and then just disappear. I made myself finish the book, but overall it was difficult to get through. I do not doubt that Lamb has improved as a writer, as his books have generally gotten good reviews - for me, however, his first effort just fell too short. ...more info
  • Saddest Book Ever
    Wow, all the reviewers who used the adjective "hilarious" to describe this book need to have their heads examined. Everything bad that could possibly happen in this book happened. It is full of sadness and tells the story of girl who never seems to get life. Yes, she does find love in the last few chapters of the book, but that does not make up for the 400 something other pages of pain and misery. I don't mind books with adversity in them, but I like to be left with a sense of hope in the end, not relief that the book is finally over!

    I would give a short summary of the plot, but I wouldn't know where to begin. Perhaps I will just give a short list of some of the horrible things that happen in the story, either to the main character or supporting characters. Baby miscarriage, wife beating, mental illness, neglect, rape, failed marriages due to cheating spouses (yes I did mean that in the plural sense), obesity which leads to self loathing and other things, abortion forced by a father who didn't want the child, and last but not least, every supporting character that means anything to the main character ends up dying, usually in a horrible way....more info
  • Couldnt put it down!
    Very easy read. Could not put this book down. Didn't realize it was a male author until half way through book. Very surprising. ...more info
  • Wow!
    I recently re-read this book for the first time since it came out in 1997 and I remember nearly nothing about it. Vague, general scenes of a woman in distress, but really none of the specifics.

    I think this book is amazing. Yes, I found myself frustrated throughout nearly the entire story. But isn't that the point? I think a good writer is one who is able to take you through a story and make you feel the feelings of the character.

    Yes, you wanted to shake Delores and wonder why she continued to hurt herself and the ones she loved and act like a doormat to the ones who hurt her. But I really felt the end was worth it. Get ready for a bumpy ride, folks, because you are gonna be jostled around like a rag doll!...more info
  • Spoiled me to other books
    There are plenty of summaries available about "She's Come Undone," so I won't do that here. Suffice it to say, this is the best book I have ever read. Since I read it 5 years ago, I have been searching for something I love as much. Only "Rabid" by T.J. Kenyon has come close. Is "She's Come Undone" depressing? I don't know, but it's one of the most real books I have ever read. Still, after 5 years, I can't get it out of my mind. I am ordering my 4th copy as every time I loan it out, I do not get it back. I have also read "I Know this Much is True" and I think "She's Come Undone" is far better. I honestly cannot get over this book....more info