A swinging first novel about fast spending, free loving and despair among the jet-set celebrities of Broadway and Hollywood. Miss Susann spans 20 postwar years in the lives of three women who can be loosely categorized as Anne, the Face; Jennifer, the Body, and Neely, the Talent.
Each of the three achieved fame in her own way -- Anne doing high-priced commercials on television; Jennifer making nude movies in France, and Neely singing in nightclubs and films -- but none of them was able to attain happiness.
All three ultimately become devotees of the "dolls" of Miss Susann's title. The pills which a Broadway attorney who functions as a deus ex machina in the story describes as "standard equipment for this business."
Miss Susann's thesis is the not unfamiliar one that the pinnacle of stardom is a cold and lonely place, likely to destroy anyone who ascends to it. The point is not clearly made. Certainly stardom is self-destroying the one of her characters, but another is plagued by cancer and the third by an unfaithful husband -- afflictions not peculiar to show business.
-- United Press International
* www.valleyofthedolls.com: @
* "Actress-Writer's Best Seller Creates Furor in Hollywood" (UPI, August 1966): @
* "Happiness is Being Number 1" (Life magazine, August 19, 1966): @