Tuesday, May 1, 2012

She's Come Undone Book and Future Movie Review

Rating: 5

Hi Everyone!

I hope if you have not read this book yet that you will! This is in my library of MUST HAVES. Please share your review.  I'd also like to discuss why this book HAS NOT been made into a movie, if it should, and who you would like to see cast.

If you have not read this book yet, I want you to know the subject matter that is covered: betrayal, once incident of rape, divorce, depression, mental illness, emotional eating/obesity, extreme low self-esteem.  But there is also hope, funny moments,  love, determination, and a very positive ending.  It's an extremely powerful coming of age story.

Of course this post is not without photos!  haha!  Some photos may not be the exact object from our story, but will give you an idea.

The story begins with Dolores watching two men bring in a
 brand new 1956 Emerson b & w TV.  This model is
a 1956 Motorola color TV.

America's first reality TV show! "Queen for a Day"

Catholic parochial School

1962 White convertible Buick Skylark
The car Dolores's mom buys instead of going to her job interview.

1969 Fashion--around Dolores's 17/18 birthday.

I will add more as the story continues.

GREAT article interviewing Wally Lamb here!!

Possible movie in development here!

Wellfleet, Cape Cod

Completely jumping ahead, but one of the most beautiful
moments in the book, for me.  It's not just about the surfacing of the 
whale, but the entire beautiful story that
has led to this incredible resolution. Oh Dolores, how I love you!


Toni Collette as Dolores: has an amazing resume of incredible characters.
She is beautiful but can be understated.  I imagine her with all the snide, one liner comebacks as
well as the ever loving, and caring Dolores we get
at the end of the book

My version of older Roberta (minus the black wig):
Cloris is/was the only one who comes to mind that I think could 
really pull off this character. She could
give those jogging suits a run for their money! hahaha!!!!
Cloris is a broad and could pull off tough/gentle Roberta with ease.

Jessica Lange as Grandma.  Loved her in...well pretty
much everything.  I think she would do a tremendous job.
Here she is in Gray Gardens.  If we were back in the 80s, early 90s, I would love to see her as Dolores's mom, Bernice.

Stanley Tucci as Fabio Pucci.  Ok, yes, I realize it may
have occured to me because the 
last names rhyme, but I love the man.
Again, I have adored him in everything and I KNOW he would do an excellent job 
with Fabio.



Still working on the rest.


  1. Let me just state for the record that IF this movie really comes to pass, it seems they have picked a FANTASTIC director (just look at his credits), Lamb has written the screenplay (every author should), and I think this would be an excellent, award winning role for Reese (should she truly be considered for Dolores).

  2. Good morning new and returning readers!

    Well I finally have a quiet moment to sit down and begin my review of SCU.

    Let me begin with my thoughts about the author, Wally Lamb. This was the first book I read by him and I was completely surprised and incredibly impressed with his ability to write from a woman's perspective that never wavered. And not just any woman, but a very complex individual who's lifetime spanned the book. His talent to get into the mind of a young, troubled, lonely, depressed, hopeful young woman is so well defined, that I have had the pleasure of reading this book 5 times now and it's still as remarkable as the first read through.

    His other books are from the male perspective and are just as riveting. I think it demonstrates exceptional talent when an author can write a perspective of the opposite sex with truth. I think Paullina did an incredible job writing Alexander. He is such a man in her books and she captured his masculinity and emotions so well as a female writer.

    What are your thoughts?

  3. I think I will start reviewing aspects of the story before I can delve into my overall interpretation and thoughts regarding the story and the characters. However, I'm sure I will blend them without trying. :)

    I give this book a solid 5. Yes the material can be very difficult for some readers who may have first hand experience with some of the situations Dolores finds herself. However, each moment in her life is very poignant for her overall metamorphosis. While reading I could not only sympathize but empathize with Dolores. Sometimes I just wanted to reach through my book and hug her as I read what she was thinking and wanted to say, but as she opened her mouth, something not true or hurtful came out so as to keep her emotionally protected. I truly, truly love Dolores. I believe Mr. Lamb giving us insight into her thoughts and feelings endearing despite the things she said or did to manipulate others. It was a defense mechanism for a young girl who had no one to truly guide her out of her hole.

    So yeah...word vomit...I give it a 5. :)

  4. 1956. My mom graduated in 1955 and I have her year book showing all the hipsters and booknerds. :) Loved the fashions and so as I visualized 4 year old Dolores, she was wearing pedal pushers and had ringlet ponytails.

    It seemed at the start of the book her parents seemed happy. Again "seemed" happy. I felt the devastation for her mom when they lost the baby so far into the pregnancy. I know what it's like to lose one early on, but so close to giving birth...I cannot fathom it. Today, we are very vocal about getting women to discuss miscarriage and provide so many resources. But back then, there was nothing and as Dolores' grandma says something along the lines of "she just needs to forget about it." HA! If society tells you to just shove pain deep down, you can guarantee I too would have a nervous breakdown like Bernice! Not to mention that her husband is cheating on her at the same time....Yeaaaahhhhh...

    Ok...my quiet moments are up, so I will have to come back later this evening.

  5. Ok, so this week has completely taken a hold of my life. I still have so much to say! I hope all of you who are reading along with us or have finished the book have enjoyed it. :)

  6. I'm back...for now. :)

    I have to hand it to Lamb for bringing in the metaphorical and physical whale into this story.

    Still have not finished reading the book (fifth time, you would think I would know everything that goes on, but I do forget), but from what I can gather, there are at least 4 episodes where the whales are mentioned.

    At the beginning of the story, Dolores's dad mentions whales that he didn't get to see. Then during Dolores's breakdown, she witnesses a whale dying on the beach and later goes out to swim by it long after it has been dead. Then there is a reference to surfacing or plunging at one of her sessions with Dr. Shaw. And then there is the ending that...oh my gosh...seriously, I worship Wally Lamb for the way he ends his stories. I cry every single time I read Dolores's triumphant ending!!!

    Anyway, I feel that every time Lamb brings up whales in his book, it is purposely timed with how 1) Dolores feels about herself, and 2) where she is at that point in her life. Aside from the story her dad tells her, I have my own little theories to the whale mentionings.

    Just before Dolores took off to Cape Cod, she killed Dottie's fish when it was really Dolores who wanted to die. She tried cutting her wrists, but then turned on the fish. When she witnesses the whales dying, I saw it as Dolores dying inside and when she swam out to the dead whale, she felt relief. Not because the whale was dead, but...OB, can you help me out with what I'm trying to say??? :)

    When Dr. Shaw asks if they are going to surface or plunge and Dolores says plunge, it's because she is not ready to surface. She has so much past life to get out on the table and work out before she can be whole and move on with her life to be happy. And wow, does she ever. I have such a dear love for this character because holy crap! This woman deals with some of the worst blows that life could ever hand her and eventually she does overcome these obstacles.

    It is then at the end of the book that she is the only one to witness a whale surfacing out in the ocean. I feel it is so poignant that it is her and ONLY her witnessing this incredible moment in time because I feel this is Dolores's "surfacing". She has broken through the horrendous waves and this is her moment to say, "I did it!" It's like watching a mirror image. She needed to witness this surfacing and by golly if I'm not tearing up just writing about it.

    I probably could have written this so much more eloquently, but my free time is limited and I had to squeeze in this comment.

    Gosh, there is still so much I want to discuss...

  7. Making notes of what I want to discuss before I forget:

    1) favorite or memorable quotes

    2) supporting characters

    3) Dolores

    4) actors I would like to see bring this book to life

    5) I know there was something else, and now I forgot...hahaha!!!!

    1. I will have to answer these Q tomorrow.

    2. My fav quotes:There are so many but I will give u a few that really made me laugh out loud or made me think deeper.

      Pg. 398-Delores: "You see Dante, people don't fall so neatly into the categories you put them in-heroes and villians, unfettered and-what? fettered? In some ways, Dante, your the one who's uncomplicated."

      Pg. 405-Mr. Buchbinder: "Did you vote for the peanut man or the ecduh?"

      Pg. 423-Delores: "Yeah, well life's a shit sandwich," I said. "Deal with it."

    3. Hahaha!!! I'm going to refer to all actors as "ecduhs" from now on!

      I loved those last two quotes as well. I have a ton, but don't have my book handy. I will come back.

    4. haven't found all my quotes yet, but let me talk about the supporting cast:

      Jack Speight: Effing a-hole! Fun, flirty, handsome, and a pedophile rapist who is so self-centered it makes you want to puke. Whoever they cast better draw us in and then make us want to chew him up and spit him out!!!

      Dottie: I actually had a lot of compassion for Dottie. She was picked on because of her weight and sexuality. All she wanted was someone to love and in the end she gets screwd over by Dolores as well. I often wonder how Lamb would have written a scene where Dolores apologizes to Dottie in some way.

      Roberta: crass, saucy, rough around the edges and amazing. She's the kind of gal your mom didn't want you to hang around because she's got some crazy life experience, but she's got a heart of gold and very loyal. I loved young and old Roberta. I loved that despite her exterior, she would be the one to say, "It's okay to make mistakes. Don't dwell on them. Enjoy life and be the best you can." She's the one who would actually listen to you as you poured from your heart.

      Mr. Pucci: I love Mr. Pucci. So positive and caring. He just wanted to make a difference in the world and yet had to keep his life so private for fear of physical harm for his sexuality.

      Of several fictional characters, I would want to dine with Dolores, Roberta, and Mr. Pucci. What a party!

      Ok, I still need to talk about Bernice, Grandma, Dante, and Thayer.

  8. Ok, obviously if this movie is made, they aren't going to cast who I want. But I just wanted to give you an idea of some actors/actresses that I think would do a fantastic job. Honestly, just like TBH, I don't think there should be any real big hoity-toity contemporary Hollywood names. I think it would ruin the authenticity. I know Reese has been circulated as the future Dolores, but after having read it AGAIN, I don't know. I think Reese has done excellent work, but I don't know if she is strong enough to play such a complex, disturbed, physical character. She can't let any of that "Sweet American Girl" come through. I was actually thinking of...Toni Collette. Is that how you spell it? Gha, I can't remember. I will discuss her later.

    1. Let me state, if Reese should get the role, this would be an incredible opportunity and a golden opportunity to take her career in an entirely new and more challenging direction.

  9. Hi LB-

    Let me say I absolutely loved this book. I like your cast so far. Who do u see playing Delores's first husband? I would imagine they would need to have numerous actresses to play Delores given she goes from a child to a middle age adult. I love Toni Collete and think she could really do the part justice. ITA about Reese.

    1. Oh man, good question! I'm really stuck with Dante and Thayer. I've already cast Jack in my head (I'm sure you can guess who. haha!), but haven't found the right pics. I'm really bad with the male actors as far as I draw a blank. I need to just go through a list of actors until I go "ah-ha!!!"

      As for as Dolores, yes, I think they would need at least 3: child, teen, and then adult. Even if Toni played young college Dolores, with CGI these days, they could make her look younger (ala Benjamin Button). Every time I read one of D's cracks and witty comebacks, Toni was the first person.

      Who would you pick for Bernice?

    2. Who would I select for Bernice? Ill have to come back to that Q.

    3. Charlize Theron. Ok, I am not one for a huge mega star cast, but if it's the right talent (and I mean talent, not celebrity status), then I have no qualms.

      I just finished watching "The Burning Plain" with Charlize Theron. Ok, after having seen her get ugly and fat in "Monster", pull off a very depressed, grieving woman in TBP, and has other great roles on her belt.

      She's just the right age and has the wide acting range of emotions. In TBP, she has a monologue at the end that made me think, "Yep, Bernice." That scene reminds me of her last moments when she just falls apart on Dolores.

      She can be the beautiful Bernice; overweight, mentally unstable Bernice, and trying to pull it together and make life work for her but still can't quite grasp it Bernice. Plus she looks like a younger Jessica Lange...

  10. LB-
    Fantastic pictures and research!! LOVE IT!!

    1. hahaha!!! Thanks. Not a ton of research but enough to give you a sense of the decades. I'm still working on the second half of the book. Dang, I still have yet to come back and address all the notes I made for myself. :(

  11. OB,

    I know this book stirs up a lot of different emotions and memories for people, but I would like to know: how did you feel about and FOR Dolores as the end of the book? Especially that last moment with her.

    1. I think she finally found the secret to life. She stated earlier in her writing class. "I think the secret is to just settle for the shape your life takes." pg. 433

  12. Question for all: at the end of the story, Thayer plays a song "She's Come Undone" and Dolores reflects on what that means to her. Now even if that part was not included, how do you think the title and Dolores's life were intermingled? How did Dolores come undone?

  13. k, the actor for Thayer is killing me! I can't think of anyone because my imagination sucks! I'm looking at all these different actors over 6 feet tall and I'm trying ot imagine glasses and tight curly blonde hair and I can't do it!!!! ARGH!!!

    Ok, just throwing out names: Hugh Jackman, Clive Owen, Colin firth, joe manganiello...OB, HELP ME!!! hahaha!!!! :)

    1. John C. Reilly...John C. McGinley, Stephen Segal...wait, what?? hahahaha!!!! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Continuing on...Leiv Shreiber,...and that's it for now. :)

    2. Came to me in the night: Jessica Chastain for Bernice as well. Loved in in The Help and Tree of Life. Definitely think she could do Bernice justice.

  14. I think this book would make an incredible movie. The spectrum of life experience and emotions is so vast, that anyone who reads the book or sees the movie would be able to connect in some way. Just look at any of the themes and you have either experienced one or more or have known people who have. Even how Dolores responds to her situations may be recognizable in yourself.

    I think this book/movie shows us how despite the harsh and crappy realities of this world, it doesn't have to control us. We can overcome and be happy. Plus, I think it is a great example of female empowerment. Despite the turmoil Dolores goes through most of the book, you can see the fire in her. You can see her fighting subconsciously and eventually she conquers her fears and demons. She's not 100% but she knows how to not let her past control her present and future and that's something we all need to learn.

  15. I'm still working on my favorite quotes and Dolores review. Summer has started and I've been busy with the kiddos and their activities. Still here, just...stupid time restrictions. :)

  16. i love the book so much. i read it 1999 and since then 5 times again at least. toni collette is perfect for the role, maybe just a little to old. i can imagine mayim bialik or kate winslet too. is this movie really coming out then or what??? sorry for my writing i am german...

    1. Hello! Thank you for your comment. I'm so glad you love the book too! Yes, Toni is perfect but alas, I think you are right in that she is too old. Damn. I don't know about Mayim Bialik...she could possible do it. This is definitely a role of a lifetime for any actress. The intensity of the life events plus the range of growth we see in Dolores is not one for an amateur actress.

      As for the movie, as far as I know NOTHING is happening. I mean maybe we have some big HW heavyweights discussing it behind closed doors, but as far as the public knowing anything, there isn't anything. I wish I had better news for you. :(

      Thanks again for posting! I hope to see you around some more. :)