Monday, August 14, 2006

The Love Machine by Jacqueline Susann (1969)

In 1966, Jacqueline Susann shocked the publishing world when her novel Valley of the Dolls, an expose on Hollywood starlets and their experiences with fame, men and "dolls" (sleeping pills), became a #1 mega blockbuster sensation and one of the bestselling novels of all time (it was also made into a 1967 Hollywood film that became a campy cult classic).

In 1969, Susann followed up Valley of the Dolls with her second bestseller, The Love Machine, which includes a brief reference to Scranton. Set in the world of television broadcasting, The Love Machine centers around Robin Stone, a smart and sexy television executive who's climbing the corporate ladder and breaking the hearts of many women along the way.

More than halfway through the book on page 325, Robin is wandering around the streets of New York City and is approached by a prostitute.

"She smiled too. 'Fifty bucks and I got a room.'
'I got a better offer down the street.'
She shrugged. 'Elsie's breaking in a new one. She's turned only three tricks since she got here. And from what I hear, she still belongs back with the coal miners in Scranton.' "

The Love Machine was another bestseller for Susann. She published one final bestselling novel, Once is Not Enough, before her untimely death from breast cancer in 1974. Another novel, Delores, was published posthumously.

Jacqueline Susann was the first novelist to have three consecutive #1 bestsellers.

Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine (as well as her other novels Valley of the Dolls - and Rae Lawrence's 2002 sequel Shadow of the Dolls - Once is Not Enough, and Delores) is available to borrow from libraries throughout the Lackawanna County Library System.