Thursday, February 05, 2009

Story of O - Pauline Reage

Rating : 2.5/5
Number of Pages : 287
Format : Erotic Fiction Novel
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge

O is taken one day without discussion by her lover Rene to Roissy. It is a place full of S&M and O is to be the new slave. There she is kept naked but for a collar and wrist cuffs, open to be abused by anyone in any way they see fit. This is mostly carried out by having sex with O in a number of different ways and orafices as well as frequent whippings. She is passed around by her lover, beaten and humiliated. No matter how much she cries or begs, no one will take pity on her. All that keeps her going is knowing Rene loves her and that she loves him.

One discharged from Roissy she goes back home to her career as a photographer. She takes a symbol of Roissy (an iron and gold ring) that she must wear at all times and if anyone recognises it's symbolism they are at liberty to use her as they would at Roissy. People recognise a change in her clothing (she is never allowed to wear any underwear or a bra and must always wear clothes that open easily so no buttons) and manner. She develops feelings for one of her models Jacqueline and Rene encourages her to seduce her with a view to recruiting her to Roissy. Rene also passes her to a new Master Sir Stephen who takes her even further on her internal journey. He also puts his marks upon her which once placed on O are permanent.

Now this is not the first novel of S&M I have read and is by no means my first experience in that world. Saying that I found this quite a hard read. It was more like torture than reading about an erotic experience. I didn't like O's attitude the further into her journey she got. I found much of it to be ugly and distasteful. On the other hand the sections where O is out of the S&M side of the story the book is very beautiful and sensual, there are some lovely passages and descriptions. I also liked that there were two beginnings and two endings to the tale.


chrisa511 said...

I bought this one awhile ago because I wanted to see what it was like...seeing as how controversial it is. It sounds like it may be too disturbing even for my tastes though! It may wind up on Bookmooch now :/

Unknown said...

I almost hate to admit I've read this (partly). Just because of all the hoopla, I wanted to know what it was like. Plus when I was a kid I remember my parents talking hush-hush about the movie. I couldn't stomach it so I read only about half of it.

Ana S. said...

I've always been curious about this book. Like Chris, I want to know what the fuss is all about :P Even knowing I might end up not enjoying it I'm still curious!

Robin said...

I read this book many years ago and found it fascinating and disturbing. It's not one you ever forget.

Jill said...

I read this book years ago, too - in fact, I'd completely forgotten about it till I saw your review! I remember having the same sort of reaction to the book as you - some passages were wonderful, but other parts were disturbing and infuriating. Yes, definitely not one you'd forget!