TITLE: STORY OF O
AUTHOR: PAULINE RÉAGE
This is going to be a first. I read the book, I thought it was brilliant and yet I’m not going to post either a plot summary or very much about my thoughts on this book here. I’m sure that most people have heard about this book. I’m also sure that they know that this is a rather hardcore work of erotica. If some of the books I’ve reviewed here in the past might shock other readers, this book has all the elements to actually offend them. It all depends on the way you look at erotica in general and BDSM in particular. I find it ALL rather fascinating, as I did this book. Especially considering that this book was first published in the 1950’s. Suffice to say that if erotic fiction is not your thing or even if it is something you’re new to and not quite sure about yet, this is not the book for you.
Having said that, I found this to be an intriguing read. The story of this character only identified as O is unimaginable and impossible to identify with. And yet it is written in such a way that you almost feel as if you could understand her. In fact I found myself going through the same emotions as O was; I kept on thinking that things couldn’t possibly progress any further, that surely we had reached the most extreme point, only to be surprised by what followed. And like O I found that I could take more.
This book is written in a rather detached tone and yet shares the most intimate details. The sentences are constructed in the most beautiful way – although I’m convinced that they would work better in the original language, French – emotions are explored in excruciating detail and yet I can’t remember coming across a single word that might be considered coarse.
So, don’t read it if the subject matter is not to your taste. If however you do like erotic fiction and haven’t read this book yet, go and do so now. This book, together with the Sleeping Beauty books by Anne Rice paved the way for the modern wave of erotic writing. And it is wonderful to not only see where it all started, but also to discover that it started of with a very high standard of writing.