Obsession: An Erotic Tale

Overview

The marriages of desire . . .

From the multitalented and versatile Gloria Vanderbilt comes a passionate, sensual, witty, and puzzling tale of erotic obsession, beauty, and revenge, told in tandem by two women obsessed with the same man—and, ultimately, with each other.

Talbot Bingham is a renowned architectural genius who, with his formidable wife, Priscilla, creates an architectural community. When he dies unexpectedly in the middle of their...

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Obsession: An Erotic Tale

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Overview

The marriages of desire . . .

From the multitalented and versatile Gloria Vanderbilt comes a passionate, sensual, witty, and puzzling tale of erotic obsession, beauty, and revenge, told in tandem by two women obsessed with the same man—and, ultimately, with each other.

Talbot Bingham is a renowned architectural genius who, with his formidable wife, Priscilla, creates an architectural community. When he dies unexpectedly in the middle of their tenth wedding anniversary celebration, the devastated Priscilla is left keeper of the flame of Talbot's genius. Going through her husband's archives, she comes unexpectedly upon a pile of neatly tied letters, and the shocking secret of her husband's intimate life—a discovery that shatters the foundation of her soul and spirit.

Obsession explores the mysteries of the human heart and the nature of sexuality and obsession, provoking questions about whom we choose to love, and why. The reader is left to decide if the other woman represents another facet of Priscilla, or if Priscilla her-self has invented the other woman who completed the world her husband so recently inhabited?

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Editorial Reviews

Joyce Carol Oates
“In her new novel, Gloria Vanderbilt has created a remarkable tapestry of human passion--an interior world of highly charged erotic mysteries that teasingly suggest, but ever elude, decoding. OBSESSION is a poetic tale on the nature of possession and obsession.”
The Daily Beast
“Warmth and zest and cheekiness...OBSESSION is erotica even your grandmother can love.”
Buffalo News
“‘Obsession’...evolves into a clever psychological puzzle...great fun
USA Today
“Leave it to Gloria Vanderbilt to design a sensual novel for the material girl...”
Arizona Republic
“Bee’s letters are carnal, kinky, pulpy, lewd...they’re threatening but enthralling...”
Publishers Weekly
As narrator of her sexually explicit work of fiction, Vanderbilt draws heavily on her polished, almost aristocratic annunciation. This approach seems fitting, given the story line centered on a fabulously wealthy architect's widow named Priscilla, who discovers her late husband's secret relationship with Bee, a kept woman specially trained in the art of erotic pleasure. The text consists mostly of Priscilla's simultaneously indignant and inquisitive reading of the steamy letters between the principals. Vanderbilt's narration keeps the initial plot elements moving efficiently, but once Priscilla takes the step of pursuing a meeting with Bee, it becomes difficult for listeners to distinguish among the characters. An Ecco hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 20). (July)
Library Journal
The plot is barely evident in this brief but dragged-out exploration of eroticism, revenge, grief, and boastfulness by octogenarian Vanderbilt, who has previously written four memoirs and two novels. Architect Talbot Bingham has left behind steamy letters from his mistress, Queen Bee, for his widow to discover, but what some might call erotic imagery could be considered repetitive soft porn by others. The author's reputation as a member of the prominent Vanderbilt family and the mother of CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper may draw readers to the print edition, but this audio version suffers from Vanderbilt's nonprofessional reading. Not recommended.—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061734892
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/23/2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,449,462
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gloria Vanderbilt is the author of four memoirs and two novels. She contributes to various publications, including the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle, and has received two honorary doctorates of Fine Arts. She lives in New York City.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2009

    Pretentious tripe

    Ms. Vanderbilt should stick to designing clothes. The book was completely unbelieveable and the detailed descriptions of the larger than life lifestyle was totall uncessary. I bought this book because the media was giving it rave reviews, but I see that it is just a ruse to sell copies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    Not very good.......

    I read the reviews that were on here about this book, and I gave it a try. I ordered it on-line, and was shocked when I received the book and it was less than 200 pages. Should have looked at it at the bookstore, because then I probably would not have bothered. I did not enjoy the sch called story, because there was not one. The characters were not interseting at all, and the plot was non-existant. It was not written well and it was to put it planely........junk. Do not waster your money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Uh, wow.

    Gloria Vanderbilt wrote this? Uh. Wow. It is one of the most intense books I have read in quite some time. I got so into it, I was done in no time and was left wanting more. I am happy I took the chance. A must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An entertaining, highly erotic and lyrical novel, of the least expected kind

    Written in prose so startlingly lyrical that it must have gushed, like a spring, from a lovelorn and wounded heart, this novel is astonishing beyond words. "Obsession: An Erotic Tale," is an unusual and titillating story of Talbot Bingham, a renowned, wealthy and successful architect, and Priscilla Bingham, his frustrated and sexually timid wife, and Bee, his mistress with whom he indulges in passionate but kinky sex.
    When Talbot suddenly dies while the couple was celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary, Priscilla discovers a cache of letters in Todd's archives. The letters were written by Bee, a mysterious woman with whom Talbot was indulging in passionate but painful and kinky sex.
    Those who indulge in kinky sex know, of course, that at a certain threshold human mind experiences and interprets pain as pleasure. Wallowing in such sexual acts seeking unspeakable thrills might temporarily quench the passion, but not the innate thirst for love, of the human heart. Pleasure and pain: seeking pain to experience pleasure, and experiencing pleasure while indulging in pain; it is as if this novel were affirming that even the kinky version of sex, like the image in a mirror, is a reflection of life it self. For isn't life but a journey, both pleasurable and painful at once, that only ends with the last breath?
    This novel is highly erotic; it is certainly not pornographic. Reading it can be slightly distressing at times, and it can even be uncomfortable for some squeamish at heart; but it is never boring. There isn't a single dull page in this entire novel. And as startling and lively as this novel is, it is even more startling that these lyrical words sprouted in the mind and gushed through the pen of the eighty-five year old author. Read it to feel the thrill of the least expected kind.
    Yesh Prabhu, Plainsboro, NJ

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    an interesting relationship drama

    The Bingham power couple seems to live the perfect life. Anyone who sees the influential pair know they love one another while sharing a wonderful life of affluence. Besides the best in Manhattan, they own several estates as Talbot is a famous architect in demand.

    On their tenth anniversary, he suddenly dies leaving his beloved Priscilla as a grieving widow. Several years later, still mourning her loss, Pris begins going through her late husband's papers. She finds shocking letters from a Queen Bee that vividly leaves nothing to the imagination. Not only was this Bee Talbot's mistress, she was his dominatrix while he was her slave. Hurt and despondent not just because he cheated on her, she loathes he hid a key part of himself from her although rationally Pris understand why as she finds his venture in to bondage disturbingly sick. She dreams of meeting Queen Bee who also would like to meet the wife she mocked in her correspondence with her late favorite customer.

    Although nothing new and somewhat slight, OBSESSION is an interesting relationship drama with the key connector being a dead person that both women cherished. The story line is fast-paced with an underlying psychological vent from the moment Pris obsesses over challenging her rival for the memory of Talbot. Although the plot is thin, fans of erotic character studies will want to know who dominates when the widow meets the mistress.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    Don't waste your time on this book

    I got the book from the library. Glad I didn't buy it. I thought it was Ms. Vanderbilt's biography. Boy, was I in for a surprise. It is pure smut.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    Obsession

    Excellent Reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2009

    Waste Of Time!!!!

    This book was absolutely terrible! Don't waste your money or time on it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

    Don't Bother

    Grannies on 'ludes should not write erotica.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    Interesting cover....terrible book.

    This book was terrible. Nothing about it was redeeming at all. Anyone can write about sex, and the parts that weren't about sex were very poorly written. The entire thing was......let's just say not good. Don't waste you time or your money.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Weirdest book I have ever read

    If you want good erotica, read Anais Nin instead!

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Obsession

    It was an interesting book, but I thought it was going to be more racey then what it was.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Worst book I ever read!

    I did not understand anything. Completely off the wall book. Made myself finish reading it and it was horrible!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

    I am an avid reader and I thought this would be fun, especially written by Gloria Vanderbilt. But I was grossly disappointed. The best part of the book is its artful cover.
    Sorry Gloria, but I love your jeans!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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