Story of O

( 117 )

Overview

The classic erotic novel, THE STORY OF O relates the love of a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer for Rene. As part of that intense love, she demands debasement and severe sexual and pychological tests. It is a unique work not to be missed.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)
$7.75
BN.com price
(Save 3%)$7.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (100) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $7.58   
  • Used (99) from $1.99   
Story of O: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

The classic erotic novel, THE STORY OF O relates the love of a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer for Rene. As part of that intense love, she demands debasement and severe sexual and pychological tests. It is a unique work not to be missed.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Molly Weatherfield

Dominique Aury, who (as "Pauline Reage") wrote the classic Story of O in 1954, died on May 2 at 91. Naively, perhaps, I was surprised that more thoughtful notice wasn't taken of the event. Searching the Web for comment or tribute, all I found were obituaries like "Dominique Aury: Frenchwoman who wrote an erotic bestseller to keep her lover."

"Bestseller" hardly covers it. Story of O has sold millions of copies, and hasn't been out of print in more than 40 years. It has influenced numerous erotic fictions, been made into two (wretched) films and given shape to countless fantasy lives.

But it's a difficult book to think about right now, its structure and assumptions somehow out of tune with our times. O, a young fashion photographer, goes with her lover to a mysterious chateau, where she's whipped, chained, exposed and humiliated, all in the supplest, most finely poised sentences imaginable. Elegantly choreographed and costumed, Story of O seems a bit of a period piece now -- like 1950s haute couture in a world of latex and piercings.

But it's the novel's pre-feminism that makes it seem so foreign to us. The chateau is run entirely by and for the pleasure of men: No male submissives or female dominants need apply (though in the character of Anne-Marie, there's a suggestion that some of the middle management is female). Sexual power and privilege in Story of O are rigid, systematic, almost metaphysically encoded -- O is like a supplicant joining a religious order. But what seems most out of sync with our time is Story of O's utter lack of that therapeutic quality that pervades so much contemporary porn: that remarkable insistence that this stuff is good for you, bringing with it self-knowledge, autonomy and the ability to love.

O doesn't have to learn to love -- if she learns anything, it's her utter need to be dominated by love. And she certainly doesn't have to learn to live, since the novel ends with her death or abandonment by her lover, convincing us that the two eventualities are equivalent. Time away from a lover -- a master -- is dead time for O. In popular contemporary pornographies, on the other hand, time away from the lover is almost a convention, an opportunity for healthy soul-searching before the books' happy -- even wholesome -- endings. Beauty and her prince cuddle in the saddle in Anne Rice's "Sleeping Beauty" trilogy. Pat Califia's lesbian biker girls ride off clean and sober at the end of Doc and Fluff. Even John Preston's eponymous leatherman, Mr. Benson, goes a little sappy on us, piercing his young partner with a diamond stud and growling, "I guess we're hitched now, asshole."

It's easy to smile at these simplified happy endings -- supermarket romance laced with the banalities of consciousness raising. But they also represent an achievement: a faith that it's possible to integrate daily life and supportive relationships with the extreme demands of the sexual imagination. And even if the stories get a little preachy at times, there's still a cheerful community spirit to them, as well as a nice dose of irreverence and a willingness to laugh at oneself. Contemporary sex radicalism's public conversation is in some way reminiscent of an earlier, equally pornographic era, the recklessly public and talky Enlightenment. Think of the Marquis de Sade's whacked out discourses on sex, power and "nature;" think of his dramatic dialogue Philosophy in the Bedroom as the proceedings of a group self-help session, perhaps with a hot tub nearby.

But is it possible to assimilate Story of O's lonely, pristine quest toward self-negation into this clamorous, self-actualizing, "sex positive" culture?

The answer to this question lies in the mysterious facts of the novel's genesis, first described by Jean de St. Jorris in a 1994 New Yorker article. As the obituary said, Aury did write the book in order to keep her lover, the critic and literateur Jean Paulhan. She'd become his mistress during the Nazi occupation, when both of them, unbeknownst to each other, worked for the same underground resistance journal. Their love affair, which spanned three decades, continued to follow wartime rules of silence and clandestineness -- the secret meetings, the meticulous planning. Though Paulhan never considered leaving his wife, who had Parkinson's disease, he expected her to accommodate to the affair, just as he expected Aury to fill in the lonely Sundays and vacation times. I think of the famous photograph of Francois Mitterrand's funeral, wife and mistress both in attendance, and what a fearsome investment of female tact and anxiety such an arrangement must entail.

For Aury, the anxiety came to a head in the early 1950s. She was in her middle 40s, and she began to fear that Paulhan might leave her for a younger woman. "I wasn't young, I wasn't pretty, it was necessary to find other weapons," she said.

"I could also write the kind of stories you like," she told him one day. Paulhan admired the work of de Sade; he'd written the introduction to an important edition of his work. When he had voiced his doubt that a woman could write compelling S/M, Aury said she knew that she could. The fantasy lay buried in the half-forgotten depths of her dreams, conceived before she had ever met Paulhan, before she had ever known sex or love. Story of O is in no way a humble entreaty by a woman terrified of abandonment. It was clearly meant to overwhelm. Revealing a fierce, complete and unsparing sexual imagination, it was every bit as much a dare as a love offering.

And it's in this way that the novel transcends the circumstances of its creation -- the history, the manners. Foreign to our own manners and circumstances, it's as much a dare to us as it was to Paulhan -- an invitation to rediscover a dimly remembered place in the imagination. In an essay called "A Girl in Love," Aury remembers "those oft repeated reveries, those slow musings just before falling asleep, always the same ones, which the purest and wildest love always sanctioned, or rather always demanded, the most frightful surrender, in which childish images of chains and whips added to constraint the symbols of constraint."

At the bottom of Aury's elegant and urbane pornography lies the fantasy life of an impressionable child -- the sort who listens carefully to the overheated perorations of an overzealous religious school teacher, who pores endlessly over the lurid imagery of a comic book or an illustrated saint's life. Because pornography's power doesn't reside in the extremity of its images and motifs, but in their naivete and redundancy -- in the pornographer's need to employ the symbols of constraint, and to spell out the abstractions of power and passion in the most primitive terms possible.

Pornography is not only shocking -- it's embarrassing, a return to a time when we hadn't yet learned to defend ourselves against the outrages of our imaginations. But Aury wasn't embarrassed. She almost, I think, saw the humor of the thing (Return to the Chateau, Story of O's muddled and largely unsuccessful sequel, contains a few wildly self-parodic passages). But she didn't seem to see the need (as I do, for example, in my porn) to use irony to bridge the gap between the outer and inner lives. Vastly literate, circumspect, living a life of quietly constrained passion, she was as unshaken by the same raging desire within her as Emily Bronte.

And so this is the essay I couldn't find -- my tribute, recognition, thanks, to Aury for showing me, and others, the way into the chateau. Or the ways -- in the first pages of the novel O enters the chateau twice, once blindfolded, once not -- take your pick, it doesn't matter. Just as it doesn't matter how we stumble in, stupidly, haphazardly, purposefully, sex-positively -- the door will open to disclose our own half-forgotten, naively imagined visions waiting there for us. Just as Aury's imagination waited for her to write this most serendipitous of masterpieces, this most inevitable of visions.
Salon

From the Publisher
"A rare thing, a pornographic book well written and without a trace of obscenity." —-Graham Greene
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345301116
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1981
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 535,085
  • Product dimensions: 4.14 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author


Pauline Réage (1907-1998) is a pseudonym of Anne Desclos, a French journalist and novelist.

Käthe Mazur (pronounced "kay-ta") has recorded over one hundred titles, including The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, Hillary Clinton's Living History, and Jacquelyn Mitchard's Cage of Stars, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

I

The Lovers of Roissy

Her lover one day takes O for a walk in a section of the city where they never go—the Montsouris Park, the Monceau Park. After they have taken a stroll in the park and have sat together side by side on the edge of a lawn, they notice, at one corner of the park, at an intersection where there are never any taxis, a car which, because of its meter, resembles a taxi.

"Get in," he says.

She gets in. It is autumn, and coming up to dusk. She is dressed as she always is: high heels, a suit with a pleated skirt, a silk blouse, and no hat. But long gloves which come up over the sleeves of her jacket, and in her leather handbag she has her identification papers, her compact, and her lipstick.

The taxi moves off slowly, the man still not having said a word to the driver. But he pulls down the shades of the windows on both sides of the car, and the shade on the back window. She has taken off her gloves, thinking he wants to kiss her or that he wants her to caress him. But instead he says:

"Your bag's in your way; let me have it."

She gives it to him. He puts it out of her reach and adds:

"You also have on too many clothes. Unfasten your stockings and roll them down to above your knees. Here are some garters."

By now the taxi has picked up speed, and she has some trouble managing it; she's also afraid the driver may turn around. Finally, though, the stockings are rolled down, and she's embarrassed to feel her legs naked and free beneath her silk slip. Besides, the loose garter-belt suspenders are slipping back and forth.

"Unfasten your garter belt," he says, "and take off your panties."

That's easy enough, all she has to do is slip her hands behind her back and raise herself slightly. He takes the garter belt and panties from her, opens her bag and puts them in, then says:

"You shouldn't sit on your slip and skirt. Pull them up behind you and sit directly on the seat."

The seat is made of some sort of imitation leather which is slippery and cold: it's quite an extraordinary sensation to feel it sticking to your thighs. Then he says:

"Now put your gloves back on."

The taxi is still moving along at a good clip, and she doesn't dare ask why Rene just sits there without moving or saying another word, nor can she guess what all this means to him—having her there motionless, silent, so stripped and exposed, so thoroughly gloved, in a black car going God knows where. He hasn't told her what to do or what not to do, but she's afraid either to cross her legs or press them together. She sits with gloved hands braced on either side of her seat.

"Here we are," he says suddenly. Here we are: the taxi stops on a lovely avenue, beneath a tree—they are plane trees—in front of some sort of small private home which can be seen nestled between the courtyard and the garden, the type of small private dwelling one finds along the Faubourg Saint-Germain. The street lamps are some distance away, and it is still fairly dark inside the car. Outside it is raining.

"Don't move," Rene says. "Sit perfectly still."

His hand reaches for the collar of her blouse, unties the bow, then unbuttons the blouse. She leans forward slightly, thinking he wants to fondle her breasts. No. He is merely groping for the shoulder straps of her brassiere, which he snips with a small penknife. Then he takes it off. Now, beneath her blouse, which he has buttoned back up, her breasts are naked and free, as is the rest of her body, from waist to knee.

"Listen," he says. "Now you're ready. This is where I leave you. You're to get out and go ring the doorbell. Follow whoever opens the door for you, and do whatever you're told. If you hesitate about going in, they'll come and take you in. If you don't obey immediately, they'll force you to. Your bag? No, you have no further need for your bag. You're merely the girl I'm furnishing. Yes, of course I'll be there. Now run along."

Another version of the same beginning was simpler and more direct: the young woman, dressed in the same way, was driven by her lover and an unknown friend. The stranger was driving, the lover was seated next to the young woman, and it was the unknown friend who explained to the young woman that her lover had been entrusted with the task of getting her ready, that he was going to tie her hands behind her back, unfasten her stockings and roll them down, remove her garter belt, her panties, and her brassiere, and blindfold her. That she would then be turned over to the chateau, where in due course she would be instructed as to what she should do. And, in fact, as soon as she had been thus undressed and bound, they helped her to alight from the car after a trip that lasted half an hour, guided her up a few steps and, with her blindfold still on, through one or two doors. Then, when her blindfold was removed, she found herself standing alone in a dark room, where they left her for half an hour, or an hour, or two hours, I can't be sure, but it seemed forever. Then, when at last the door was opened and the light turned on, you could see that she had been waiting in a very conventional, comfortable, yet distinctive room: there was a thick rug on the floor, but not a stick of furniture, and all four walls were lined with closets. The door had been opened by two women, two young and beautiful women dressed in the garb of pretty eighteenth-century chamber-maids: full skirts made out of some light material, which were long enough to conceal their feet; tight bodices, laced or hooked in front, which sharply accentuated the bust line; lace frills around the neck; half-length sleeves. They were wearing eye shadow and lipstick. Both wore a close-fitting collar and had tight bracelets on their wrists.

I know it was at this point that they freed O's hands, which were still tied behind her back, and told her to get undressed, they were going to bathe her and make her up. They proceeded to strip her till she hadn't a stitch of clothing left, then put her clothes away neatly in one of the closets. She was not allowed to bathe herself, and they did her hair as at the hairdresser's, making her sit in one of those large chairs which tilts back when they wash your hair and straightens back up after the hair has been set and you're ready for the dryer. That always takes at least an hour. Actually it took more than an hour, but she was seated on this chair, naked, and they kept her from either crossing her legs or bringing them together. And since the wall in front of her was covered from floor to ceiling with a large mirror, which was unbroken by any shelving, she could see herself, thus open, each time her gaze strayed to the mirror.

When she was properly made up and prepared—her eyelids penciled lightly; her lips bright red; the tip and halo of her breasts highlighted with pink; the edges of her nether lips rouged; her armpits and pubis generously perfumed, and perfume also applied to the furrow between her thighs, the furrow beneath her breasts, and to the hollows of her hands—she was led into a room where a three-sided mirror, and another mirror behind, enabled her to examine herself closely. She was told to sit down on the ottoman, which was set between the mirrors, and wait. The ottoman was covered with black fur, which pricked her slightly; the rug was black, the walls red. She was wearing red mules. Set in one of the walls of the small bedroom was a large window, which looked out onto a lovely, dark park. The rain had stopped, the trees were swaying in the wind, the moon raced high among the clouds.

I have no idea how long she remained in the red bedroom, or whether she was really alone, as she surmised, or whether someone was watching her through a peephole camouflaged in the wall. All I know is that when the two women returned, one was carrying a dressmaker's tape measure and the other a basket. With them came a man dressed in a long purple robe, the sleeves of which were gathered at the wrists and full at the shoulders. When he walked the robe flared open, from the waist down. One could see that beneath his robe he had on some sort of tights which covered his legs and thighs but left the sex exposed. It was the sex that O saw first, when he took his first step, then the whip, made of leather thongs, which he had stuck in his belt. Then she saw that the man was masked by a black hood—which concealed even his eyes behind a network of black gauze—and, finally, that he was also wearing fine black kid gloves.

Using the familiar tu form of address, he told her not to move and ordered the women to hurry. The woman with the tape then took the measurements of O's neck and wrists. Though on the small side, her measurements were in no way out of the ordinary, and it was easy enough to find the right-sized collar and bracelets, in the basket the other woman was carrying. Both collar and bracelets were made of several layers of leather (each layer being fairly thin, so that the total was no more than the thickness of a finger). They had clasps, which functioned automatically like a padlock when it closes, and they could be opened only by means of a small key. Imbedded in the layers of leather, directly opposite the lock, was a snugly-fitting metal ring, which allowed one to get a grip on the bracelet, if one wanted to attach it, for both collar and bracelets fit the arms and neck so smugly—although not so tight as to be the least painful—that it was impossible to slip any bond inside.

So they fastened the collar and bracelets to her neck and wrists, and the man told her to get up. He took her place on the fur ottoman, called her over till she was touching his knees, slipped his gloved hand between her thighs and over her breasts, and explained to her that she would be presented that same evening, after she had dined alone.

She did in fact dine by herself, still naked, in a sort of little cabin where an invisible hand passed the dishes to her through a small window in the door. Finally, when dinner was over, the two women came for her. In the bedroom, they fastened the two bracelet rings together behind her back. They attached a long red cape to the ring of her collar and draped it over her shoulders. It covered her completely, but opened when she walked, since, with her hands behind her back, she had no way of keeping it closed. One woman preceded her, opening the doors, and the other followed, closing them behind her. They crossed a vestibule, two drawing rooms, and went into the library, where four men were having coffee. They were wearing the same long robes as the first, but no masks. And yet O did not have time to see their faces or ascertain whether her lover was among them (he was), for one of the men shone a light in her eyes and blinded her. Everyone remained stock still, the two women flanking her and the men in front, studying her. Then the light went out; the women left. But O was blindfolded again. Then they made her walk forward—she stumbled slightly as she went—until she felt that she was standing in front of the fire around which the four men were seated: she could feel the heat, and in the silence she could hear the quiet crackling of the burning logs. She was facing the fire. Two hands lifted her cape, two others—after having checked to see that her bracelets were attached—descended the length of her back and buttocks. The hands were not gloved, and one of them penetrated her in both places at once, so abruptly that she cried out. Someone laughed. Someone else said:

"Turn her around, so we can see the breasts and the belly."

They turned her around, and the heat of the fire was against her back. A hand seized one of her breasts, a mouth fastened on the tip of the other. But suddenly she lost her balance and fell backward (supported by whose arms?), while they opened her legs and gently spread her lips. Hair grazed the insides of her thighs. She heard them saying that they would have to make her kneel down. This they did. She was extremely uncomfortable in this position, especially because they forbade her to bring her knees together and because her arms pinioned behind her forced her to lean forward. Then they let her rock back a bit, so that she was half-sitting on her heels, as nuns are wont to do.

"You've never tied her up?"

"No, never."

"And never whipped her?"

"No, never whipped her either. But as a matter of fact . . ."

It was her lover speaking.

"As a matter of fact," the other voice went on, "if you do tie her up from time to time, or whip her just a little, and she begins to like it, that's no good either. You have to get past the pleasure stage, until you reach the stage of tears."

Then they made O get up and were on the verge of untying her, probably in order to attach her to some pole or wall, when someone protested that he wanted to take her first, right there on the spot. So they made her kneel down again, this time with her bust on an ottoman, her hands still tied behind her, with her hips higher than her torso. Then one of the men, holding her with both his hands on her hips, plunged into her belly. He yielded to a second. The third wanted to force his way into the narrower passage and, driving hard, made her scream. When he let her go, sobbing and befouled by tears beneath her blindfold, she slipped to the floor, only to feel someone's knees against her face, and she realized that her mouth was not to be spared. Finally, they let her go, a captive clothed in tawdry finery, lying on her back in front of the fire. She could hear glasses being filled and the sound of the men drinking, and the scraping of chairs. They put some more wood on the fire. All of a sudden they removed her blindfold. The large room, the walls of which were lined with bookcases, was dimly lit by a single wall lamp and by the light of the fire, which was beginning to burn more brightly. Two of the men were standing and smoking. Another was seated, a riding crop on his knees, and the one leaning over her fondling her breast was her lover. All four of them had taken her, and she had not been able to distinguish him from the others.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 117 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(34)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 117 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Digital version is sloppy

    The spelling errors, editing errors and dropped paragraphs spoiled this digital version. The last pages are missing. Are the nook books even reviewed after scanning them in? The frequent errors took away from my reading enjoyment.

    33 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 22, 2012

    I don't understand why reviewers are calling this sexual abuse,

    I don't understand why reviewers are calling this sexual abuse, rape etc. The book describes a lifestyle that is not led by most. The situation we find O in, is very extraordinary. However we all need to keep in mind that the acts committed are done by consenting adults. Who are we to judge and criticize her actions?

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Oh, wow.

    This is a very heavy handed erotic tale. It's not all fun and games, but I guess that is the point. I would go as far to say that it might not be for everyone out there in that it is very serious and hard-hitting--literally. Having said that, let me say that it is a classic for a reason and if you want to give it a try, to for it. It is like no other I've ever read and for that it gets five stars.

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 28, 2001

    O's Woes

    Poor O. All she wants is to be loved, first by Rene, then by Sir Stephen, and finally by Jacqueline. She's willing to under go quite a bit (humiliations, rape, beatings, genital piercing, and branding) for this love. Is she ever really loved? It's hard to say. True, she's desired and sexually used a lot, but all of her so called lovers seem to remain aloof and demonstrate their feelings towards O by ever harsher punishments. I can imagine her thinking while tied spread eagled on the raised dias where she was flogged: 'Does he really love me?' Admittedly, it's hard not to be turned on by all of O's adventures, but it's a hard book to classify - classy porn or love story? This Story of O might be a love story, but it's a pretty grim one.

    16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Don't buy this

    Don't buy it! The book is about a girl who is sexually abused by several men. It sounds just like what real sexual predators would do to girls they rape and tourture, i bet this really does happen and it is sad that somone gets off or finds pleasure reading this. The mental/ sexual abuse the girl gets reminds me of the Jaycee Dugard book.

    14 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 14, 2005

    Wonderful work of erotic fiction

    Unlike many recent S/M novels that overtly describe the 'scenes', Story of O gets both into what happens to O and how it effects her. This novel, originally written by a woman for her lover, is excellent both as a work of literature and an intoxicating erotic novel. Highly recommended to those who are not bashful about sex/sexuality.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Dark and perfect

    For anyone who read the sleeping beauty books from ann rice, expect the less romantisized story of master and mistress. O's point of view is cold and more than a little desperate. But its another way of looking at what it means to be willingly dominated. I loved it.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Disturbing

    This book is very disturbing. I was unprepared for the content in the story and had a hard time identiying with O and her need to please a man so badlyeven to the point of torture and mutilation and humiliation.

    9 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 2, 2001

    Disturbing. Compelling. A Must Have.

    To say that this story is disturbing is a complete understatement. I was appalled at the story matter for this book. More appalled at the way it was treated. I believe that I come out a better person knowing that this book is a work of fiction that of reality. I don't understand how a lover can turn his love over to other men out of 'love', but I guess that it can happen. However, I am recommending this book to others highly. I would recommend to the reader not to read the prefaces first, but go right to the story and start. I think that once you start, you will be unable to put it down. Then, when you finish, go to the prefaces for more information. I would also recommend finding a friend (preferrably from the opposite sex) to read this book and then have a discussion. This may answer some quesitons about O for you. I think that this book is a read for all adults. It is a shame that most libraries don't carry this one.

    9 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 28, 2012

    I read this many years ago and thought it was thrilling. I had n

    I read this many years ago and thought it was thrilling. I had never read anything like it at that time. I thought it was a beautiful but sad story. Now, after reading 50 Shades of Gray, I bought this book and read it again. I have to say, 50 Shades of Gray doesn't even compare. This is a classic.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 19, 2002

    waste of my time

    I don't recommend this book to any one. I couldn't believe this woman would feel happy or good about her self in the degrading and abusive ways that she was used. She had to be very messed up in the head. Maybe you need to have a better understanding of being submissive to like this book. This book leaves you with the feeling of being generally let down that any woman would accept this kind of treatment. O needs to get a back bone and a life! So don't waste your time with her story.

    6 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 20, 2002

    WHAT????????

    I have to say that this book was so very disappointing. I usually finish a GOOD book in a day. I just couldn't get into it. I kept finding myself putting the book down and struggled to finish it only because I had already purchased it. Pleasure enhanced by pain and total submission is one thing, but what was going on in this story? It was just pain, pain, and you guessed it, more PAIN, both physical and emotional.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Not 50 shades of grey

    I don't get it. I hate when I read review that says don't waist your time in getting this book. But this is the first time that I can say this fits. I just did not get it. It is about a lady named O. That loves a man that clearly is messed up in the head his self. He prostitues her out to who ever and has them beat her till she is bleeding tells her he loves her and just this alone makes her love to do what he wants. I just don't get it and for the first time in my adult life have not cared to finish this book. So I give it a big fat 0

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 26, 2012

    Worst thing i ever read!!!

    I hated this book so much i couldnt even force myself to finish it!! I thought it was poorly written and very pointless. I would NOT recommend this book to any one!!!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 12, 2012

    I tend to agree with those who were disappointed. Having finall

    I tend to agree with those who were disappointed. Having finally read it after hearing so much about it, the letdown was probably inevitable. There are so many modern imitations of this book that are more explicity graphic, so you're left with the "that's it?" impression. When you start with Reese Gabriel & N.T. Morley, a work like this just won't have quite the same punch. Still, it's one of the finest pieces of erotica you'll ever read from a literary standpoint and O is a compelling and enigmatic character, and a tragic one at that.

    It's $2.99. Read it because it's the seminal work of bdsm erotica.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 26, 2005

    disappointed..

    It seems as if everyone puts so much into this book. That 'story of O' is the story to read. That its good and blah blah..I personal don't think this book was porngraphic at all.I found it kind of boring and short. Maybe it wasnt detailed enough? because at the end I felt lost and cheated. I would not recommend this book to anyone thats looking for something hot and steamy or to have peek into someones elses lifestyle. the book was lacking.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 5, 2000

    Compelling, disturbing

    The Story of O is one of those books that just about everyone who is interested in SM has read at one time or another. Many of us have read it numerous times. It is a very rich portrayal of one woman's fantasy of how a deeply intense SM relationship might play itself out, and it deals with the eternal issue of sacrificing oneself to please your lover. I've read it several times and it still makes me hot. The one thing to keep in mind about this book is that it is fiction, not a how_to_do_SM book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 23, 2012

    No

    This book was recommended for those who liked Fifty Shades of Grey. The story of O was nothing like Fifty. This book takes you down a very dark and disturbing path. I had to stop reading it. I do not recommend at all.

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 22, 2013

    wow

    If you are not into erotica....dont read this book. I was expecting something like the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure/ Anne Rice, but it was totally different. Not a love story!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 20, 2013

    I sat down with The Story of O with the idea of enjoying some er

    I sat down with The Story of O with the idea of enjoying some erotic fiction, especially after the light mommy porn that 50 Shades and Bared To Me provided me. And even as far left field the Sleeping Beauty trilogy by Anne Rice was, I enjoyed it (a little blushed) but it was well written. However, I, like the others, felt The Story of O was borderline rape and what creeps must do to the women (young and old) in the sex traffic business. I could only stomach so many pages, trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, before I turned it away. I felt grimy and disgusted. This wasn't about doms enjoying the pain/pleasure of their subs; it was about doms strictly enjoying the pain/torment of their subs, especially with more than one master. I felt the pain, humiliation and the abuse within the first few pages that I wanted to rescue "O" from the monsters she was decieved by. Classic, cult fiction or extreme BDSM, I think I'll pass, thank you. If you are looking for BDSM-style reading, then I would suggest The Story of X by A.J. Molloy in addition to a few other authors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 117 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)