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3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  285 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Originally written under a pseudonym, this thrilling novel of passion in post-World War II London was banned upon its publication in the late 1960s, and is only now being republished under the author's real name. Edith Templeton creates an indelible character in the smartly dressed Louisa, a savvy young woman in the midst of a divorce who meets a charismatic man in a pub a ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 4th 2003 by Pantheon (first published 1966)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 588)
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Sep 12, 2012 Lou rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This is an unsettling tale of sexual obsession, control and tragic love.
The limits the couple go to are beyond the norm of the era. A tale that may shock, but great reading with superb writing.

" Oh God, what have I let myself in for?, I thought as I looked into his eyes and found them decidedly unpleasant. They were deep-set, dark grey, and ringed with white, a peculiarity of the iris I had sometimes observed in very old people. But their almost sinister look derived probably from their placeme
Jun 07, 2015 Palivo rated it did not like it
Shelves: british
Takže. Začne to tak, že si mladá blbá nána sedne do hospody. Přijde k ní píčus, kterej jí od začátku uráží a chová se jako dement. Vedle něho i můj kamarád Spacák, který používá balící hlášku "pujč mi zamrdat," vypadá jako absolvent Jejlu. Náně to přijde urážlivé, ale protože je pitomá jak motyka, tak si řekne, že se s ním půjde podívat na jeho zahradu. Tam ji vojede asi tak jak Spacák vojížděl holky u nás za diskotékou Eden a mezitím si vymění pár vět, jejichž level debility by nepřebil ani Dan ...more
Jan Humhej
Apr 25, 2015 Jan Humhej rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 28, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
In the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey, it's unsurprising to see a flood of classic erotic titles finding their way back into print and placed on romance shelves inside bookstores. One such novel to enjoy a reprint is Edith Templeton's classic novel, Gordon. Once upon a time, this novel of a headstrong young woman who enters a horrific relationship with a brute was published under a pseudonym and eventually banned in England under the Obscene Publications Act. It's certainly not reading for childre ...more
I picked up this book at s local library thrift sale because the cover caught my eye and it sat unread for months. I could have kicked myself for not picking it up sooner. This book is brilliantly written and had such a profound effect on me that I thought about it weeks after I finished it. It's beautiful and disturbing at the same time.
Sue Grant
May 01, 2014 Sue Grant rated it really liked it
Disturbing and yet compelling. Read in a few hours
Oct 08, 2012 Siobhan rated it it was amazing
I didn't know what to expect from tho book as it was banned before I was even born! But it was brilliant! I've never read anything like it, Gordon himself is a one off! ;)
Cheryl Hager
Nov 25, 2015 Cheryl Hager rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, adult, sex, bdsm, dark
Well, I read most of it...While it doesn't rival D/s novels of today, I'm sure it was a lot for the 60's. This is closer to some of the darker bdsm books, but without a "red room" or other implements. More master/slave... and he definitely employs psychological and harsh control methods and never showed love, empathy, affection, etc. It would have been interesting to know what Gordon was doing with all the information he was getting from Louisa--he was 'shrinking' her too. Even though I didn't l ...more
Carys Woronov
Jul 13, 2011 Carys Woronov rated it it was amazing
Emotionally shattering and beautiful. Really, all I can say. I read it in one day and I will probably be thinking of it for the next several weeks.
Jun 11, 2012 Kerry rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting, I couldn't put it down!
Oct 11, 2015 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when two people who have totally unhealthy relationships with sex meet? I enjoyed this book for a few reasons, but mostly because of its honesty. Is Gordon a cruel and abusive bastard? Most definitely, but Louisa is clearly so turned about on what kind of attention is healthy attention from men, that I can absolutely understand why she falls for him. People end up in these kinds of relationships all the time for countless reasons, reasons I don't understand, but I did appreciate thi ...more
Al Gellene
Jul 14, 2010 Al Gellene rated it really liked it
Gordon is the story, told from her point of view, of a woman picked up one night in a London pub by a proverbial tall, dark stranger. Louise has returned from service in Germany as a captain in the British Army following the end of World War Two. She is all at sixes and nines and hopes to run into one of her ‘old gang’ in the pub. Instead, she meets Gordon, who singles her out from the crowd and whisks her away into the night. Louise is surprised at her docility in going with him. She is furthe ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Hilary rated it really liked it
This novel is intriguing - it was banned in England for indecency when it was published in 1966, which of course made it an instant hit, published legitimately in France and pirated all over the world. Now it has been re-published as a classic of erotica in the the wake of 50 Shades (with which, in my opinion, it has absolutely no business to be compared). Of course, the indecent bits are tame by today's standards (well, the sexual descriptions, anyhow - for me the real cruelty lay in the humili ...more
Oct 30, 2013 Mighty_k24 rated it really liked it
In't kort: de ik-verteller, Louisa, is een jonge dame, die de iets oudere Richard Gordon ontmoet in London, net na WO II. Gordon is een psychiater en het klikt min of meer met Louisa, hij probeert haar -tot haar plezier- steeds te doorgronden en haar gedachten te voorspellen.
Belangrijker echter voor het verhaal: Gordon domineert Louisa al heel snel op seksueel gebied. Hun eerste keer komt als uit het niets, op een bank in een tuin. Maar de dominantie wordt groter en groter, tot op het (letterlij
Annie Harrison
Jan 18, 2016 Annie Harrison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
They should read this book in schools, just to teach people how not to behave to each other and themselves.

I'm not commenting on the characters' kinks, to each his own, but I don't think the characters actually enjoyed themselves, or were better off for their kinks.

Perhaps I missed something, but I really didn't like this book. Reading it was painful, and not in a good way.
This isn't romance and this isn't erotica. It's far more about the psychology of sex and need and is only erotic if you're into a certain wry, distant, sharp-edged attitude. There's no flowery language or description of the act itself; it's about the mental states of everyone involved, so don't go for this one imagining it's another Fifty Shades or Anais Nin. It's good, but says more about post-war psychology and sexual freedom than it does about desire or emotions. There's certain aspects that ...more
Jun 22, 2015 Sammy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
A quick and easy read. Not the kind of thing I'd normally read, but picked it up while bored one day. The writing's not bad, if a tad scattered at times, and I guess it was rather risqué for its time, though very tame by today's standards.
It passed a couple of hours, and I'd give it 2.5 stars if it would let me.
Mar 06, 2016 Steelwhisper marked it as when-it-gets-cheaper
Recommended to Steelwhisper by: Noah
Caution: potentially abuse, unlikely to be BDSM
Feb 14, 2015 Isaw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
of the 60s,and its good
Ariane Gagnon
Mar 24, 2015 Ariane Gagnon rated it did not like it
Shelves: romans
Ce livre était vraiment un mélange d'éléments que j'exècre : le Freudisme, l'«érotisme» de bas étage à la limite du viol et la psychologie facile qui excuse les actes de sexualités repoussants.
J'en ai LU des livres érotiques mais ça, franchement, ça m'a déplu. La quatrième de couverture comparait ça à du Nabokov et laissez-moi rire...Tout ce que ça a de Nabokov c'est le sexisme et la violence qui me fait douter que ça ait pu être écrit par une femme. C'est d'un mauvais goût et d'une facilité dé
Jun 14, 2014 Hilary rated it liked it
Book Club
Jul 30, 2012 Bert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose we can thank Fifty Shades for the reissue of this psychosexual/naughty oddity from 1966. Thanks Shades. Skeevy, bold and subversive, a bit dated, especially the Freudian stuff, oh and a bit rapey. Still, this was genuinely unusual, and actually in no way kinky, thanks to Gordon himself who is fairly hateful and therefore miles away from the current crop of beauifully troubled hot dom chuffer.
Oct 10, 2015 Bianca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those book where you're reading it and you wonder why in the world was it banned and more importantly why are more people reading this. Not to say that this was an easy read, the main characters (Louisa and Gordon) aren't that easy to like, but I understood them, and what they both were looking for. The the last few chapters are heart breaking, but the whole book moved me like no other.
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it did not like it
I have no idea how I ended up with a copy of this. The cover says "sadomasochism" and "comedy of manners a la Edith Wharton" but, well, it didn't do too well at either. There was a lot of Freudian talk (Gordon is a psychoanalyst) and the sex was there, but it all felt stilted and forced (no pun intended).

Definitely not for a school collection, and not long for mine, either.
Nov 10, 2010 eb rated it liked it
Hot-cha! No wonder this novel was banned—it's full of rape, peeing, and mind games. The Freudian stuff feels a little dated, but the depiction of a sadomasochistic relationship is fresh and surprising.
Jun 13, 2009 Meer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-collection
Unconventional for the 1960s. Subtle by today's standards, yet the author takes the main female character on a disturbing journey of her own making.
Oct 03, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Folks who like intense obsession novels
Wow. Just wow. I am totally floored. I don't think that you can even compare this book to anything of a similar topic in this century.
Nov 22, 2008 Hilary rated it it was ok
I really didn't take to this, but the writing style was terrific. I'm going to try her short story collection instead.
La storia è abbastanza intrigante ma la scrittura è veramente senz'anima. Mi ha lasciata indifferente.
Vicky Crowther
Jul 19, 2013 Vicky Crowther rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing book. Can't even bring myself to finish it. Don't waste your money
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Edith Templeton was born in Prague, in 1916, in what used to be the Austro-Hungarian Empire but is now the Czech Republic. She died in 2006. She wrote both short stories and novels. She also used the pen name Louise Walbrook.
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“You are like a child who whistles in the dark. As though the dark cared, my poor child, as though the dark cared. ” 5 likes
“It was though I had been in possession of one of those small shells with Japanese flowers which are sold at street corners. When plunged into a bowl of water, the tightly sealed shell opens and the flat, dry, coiled-up, insignificant shreds of paper contained within float out and unfold their variegated and unsuspected splendour; with Gordon I had found my bowl of water.” 1 likes
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