Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair
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Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,078 ratings  ·  110 reviews
I was beginning to fall in love...

Nine And A Half Weeks is the story of a love affair like no other: a crazy, obsessive relationship that burned through two lives like a branding iron through flesh. To read it is to undergo a truly disturbing - and erotic - experience.
Paperback, 131 pages
Published 1986 by Sphere Books Ltd (first published 1978)
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Tiffany Reisz
Now THIS was real D/s, real S&M. It seemed so familiar. When kink reads as banal or playful or entirely natural you know the author knows what he or she is talking about. The lack of angst makes it more real, not less. This story is a memoir of events from the 70s. In 2013 would she have felt safe enough to stay with him. She's muted after she leaves him. Her psyche is out of whack. If she'd stayed with him, could it have worked?

Amazing memior of a real BDSM affair.

A favorite passage:
mark monday
woman as wind-up toy, lalalalalala not listening.
passion as cold-blooded ritual, lalalalalala not listening.
upscale lifestyle detail porn, lalalalalala not listening.
let's go shopping, lalalalalala not listening.
a sexy abusive relationship, lalalalalala not listening.
gorgeous prose, lalalalalala not listening.
May 31, 2007 Snarky's rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the beat me eat me mistreat me crowd, romantics, lonely bitter people
I love this book so much. It's so depressing and sexy and foul and totally engrossing. I rarely read books and go, "Goddamn, why can't I meet someone who will dress me in boys underpants, make me pack a cock and then bitchslap me around?" I guess I'm probably missing the point of this nuanced look at a self destructive romance.
I first read "Nine and a Half Weeks" long ago--- long before the film with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. I was a brand-new undergraduate, and the first part of the book was excerpted in Playboy. I sat in my rooms at university stunned and amazed. I'd already read "Story of O"; I knew that s/m existed and knew about its allure. This was...different. It was darker than "O.", far more obsessive and intense, far less distanced and measured. I knew I had to go out and get a copy of the full book.

Dorota Skrzypek
Wow. Is this book different from the movie. Nine and a Half Weeks has always been one of my favorite movies, and then a friend told me it was based on a book. But if you're expecting a more descriptive look into the sexually charged relationship of Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke, you're in for a big surprise.

This book is an intense emotional look into a BDSM journey that continues to push the limits until the main character, Elizabeth, has a psychological breakdown. Rather than erotic (like the...more
I'm glad I chose to read Francine Prose's "Introduction" after I finished the book. It has spoilers, and should really be an afterword.

Nine and a Half Weeks, as a movie, is one that always turns up as a sort of classic "trashy 80s erotic romance." The movie and its characters are breezy, pumped along by the vaguely pop-jazz rhythms that signal good times or transitions in such films. I watched it while in the mood for something light/less intellectual. It wasn't until I watched the movie that I...more
Beautiful people of NYC who shop at Bloomie's by day and engage in S&M type stuff by night. The source for that cheesy erotic movie of the 80s with Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. Yeah, so I pulled a perfect condition hardcover of this out of the dumpster of a certain bookseller, and it's just a hair over 100 pages and well-enough written. Most of it seems to be descriptions of apartments and the material goods therein. Vaguely reminiscent of Anais Nin and Marguerite Duras...vaguely. But the...more

Some books are just off the scale, not necessarily better or worse than all the other books you've read before - but so fundamentally different that it doesn't quite compare to anything else. For me this was such a book.
The main way this book is different is its sheer elegance. The story that takes place over two months time is caught in moments; Polaroids casually tossed, one after another into a building pile on a scuffed table. It’s a decadent, voyeuristic experience to have the sexual relati...more
Julie Dolcemaschio
I saw the movie long before I read the book, so all I could think of was Mickey and Kim. I tried to get those people, those images out of my head as I read, and thanks to the gifted, simple writing, I was able to do that. I soon saw a different 'John' and pretty much the same 'Elizabeth'. The author does a nice job of showing how the heroine (her) gets sucked in to this life with this man she meets on the street, basically. For 9 1/2 weeks she immerses herself in this erotic love affair, almost...more
"The first time we were in bed together he held my hands pinned down above my head. I liked it...I had found an extraordinarily skillful lover."

So begins the extraordinarily compelling memoir of obsession and abuse written by a woman using the pseudonym Elizabeth McNeill. I read the book shortly after it was released in the late 1970s, while visiting in the home of people I'd never met. I picked up the book to read a page or two just to kill time and could not stop reading. I'm sure my hosts won...more
Robert Hudder
So, some of you will remember the movie, insipid and soft core porny. I read this because it was lying around and the whole 50 Shades thing makes me feel a little nauseous. There were memoirs before that deeply popular book series, of which 9 1/2 weeks was one.

In university, I read some of the others - Anais Nin, Story of O by Pauline Reage and a few other Victorian memoirs. 9 1/2 weeks starts bad and gets worse. The memoir writer talks about consensual sex that eventually leads into an abusive...more
Part chicklit, part MFA-grad writing... like Sex and the City but darker. I kept imagining the guy as looking like Sting, which was gross. I was immediatly drawn out of the book when on page FOUR the narrator begins to describe every boring thing the guy owns, and continues to do so for five or six more pages. Wasn't a fan of the ending either. I think Bad Behavior focussed on much of the same themes, only better, and shorter. I'm sure this book has a (presumedly female) audience, but it's not m...more
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This was a surprising wee slip of a book. I found it very uniquely written and I appreciated that it was understated and indirect. Details almost eeked out which left me needing to reread a few paragraphs to see if I read them right. Nuance is important when dealing with edgy subject matter and this book has nuance in spades. Never really read anything quite like it.
Embora não fosse uma primeira escolha em termos de leitura, há algum tempo que esta obra me despertava curiosidade uma vez que vi o filme que lhe deu origem há alguns anos.

É de um género literário que pouco me diz até porque, lendo algumas obras do mesmo tipo, acabam por ser redundantes. Com esta leitura vejo-me "obrigada" a refazer a minha opinião.

Contém algumas partes violentas, o que é natural tendo em conta que aborda a vertente "dominação, mas distingue-se claramente das restantes obras q...more
Emery Lee
Can't rate this fairly as I read it so many years ago- mainly for the shock value I guess.

What I do remember is that a supposedly intelligent and successful woman completely loses her entire identity in a self absorbed sexual relationship that I would not venture to call a love affair.The book has the same fascination as a train wreck.

Vanessa Wu
I have to give this book 5 stars because I enjoyed it and, while I was reading it, I became very interested in the life of the author.

But, to be honest, I spent more time trying to find out something about the author than I did actually reading the book. It's a very short book. I like the flow of the sentences. They are colloquial and simple but very smooth, which is the sign, I think, of a very experienced writer.

I didn't find out very much about Elizabeth McNeill for all the time I spent resea...more
3.5 stars

This book was written a decade before I was even born so, I didn't really have any set expectations coming into it as far as how relevant it would still be now...

Elizabeth McNeill's writing style takes a bit of getting used to; it's discursive in a lot of ways. She sort of flutters around from different thoughts and subjects in the telling of this story.I thought this actually helped to convey the state of mind the woman in this story is in, as she's telling this story. Because of that,...more
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Diana Leigh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2011 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
“The first time we were in bed together he held my hands pinned down above my head. I liked it.” And so begins this ‘memoir of a love affair’, apparently based on a true story, detailing the S&M relationship that develops (over the course of nine and a half weeks) between the unnamed narrator and her unnamed partner. Although it doesn’t flinch away from anything, it’s told in a brisk, literary style that occasionally means it’s unclear as to what is happening, which sets the reader apart fro...more
nine and a half weeks know way, it has been 3o years and i am still reading the book. well along the way i have met billons of lovers of the book one being with me now. its a bible of beautufil prose. almost poetry. it all began for me at school, a boring monday afternoon; everyone waiting for the bell to ring to go home. i was only thirteen. as we do at school, we chat about sex! the most geekyest boy started talking to me about this book! especially the food scene x i was hooked, and amazed. s...more
Bella Sinclair
This got my (creative) juices flowing. I like the matter-of-fact voice of the narrator, the American-Psycho-esque details of the man's wardrobe and details of his apartment (yet we never get a good sense of what he's like, not even so much as a first name), and the fast build up of the affair. Just look at the first sentence of the book--"The first time we were in bed together he held my hands pinned down above my head."-- and from there the relationship gets even crazier.

I read this in one sitt...more
Melissa Thomas
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Kiran Hunter
I read this many years ago - and decided it was time to see if the passing of time had changed my opinion of it.

Mention the film and I groan in despair. The book, however, is another matter. Well written and much darker than the glossy(cheesy)film it was adapted into, we follow an intelligent woman seduced into an obsessive, self-destructive relationship that leaves her a changed woman. Life - and sex - will never be the same again. It is both erotic and disturbing.

I loved the way the story is...more
Ofelia Valdez
Terminé de leerlo y me quedé con una sensación de tristeza, siento que la historia la cuenta en gran medida de forma muy desapegada y el resultado es hasta melancólico. No sé si la autora pretende dejar ese sabor de boca, pero no entendí porque nunca dijo no, si siempre sentí que lo quería decir... No he visto la película, pero siento que será de esas pocas que son mejores que sus libros...

Novela irregular, aunque algo mejor que su famosa “adaptación” cinematográfica, donde el interés recae en Kim Basinger (o el actor, según gustos) y no por sus meritos interpretativos, que si los atesora y los demostró en varias películas posteriores.
Este relato de curioso título (deja la incógnita si son 66, 66,5 ó 67 días) es una narración-confesión de una pasión enfermiza y adictiva que gira en torno al sexo, pero desde un ángulo sádico, dominante, masoquist...more
What I love most about this book is how I came about it as a teenager. John Taylor, my beloved favorite member of Duran Duran, was doing the theme song and soundtrack of the movie, so I HAD to get my hands on the book (I wasn't going to be old enough to see the movie when it came out). So, while other underage kids in southern Mississippi were lurking outside liquor stores and 7-11s to get adults to buy beer for them, I stood outside the B. Dalton in the Singing River Mall until I saw a woman en...more
The appeal of completely losing control... mmmm. However, I strongly disliked her lover because she was coerced into some acts. "No" never seemed to be an option, as I believe it is for BDSM. Even if I hadn't known the subject of the book, I knew when she was describing his uber structured wardrobe that he was a *freak (I mean this with the utmost respect, believe me) in bed.
This was ok in the late 70's, not sure how it would be if I were to read it now. I do remember being shocked when my much younger sister read it and I asked her if she even knew what they were talking about. When she said she did, I knew what I was going to feel when I had children of my own. I wanted to scream "just go back to reading Little House on the Prairie!". :-)
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“This one, I guess," he says. I look over at the counter, he is looking back at me. He is holding a riding crop: "I'd like to try it out." There is a peculiar shift: from one second to the next I have become disoriented, I am on alien territory, in a foreign century. He walks a few steps to where I am half sitting on the desk, one foot on the floor, the other dangling. He pulls my skirt up my left leg, which is resting on the desk, steps back and strikes me across the inner thigh.
The searing pain is an inextricable part of a wave of excitement; every cell in my body is awash with lust.
It is silent in the small, dusty room. The clerks behind the counter have frozen.
He slowly smooths down my skirt and turns to the older man, who is wearing a suit and still looks like an accountant, though a deep flush is spreading upward from his shirt collar.
"This one will do.”
“There was no mistaking the power this mad had over me. Like a well-made windup toy, whenever he set me in motion I came.” 6 likes
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