Certainly a well-written book, and one that gripped me until the end. However, I did find parts of it problematic. This is a story about BD*SPOILERS*
Certainly a well-written book, and one that gripped me until the end. However, I did find parts of it problematic. This is a story about BDSM, one we're led to believe is meant to be extremely sexy. Or at least that's the general impression I got of it, I'm not so sure if this was Reage's exact intention. You see, there are things (often violent) that happen to O which she does seem to enjoy on a sexual level, but her initiation into Roissy (among other things) did trouble me. She'll do whatever Rene wants, but she doesn't seem to comprehend what that is. She is then raped multiple times by multiple men, and then chained in a room where she is whipped and cries a lot.
I don't know, I just don't believe that she truly consented. She was most certainly not having the time of her life, and whilst BDSM is ultimately pleasure through pain, parts of this book just seem to be pain for the sake of it. Also, O's first sexual experience with Sir Stephen was troubling. Again, she was violated and abused, doesn't seem to enjoy it that much, and yet this book is often hailed as incredibly sexy.
Anne Rice's 'Sleeping Beauty' trilogy and parts of Anais Nins 'Delta of Venus' also focus on the BDSM subculture, and honestly I found them far more interesting, acceptable, and sexier than The Story of O.
That's not to say this is a bad book, I did enjoy it. But again, O blindly accepts being raped because she's so devoted to Rene/Stephen. I guess what bothered me is she says she'll do anything, but none of the men specify what that is. Had she been presented with a list of things that would happen to her, I'm sure she would have refused parts.
Unless of course the whole point of the book is that O has become so deluded by her love, that she'll allow anything? Although this is certainly erotica, could it be that Reage wanted to show the darker side of BDSM culture, and how things can go wrong? How it can possibly damage people - both the submissive and the dominant?
The ending was a bit anti-climactic. I was getting to the point where I wanted to see Sir Stephen return some of O's affection. Not necessarily romantically, but just some recognition. Again though, it seems that the Doms in this book will easy cast aside their submissives - for example Rene. Also there was mention at the end of the book that there was an alternative ending where Sir Stephen abandons O, and she decides to die because of it, and he so graciously gives her permission. This obviously was not a part of the final book, but did irritate me. You'd think he might show some respect, offer some acknowledgment to a woman who has allowed herself to be used in every possible way, degraded to the point of being a silent, submissive object and not much of a person at all.
Unless I can find a free PDF online, it's unlikely I will bother reading the sequel 'Return to the Chateau' - which from the reviews I've read is incredibly short, and just involves Sir Stephen leaving O at Roissy and repeating the whole gang-raped, beaten, cries alone in her cell scenario.
...Yeah, I have such mixed feelings about this book.
A good read. Slow at some points, but this book tells a very interesting story. Expect the lavish descriptions and twists of every Anne Rice tale, asA good read. Slow at some points, but this book tells a very interesting story. Expect the lavish descriptions and twists of every Anne Rice tale, as well as thought-provoking, hilarious characters! Are Jeremy and Belinda the new Humbert and Lolita? Probably not, but the feelings are similar and this couple is just as compelling to follow to the end....more
A beautiful book and a highly interesting story that I could read over and over again. Jane is an admirable heroine and Mr Rochester is the perfect exA beautiful book and a highly interesting story that I could read over and over again. Jane is an admirable heroine and Mr Rochester is the perfect example of a Byronic Hero in all his glory. From start to finish this is a hard book to put down, and I find you will either love Mr Rochester or hate him by the end. I think you know where I stand! ...more
Really loved this book. The descriptions were amazing, and I love how it switched from Inman to Ada in each new chapter. You could really feel the difReally loved this book. The descriptions were amazing, and I love how it switched from Inman to Ada in each new chapter. You could really feel the different emotions of each character, and understand what they were both going through. I would have liked a little more detail in the epilogue, but that's only because I enjoyed this book so much! It's a deep, meaningful story about how two people come together, even in the face of hardship. I recommend it!...more
One of the saddest and most expressive stories I have ever read. It was beautifully written (although Hardy has a tendency to go on and get a bit flowOne of the saddest and most expressive stories I have ever read. It was beautifully written (although Hardy has a tendency to go on and get a bit flowery) and I felt so strongly for Tess, hated the injustice of her life and the people who inflicted it upon her. A must read....more
Perhaps I should hate Humbert Humbert, a man obsessed with 'nymphets' - pre-pubescent girls... But I can't, I never have, and years later his is a chaPerhaps I should hate Humbert Humbert, a man obsessed with 'nymphets' - pre-pubescent girls... But I can't, I never have, and years later his is a character that stays with me no matter what. The whole book stays with me no matter what.
I love it, it's controversial but handles the issues in such a way that only those with the faintest of hearts would be put-off. The style of the writing is simply fantastic, the kind that is incredibly detailed but so easy to read. I cherish this story as one of the greatest I have ever read. I empathize with Humbert and Lolita, and the narrative (from Humbert's point of view) is gripping to the very end.
I thoroughly recommend this. Even those that come out at the other side simply LOATHING Humbert cannot deny that this is an amazing book. Though I first read it about three years ago I am constantly going back over small sections, and I am certain I will re-read it in it's entirety very soon.
This book has pride of place in my shelf, and in my heart. A dramatic, emotional and thoroughly touching story. ...more