Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > Story of O

Story of O by Pauline Réage
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's review
Dec 29, 07

it was ok
bookshelves: erotica, 2007, not-worth-it, bdsm, classics, fucked-up
Read in December, 2007

The Story of O is about a young Parisian woman, called O, whose lover, Rene, takes her to a place called Roissy where she learns how to submit, be obediant and various other rules that will forever shape her life. She is handed over to Rene's half-brother Sir Stephen, and becomes his branded slave.

This is more about the psychological torture, submission and enslavement that O undergoes, than about the physical acts themselves - which are rarely dwelled on or even described, and certainly aren't pleasurable. The aloof tone of the novella (it is very short and unfinished, the final chapter being "suppressed", whatever that means) fits in well with the way the men in the story treat O and the other women they've enslaved.

Whether it's the way it's written or the translation, it's a rather frustrating book, skipping around in time and place until you're a bit dizzy, and you're never really given a chance to understand these people. It's hard even to care for O because she seems so apathetic.

It's worth reading, as a study of human nature and the interesting paradox of feeling free and at peace through the total submission of one's will, body and soul, but it's an enjoyable book and will leave you feeling unsettled and even unhappy.
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