Silvana's Reviews > Story of O

Story of O by Pauline Réage
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's review
Jul 09, 09

bookshelves: bookmooch, classics, used-to-own
Read in July, 2009

Not as amazingly sensuous as expected, or elegantly arousing for that matter. What's so classic about this book, I wonder. I'm kinda disappointed here.

Maybe the setting is too modern for my taste? Or the plot's too simple? It was almost like reading a pwp story from

Meh. I haven't read many similar books, but I guess I'll be more cautious in selecting another in the future. Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy is more ah...enchanting and imaginative ;)

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Coqueline The Story of O will still remain as my own personal classics (remember that it was first published in the 50s).

I prefer it over Anne Rice's for its subtlety and psychological approach to S&M. While The Sleeping Beauty is graphic and physical, Story of O is mysterious (who is this woman O really?) and told from the point of view of a woman who submitted to be dominated by her own free will. The book elevated the sexual acts into a psychological mind game where letting yourself being submissive is the ultimate control you can have over your own body and your partner. The plot is basically O's journey of letting herself being more and more submissive willingly (not because she was being 'broken' like Sleeping Beauty but it seems that she was searching for it herself). I just found the whole premise very powerful and haunting, and the more so because it was not as enchanting and colourful as Rice's.

That being said, it could also be that you would relate better to the book if you have some personal inclination to S&M yourself... hahaha

message 2: by Silvana (last edited Nov 08, 2010 07:59PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Silvana Hi Coq!

Ahhh, so that's what it's all about! I basically skimmed some of the pages although the book is (maybe too) thin. I did not ponder at all about the mind games and stuff and I could not relate to the main character (or any of the characters). Yeah maybe my S&M experience needs to be broadened LOL.

I did read one of Rice's erotica other than the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, I think it's Exit to Eden. Guess what, I found it boring as hell. That makes me think that maybe I only like reading this kind of stuff when the setting is fantasy-like (or at least not during modern times)?

Btw, have you read anything written by Marquis de Sade? I've always wanted to read The 120 Days of Sodom :D

message 3: by aldo zirsov (new) - added it

aldo zirsov @Sil: want to read 20 days of sodom? or you can watch the movie "Salo". No popcorn please :)
I have the 120 days of sodom and the complete of marquis de sade vol. 1 & 2.... and my reviews are just.."yiaaakkkss...!!"

Silvana aldozirsov wrote: "@Sil: want to read 20 days of sodom? or you can watch the movie "Salo". No popcorn please :)
I have the 120 days of sodom and the complete of marquis de sade vol. 1 & 2.... and my reviews are just..."


message 5: by Coqueline (last edited Nov 09, 2010 01:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Coqueline Sil, the first time I read the book I was also looking for nothing but smut (well, I was in puberty anyway). But a couple of years back I took the time to re-read it cover to cover without looking for anything specific. I still find O is one of the most intriguing literary characters I've come across (the owl mask! I wanted to find one for a masked ball once, but couldn't find it).

Like I said in my review, maybe you should try to re-read it with the same state of mind as when you're reading Hermann Hesse's Siddharta... :p

Regarding Anne Rice, I also read Exit to Eden. Found it just all kink, no lasting impression. I found the concept of Sleeping Beauty trilogy fascinating, but the book become repetitive quite soon, as I felt there is no depth behind the superficiality of the setting. It read like an elaborate sexual role playing game.

I guess the general problem with erotica (and porn) is that it aims at the search for sexual pleasure, and we all know that it doesn't take a novel for it to be achieved. Once it happened, everything else is just repetition.

That's what keeps me going with The Story of O, there is depth escalation and the sexual content was not there as a goal, it's the contextual constant.

Hippo dari Hongkong Let's just say I was just around the corner :D

Wew.. S&M? I think I'll pass :D

Beuh, Aldo punya pelem Salo juga? pass lagi dah :))

Silvana Pelemnya sih gue ga mau nonton drpd muntah2.

Bukunya udah baca, semi-skimming sebenernya hahaha... yaaa gitu deh, biasa aja, masih mending yg Justine.

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