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Story of O

(Story of O #1)

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  15,728 ratings  ·  1,413 reviews
“The free publication of Story of O in this country is an event of considerable importance… it is a significant measure of how far we have come in lifting the restrictions on art and our responses to it…

In brief, Story of O relates the progressive willful debasement of a young and beautiful Parisian fashion photographer, O, who wants nothing more than to be a slave to her
Paperback, 287 pages
Published April 28th 2012 by Transworld Publishers Ltd (first published 1954)
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3.33  · 
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 ·  15,728 ratings  ·  1,413 reviews

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i am not going to write a serious review of this book. if you want to talk about why bondage erotica is bad for women or how negation porn makes its readers complicit in the victimization of women halfway across the globe or to sip tea and talk about depersonalization or dehumanization or anything even remotely intelligent - more power to you, but this book bored me so much i don't even care to elevate it or grant it any sort of intellectual discussion. i am really only interested in talking abo ...more
Petra Eggs
The original ending of this book was suppressed because it supposedly objectified women. However, I think the book is very empowering for women. It makes very clear the difference between being submissive as a person and being submissive as a sexual preference. O is a successful career woman who gets her freak on as a sexual slave. We are all hedonists at heart!

The prudish, Protestant roots of society plus the pc attitudes for which feminism is responsible in part, make this a very shocking boo
Casey Wilson
Since my child is currently one of my 2 friends, I will refrain from writing a real review of this book. Manon, when you're living far far away and are much older you should check this out. And when you do, please don't tell me about it.
Emily May
May 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, erotica
I never had any intention of reading Story of O until I was recently asked to review it. I knew I wouldn't like it, that it is not the kind of erotica I usually waste my Sunday afternoons with, so rather than purchasing the whole thing, I instead decided to read the Amazon Kindle sample. That, I'm afraid, was way more than enough. I'm not sure whether the sample starts at the beginning of the story or not, the first chapter felt a little out of place, but then none of what I read really followed ...more
The most useful piece of advice on literary criticism that I've ever come across is Nabokov's dictum to identify with the author, not the characters. This book is a perfect example. If you make the mistake of identifying with O, it's all a bit bewildering. Why exactly is she interested in being blindfolded, tied up, whipped, and fucked from all angles by a bunch of people she doesn't even know? It seems bizarre and rather distasteful.

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location c
Jennifer Benson
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first most people read this as erotica. However I read it for a psychology class. There is a much deeper story if you read it from a different perspective. Sad, definitely. This woman gives up everything. I don't mean everything in the passive way we use it today. I mean right down to her voice. She only speaks a few times, I can count the number of times on one hand. She gives away her core, her voice and her soul. Just to be loved. And what a silent psychological break she makes to remain a ...more
Ninoska Goris
Feb 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
English - Español

OMG what did I just read? This is horrible and tremendously boring, every time I started reading my eyes closed.

It did not seem erotic, but totally abusive to those who not only accept it, but also yearn for it, demonstrating that it must be a person with serious psychological problems and zero self-esteem.

O, the protagonist, a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer, has Rene as a lover. As he had already told her that he wanted to prostitute her, it does not take her by surpri
This book must have been really something when it first came out, but to me, this was just another one of those unintentionally funny chick flicks. I do realize I completely missed the point of this book, because it just completely flew by me.

I won't go into detail too much but the story begins when O and her lover Rene (I use an Allo Allo! accent here) are in the backseat of a taxi, and O is instructed to take her underwear etc off, walk into a building and let herself be abused and tortured, n
Paul Bryant
Jan 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mentalillness, novels
I did read this some years ago so honesty compels me to list it here. For those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure, I can save you some time. All you need are these few verses from Tom Lehrer - the book itself is much less amusing. I quote them here because it's just possible some of you will not know this lovely ballad.

I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear.
You can raise welts like nobody elts,
As we dance to the masochism tango.

Say our l
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Anonymous author grabs her reader by the proverbial balls right before bedtime god damn it

E. L. James should be ashamed. What I'm reading here is pure artistry and I almost wonder if the author isn't writing from experience. It's very difficult to explain these types of sexual and psychological relationships unless you've been in one.

RTC but let me say this...REALLY ANONYMOUS??? What's with that ending?

Audiobook #210 11/20/18
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Όχι που θα άφηνα την κατηγορία erotica να μου ξεφύγει!!! Η ιστορία της Ο είναι ένα βιβλίο μιας γαλλίδας δημοσιογράφου, που το έγραψε μετά από ένα στοίχημα με τον εραστή της ότι μια γυναίκα μπορεί να γράψει μια ιστορία επιπέδου Μαρκήσιου Ντε Σαντ (και αυτός της το προλογίζει). Μέχρι σχεδόν το τέλος της ζωής της δεν είχε παραδεχτεί ότι αυτή ήταν η συγγραφέας του, και είναι το δεύτερο – λένε – πιο διαδεδομένο γαλλικό βιβλίο σε πωλήσεις μετά το Μικρό πρίγκηπα, δηλαδή πούλησε σαν τρελό (τα γαλλάκια τ ...more
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While this was one of the most original and mind blowing books I've ever read (and the history behind it is fascinating as well), it is definitely not for everyone, especially the sexually squeamish and the faint of heart. It deals with a sadomasochistic relationship in early 20th century France. It feels very reminiscent of Marquis de Sade's type of literary eroticism, but is a much easier read in terms of language and prose. This book stayed with me for months after I read it leaving me with t ...more
Genre: Erotica
Type: Standalone Book 1 of Story of O Duet
POV: Third Person

O was a fashion photographer in the heart of Paris. With her lover René, she decided to explore the darker side sexuality. She developed a taste for being used and abused, but how much more could she endure in the name of love?

“Your hands are not your own, nor are your breasts, nor, most especially, any of your bodily orifices, which we may explore or penetrate at will.”

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Bonnie by: 1001 Books to Read Before You Die
This story was written in 1954... I cannot even begin to imagine the outrage this novel must have caused.

Taken at face value it’s a strange, odd, and confusing tale of female submission. The main character, known as O, is brought to the château of Roissy where she is taught to be constantly ‘available’ to the men who belong to that ‘elite group’. Like I said, awkward. You’re not given much background story at all so you don’t quite understand the O and why she’s allowing this to happen when she

2.5 Stars

Story of O begins with the protagonist, only known as “O,” being trained as a submissive at the request of her then lover. Consenting to his wishes, O’s life changes as she learns about her deep needs in regard to love, freedom and submission. Treated as a possession, O finds pleasure in pain and the concept of feeling owned.

“And yes, by the way: while it is perfectly all right for you to grow accustomed to being whipped—since you are going to be every day throughout your stay—this is
Oct 28, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
I read this quite a while ago, and thought I had already rated it.

Anyway, what I still cannot fathom is why a woman would write fiction that so thoroughly dehumanizes women. Even the Marquis doesn't come close,and one could excuse it more from a man. One can only feel sorry for poor Desclos.

On the other hand, I'm possibly missing the point, which might be put across more subtly than it was in 9 1/2 weeks, the point being that if you play around too much with, and slide deeper and deeper into the
Sidharth Vardhan
If you think about it, we are only part humans. And our sexual instincts still come from our animal part - thankfully, just consider 1984 and Brave New world universes to get an idea of what would happen if we let it be too governed by social values (with exception of consent which is a must of course). That is probably true for feminism too - I am sure I have read somewhere feminists have objections to some of sexual positions and I think that is going too far. If you really want to write a cod ...more
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ♥Xeni♥ by: Sagi
Thank you to my friend to recommend this to me. I can't believe that I hadn't found this book before! I must have stumbled across it somewhere... probably...

Whilst reading, I had to keep two things in mind. First and foremost that this was a classic. Secondly, that it was French.

The fact that it's a classic bit of literature is pretty relevant. Mostly because when a book like this was written in earlier times, it was incredibly scandalous. Which meant that it would be banned and all other such
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Το καλοκαίρι του 2013 υπήρξε αρκετά δυστοπικό τόσο σε θέμα δουλειάς, το θυμάμαι σαν ένα μόνιμο ιδρώτα με συνεχείς αψιμαχίες για παράλογα πράγματα, με τη ζωή μου όπως την ήξερα ως τότε να έχει καταστραφεί ολοκληρωτικά και με μια ανάγκη να πατήσω τις λέξεις, να σπάσω πράγματα, μια ατελείωτη δίψα για νυχτερινή οδήγηση και για κουβέντες προκειμένου να μη συνομιλώ με τον εαυτό μου. Αυτό το βιβλίο υπήρξε η ηλιαχτίδα μου εκείνη την περίοδο.

Θυμάμαι να το διαβάζω αποσπασματικά ανάμεσα στα διαλείμματα απ
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the Guardian 4 May 1998:
Dominique Aury, who has died aged 90, was for half a century a pillar of the French establishment. Yet she will be remembered less for her influence on modern French literature than as the key to one of the most celebrated literary mysteries of hte 20th century.
Yet in 1994, she admitted that to ... should be added one further title: the Histoire d'O, which caused a sensation when it appeared in 1954. ... The detail is graphic ...

The book was banned and in the furo
This is not about sex.

It is about smooth prose that draws lines around your ankles which drag you to the woods. As sombre as that is, you get a feeling the trees are really props and somewhere there's a smoke machine. But you forget, hopefully.

You are O. You will think about love, ego, surrender, abandonment, jealousy, passion. Pain - not so much. Fear - not so much for the riding crop but of the self. You will stagger in your mules to the next leather couch in fear, lifting up your skirt, wond
Oct 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading The Story of O,while I find that life style bizarre,I also see its lure. Hear me out, without the many partners, beating,piercing and branding it has it's erotic appeal, if not you nor I would have ever picked it up to read in the first place. Everyone wants to be desired, maybe not at the same level as O. But then again I believe certain events that may have taken in her life is why she became this way. Not saying it's good or bad,may not for be for me but even though on ...more
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults who understand BDSM
Shelves: bdsm, bondage, spanking, caning
I think this has become a classic in the BDSM genre and just about everything has been said about it. This is my second reading. I first read it some years ago and O's self serving masochism and debasement horrified me then. Rene didn't care for her in any emotional sense yet that is what she desperately sought. Rene uses O to titillate and satisfy his sadistic appetite as well as passing her on to others for further humiliation and pain. O can't say no..becomes in need of whatever pain they adm ...more
Feb 26, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica, contemporary
An extremely disturbing piece of erotic literature that will turn your stomach a long time after having finished reading. Very graphic. No romance here. It's a frightening story of creepy, sadistic sexual power. Very difficult to rate. If you like reading this kind of story then you could easily give it a 5. I'd still recommend it just to know that books like this are out there but you have to be in the right frame of mind to read it I think.
G.R. Reader
Like The Song of Solomon, this is evidently an allegory of Christ's love for the Church. Or so I was told by a defrocked French priest with whom I once had a brief liaison.
A sexual fantasy written entirely in an in-universe style.
So many people on this site don't review it that way, or even take that as one of the possibilities. Almost makes me despair (yet again) at the epidemic of concrete thinking about literature among – albeit not limited to - angry young things. On the other hand, I was in my thirties by the time broadband porn was a significant phenomenon, and I didn't even see online posts by BDSM lifestylers until some time after I'd finished university -
Sotiris Karaiskos
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sensual
Με αφορμή τη σημερινή εορτή είπα να διαβάσω κάτι σχετικό, έτσι για να την πείσω την τιμήσω την ημέρα. Εντάξει, από τη στιγμή που γνωρίζετε το περιεχόμενο αυτού του βιβλίου καταλαβαίνετε ότι αστειεύομαι, στα πλαίσια μιας προσπάθειας παρωδίας της κατάστασης. Η πραγματικότητα, όμως, είναι ότι αυτό είναι η μισή αλήθεια και ότι στην πραγματικότητα με κάποιον τρόπο το βιβλίο έχει σχέση με αυτό που εορτάζεται. Το βιβλίο φυσικά δεν είναι απλά ένα προκλητικό πορνογράφημα, κατάλληλο μόνο για να προκαλέσει ...more
Don Rea
Jun 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My parents had a pretty hands-off attitude to my compulsive reading, and so in my early adolescence I read a lot of stuff that probably did my developing sexuality no good. Finding this book at a garage sale (I picked it up because I had read of it in /Playboy/, another ungoverned input) and reading it at the age of 13 was likely not to my benefit.

Re-reading it as an adult, I found it interesting in many ways that my eighth grade self could not have, such as noticing the exploration of the bound
Mar 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
رواية فجّة
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating, uncomfortable but fascinating and intense book. IDGAF. I loved it.
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Around the Year i...: Story of O, by Pauline Réage, Sabine d'Estree (Translator) 4 20 Feb 02, 2018 04:34AM  
Reading 1001: Story of O 1 19 May 07, 2017 02:21PM  

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Fifty years ago, an extraordinary pornographic novel appeared in Paris. Published simultaneously in French and English, Story of O portrayed explicit scenes of bondage and violent penetration in spare, elegant prose, the purity of the writing making the novel seem reticent even as it dealt with demonic desire, with whips, masks and chains.

Pauline Réage, the author, was a pseudonym, and many peopl

Other books in the series

Story of O (2 books)
  • Return to the Chateau (Story of O #2)
“As a matter of fact," the other voice went on, "if you do tie her up from time to time, or whip her just a little, and she begins to like it, that’s no good either. You have to get past the pleasure stage, until you reach the stage of tears.” 23 likes
“Finally a woman confesses! Confess what? What women never allowed themselves to confess. What men always criticized on them: they only obey the blood and everything is sex on them, even the spirit.” 12 likes
More quotes…