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Carrie's Story: An Erotic S/M Novel Paperback – July 26, 2002
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But you don't read novels necessarily because you like the subject; you read novels to find out what a certain group could be thinking, without, say, asking them to explain themselves or without, in the case of s&m, being beaten. It doesn't matter how much tracts and tomes of nonfiction on the subject of s&m you read, you'll never find out how people think. It doesn't matter that Pam Rosenthal issues the disclaimer that she's a straight married lady. She presents a good exposition of what drives these people to do what they do. I wouldn't put myself through this, but probably Carrie, or women like her, wouldn't aspire to running the Altar Guild. That's the great thing about America. We have freedom of choice.
The main character - `Carrie' is a graduate student. So apparently the book is supposed to be a more `intellectual' study of the BDSM phenomena. However it does not even explore the most basic question - Why is Carrie allowing people to do this to her body? What is her emotional conflict? Carrie is not a kidnapped woman forced into sex slavery. She is not captivated by some abusive boyfriend who drags her into a BDSM relationship. She does it of her own free will. And the stunning thing is that she gets no orgasms, no real sexual satisfaction from all this pain and degradation.
Carrie's Story is way overpriced at $9.39. There are a number of writers who do a far better job in creating the BDSM synthesis of Pain - Pleasure - Emotional Conflict. `Carrie' seems to have no feelings at all, she just acts as everyone's kicking bag. The reader keeps waiting for some event or character to make it sexually or emotionally worthwhile for Carrie but it never happens, just more depressing abuse.
Carrie, our first-person narrator, is honest, dryly analytical, and has a great sense of irony. She is a strong, independent person; the choices she makes are very much her own. This does not mean she isn't scared or trepidatious about what will happen next. She is human, after all.
I was riveted by the fictional (or maybe not so fictional) world presented here and each of the characters. I'm so glad I read this book.