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Story of O Paperback – May 8, 1998
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Though she may be considered as a masochist at the beginning of the novel, it becomes clear while reading through the rest of the novel that this is not the case. This is not so much a story about masochism, as it is more a story about love, about how much a woman would sacrifice for it, and the length a woman will go to keep her lover, Rene, happy. O derives no pleasure from the physical, emotional, and psychological torture she endures. Rather, her pleasure is derived from the aftermath of those things: the lashes to her skin, the debasement and objectification of her body and the cruelty that she willingly chooses to endure makes O "happy" in the fact that she is doing all this to please her lover.
O is not a prisoner or slave in the normal term of the word, but rather she is a slave to her love for Rene, as he has made it clear to her that she is free to leave anytime she desires. But she is blinded by her love for him and feels that by enduring the punishment he puts her through, she is becoming closer to him. Or rather, she is becoming his, his object, his property.Read more ›
There are aspects to this tale that may shock some people, or leave them with an unpleasant feeling after finishing it. And because of this, I believe it is important to understand why this book was written. THE STORY OF O was written by a French journalist named Anne Desclos (Dominique Aury) as both a love letter and the answer to a challenge by her boyfriend. He was an admirer of De Sade's erotica, and claimed that a woman could not write good erotica.
In the tradition of De Sade, she wrote a story of a young woman's descent into sexual degradation. O falls deeper and deeper until she reaches bottom and there is nowhere left to go, nothing left to do. What makes it truly stand out from De Sade and other male authors is the utterly feminine twist to the story: it is not lust that drives O down this path, but love: her love for Rene, at first, and later for Sir Stephen. O is a metaphor for Desclos' love for her lover, the whips and chains symbolize the strength of her devotion to him. The ending represents her fear of her lover tiring of her and abandoning her for a younger woman. (This is a very simplified explanation, there are several excellent essays of the various interpretations of the symbolism in this book, and can be found by doing a search for `The Story of O'.)
Desclos' lover was so impressed by her story he encouraged her to seek publication. And so she did, using the pseudonym, Pauline Reage.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
felt it was only the middle of a book. No beginning or endPublished 1 month ago by patricia coleman
Bought this for my wife after she read the 50 shades books and then several other similar books. This is by far the most sexual of them all, but still a good read and I actually... Read morePublished 1 month ago by TexasWheelz
It was very intense& interesting... But the ending was not what I expected... It was depressing.Published 1 month ago by M Nuckols
The subject matter was hard for me at times, but it was interesting and well written. Great storytelling.Published 1 month ago by Nathan "Butch" Brown
I've always wanted to read this book and I finally did! NOT for children or for those who have a hard time with extreme sexual situations. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Reina T.
The Story Of O is THE definitive D/s, BDSM, Romantic Erotica novel of the 20th century. It has spawned many imitators, but--as yet--nothing has come close to capturing the charged... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mister Egg