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Story of O (1954)

by Pauline Réage (Pseudonym), Anne Desclos (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Story of O (1)

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3,504763,328 (3.35)127
O is a young, beautiful fashion photographer in Paris. One day her lover, Rene, takes her to a chateau, where she is enslaved, with Rene's approval, and systematically sexually assaulted by various other men. Later, Rene turns O over to Sir Stephen, an English friend who intensifies the brutality. But the final humiliation is yet to come.… (more)

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» See also 127 mentions

English (69)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
The thing that I learned from this book is how to get into the mind of people who love so much that it destroys them, that do anything their lover asks without questioning if their love is returned and to what extent one might go to prove their loyalty. It all ends badly and it is an example to be avoided. Also I got a glimpse of how eroticas were written last century and how french literature affects the text. Can't say I liked this book but I also don't regret reading it. That's why I'll give it three stars out of five. ( )
  Ihaveapassion | Oct 25, 2022 |
Misogynist pornography! Why do seemingly intelligent people continue to justify works such as this as somehow revolutionary, anti-establishment and "liberating". This is an account of a women giving up all her integrity - bodily, psychological and spiritual integrity - to a succession of men (and one woman) and it attempts to persuade us that this is somehow liberating for her. Please will people begin to recognise such works as what they are; i.e. attempts to persuade women that subjection to men is their natural desire. ( )
  Estragon1958 | May 23, 2022 |
  laplantelibrary | Apr 26, 2022 |
The quintessential S&M story, although perhaps a little more theatrical than reality. There is an entire group or society involved in this, a bit like in Ninth Gate or Eyes Wide Shut.
I have to say that it was a lot less uncomfortable a read than i expected. I mean even Fanny Hill was a difficult read for me but this was much less so.
I think the main difference is the consensualness of the proceedings. O isn't tricked, intimidated or emotionally manipulated into agreeing with what is done to her. She seems intelligent, stable, financially independent, and is even shown to be something of a predator herself on occasion.
The sex in this book is blunt but not graphic, or perhaps graphic but not detailed.
Its not about sex its about control and need. Sometimes O's suppression of self for something outside herself takes on an almost religious nature. Its a really interesting character piece.
Also now that i think about it, it's also not about pain. Much of S&M revolves around getting pleasure from experiencing pain but that never happens to O.
She likes the pain inflicted on her only in so much as it makes her feel like she is under another persons control. Its a subtle but important difference between this and other S&M stories.
O's journey of self discovery, for want of a better term, is complete by about the 3/4 stage of the book. After that it felt like there wasn't really anywhere else for O to go.
The story ends abruptly and unfinished with only a note to reveal O's possible fate.
However i think it was a good idea to end it then as the plot looked like veering into some questionable areas which would have undermined the clearly consensual nature of the rest of the story. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
I didn't especially care for this book- not because of the explicit, erotic content; I came to this book fully cognizant of what I was going to be reading. Rather, I disliked the writing style (although, granted, perhaps something was lost in translation from French to English.) I kept thinking of "Fanny Hill" as I read this book, mainly because of the sometimes stilted tone, but also because of the disconnect I felt with O. There are some impressive psychological undertones to the story, and I can certainly see why this book is considered a classic, particularly when it comes to erotica. Unfortunately, as with many classics (I'm looking at you, "Madame Bovary"), I found myself disinterested and pleased only when I reached the end of the novel. (I will say this: what an ending! It will definitely stay with me - I still can't shake the memory of the final paragraphs of "The Grapes of Wrath.") ( )
  bookwyrmqueen | Oct 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Réage, PaulinePseudonymprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Desclos, AnneAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
d'Estrée, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fini, LeonorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morriën, AdriaanTranslator & Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paulhan, JeanPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pieyre de Mandiargues, AndréIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seaver, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Keep me rather in this cage, and feed me sparingly, if you dare. Anything that brings me closer to illness and the edge of death makes me more faithful. It is only when you make me suffer that I feel safe and secure. You should never have agreed to be a god for me if you were afraid to assume the duties of a god, and we know that they are not as tender as all that. You have already seen me cry. Now you must learn to relish my tears.
First words
Her lover one day takes O for a walk, but this time in a part of the city—the Parc Montsouris, the Parc Monceau—where they've never been together before.
Her lover one day takes O for a walk in a section of the city where they never go—the Montsouris Park, the Monceau Park.

--1992 edition
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Illustrated Story of O is not the same "work" as the novel. It is a series of photographs illustrating the book, and only contains excerpts of text. The Story of O by Guido Crepax is a "graphic novel" adaptation and should not be combined with the original book.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English


O is a young, beautiful fashion photographer in Paris. One day her lover, Rene, takes her to a chateau, where she is enslaved, with Rene's approval, and systematically sexually assaulted by various other men. Later, Rene turns O over to Sir Stephen, an English friend who intensifies the brutality. But the final humiliation is yet to come.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The classic erotic novel, THE STORY OF O relates the love of a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer for Rene. As part of that intense love, she demands debasement and severe sexual and pychological tests. It is a unique work not to be missed.
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Average: (3.35)
0.5 4
1 32
1.5 6
2 98
2.5 22
3 189
3.5 34
4 169
4.5 13
5 111

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