'Reigen' - better known for its French title La Ronde (Drama Classics)
to English speakers - is Arthur Schnitzler's masterpiece on fin de siecle Vienna, portrayed through ten dialogues between 'lovers'. These form a circle, in which one of the participants stays constant to the next one, with a new entrant taking the place of the previous partner.
In spite of the book consisting of ten seduction / pillow talk scenes, it is neither obscene nor steamy - while late 19th century Vienna was certainly completely different to Victorian Britain (which the book portrays excellently), the play was still too avant garde for showing in theatres in its complete form until several decades later.
And it is this Vienna, or the Austro Hungarian society more broadly that the book depicts very well. The relationships, all in essence unequal socially, clearly demonstrate that in spite of the games of seduction and submission there is no one stronger partner, gender, or station in life - this balance being perhaps much more strongly present in Austro Hungary than in any of the other colonial empires of the time.
On top of this excellent portrayal of society, the book is also a pleasure to read, with witty dialogue and an excellent use of language. It is written in authentic Viennese dialect, so you need to be quite secure in your German to get the most out of the book - on the other hand this aspect will be missing from any translation of the work.