Its difficult to truly describe a book such as this. I originally wanted to read it after learning that we get the word masochism from the author's name, being a creature of research I also purchased the complete works of the Marquis de Sade but that's a review for another time. I fell in love with this book, when early on I came upon this quote,
"Love knows no virtue, no profit; it loves and forgives and suffers everything, because it must. It is not our judgment that leads us; it is neither the advantages nor the faults which we discover that make us abandon ourselves or that repel us.
It is a sweet, soft, enigmatic power that drives us on. We cease to think, to feel, to will; we let ourselves be carried away by it, and ask not whither."
Utterly beautifully put. The main character Severin (heavily influenced from the authors own life) can become annoying with his devotion at time, but I look upon him with the eyes of a Mistress and not as someone that feels his plight. I also recommend listening to "Venus in Furs" by The Velvet Underground, also Dave Navarro does a great cover version.