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171 Reviews
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still incomparable
If there's any justice, the success of 50 Shades is bringing the focus back on this classic.
Did it all, said it better than anyone else years ago.
Few have improved on it. Drop dead Grey and Anastasia, this is the real stuff....
Published on 23 July 2012 by Real erotica

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story of love and obedience...
The much better written and much more exciting version of 50 shades... has a very disappointing end through and the reviews for the second book aren't great so I think I'll the leave rest to my imagination. Definitely worth a read though!
Published 22 months ago by megan elizabeth


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A noir classic of love and betrayal, 6 Feb 2000
By 
This review is from: Story Of O (Paperback)
Brilliant book - but very dark - O falls in love and is then abused and humiliated and then abandoned. I think you can read a bit of the author's history in the emotional intensity of it - apparently distinguished French Academician Dominique Aury was trying to keep her lover and sending him love letters to try and keep him interested - which formed the basis of this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy and disturbing S & M, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Story Of O (Kindle Edition)
I found this a very interesting read, it was thought provoking and also disturbing at times. A real no holds barred love story, the giving up of O's soul completely to her lover's wants, complete and utter devotion to become property willingly, Disturbing yes, but completely believable, not sure if I personally found it erotic, maybe more instructional into the pain/pleasure conundrum.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good classic to read, but it may shock you, 12 Jan 2014
This review is from: Story Of O (Paperback)
This book is far better written than Shades of Grey which, though erotic, was inane drivel. Written with elegant prose and is written in a dispassionate manner which adds to the effect.

The concepts written about are more extreme than SoG and, as others have written, it is not a book where you're likely to become gripped by the book due to identification with the characters.

Overall an excellent book to read, if only to see the origins of erotica and that it's possible to write intelligently about erotic subjects without being graphic. The implied "he took me in my belly" is far more subtle than modern books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinatingly erotic, 16 April 2013
This review is from: Story Of O (Kindle Edition)
I found the book fascinating and erotic and repellent all at the same time: In places it frightened me, confused me and turned me on, sometimes all at once. It's unfiltered and unique. It is about power, the pleasure of having it, and finally the pleasure of letting it go Once you get beyond the fear of degradation you realise it is absolutely a feminist piece of work, empowering to women. You are presented with a woman who is revealing her sex life, and it is the woman who dominates the situation, her feelings, and her responses, . `It is only when you make me suffer that I feel safe and secure.'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why was this banned?, 21 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Story Of O (Paperback)
I 'm old enough to remember this book being banned in UK - on reading it, I can't think why! No 'get-down-and-dirty' graphic sex, just tasteful writing on a fairly taboo subject ( S&M) Quite enjoyable, but not for sensationalists!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story of love and obedience..., 2 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Story Of O (Kindle Edition)
The much better written and much more exciting version of 50 shades... has a very disappointing end through and the reviews for the second book aren't great so I think I'll the leave rest to my imagination. Definitely worth a read though!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written..., 27 Jan 2013
This review is from: Story Of O (Paperback)
Beautifully written and highly erotic, this book might be a little hard-core in places, but is one hundred times better than the embarrassing pap and dross that is '50 shades'. However you feel about the rights and wrongs of bdsm and the use or abuse of power in sex, this book should be read with an open mind. The language and style is amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why, 17 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Story Of O (Paperback)
Why, oh why do they put a reference to "50 Shades" on the cover of this classic now? "Before 50 Shades of Grey, there was Story of O..." I ready the Story of O years ago, and re-discovered it thanks to being so dissappointed by 50 Shades (double crappy thanks for that).
But it is a real spoiler to receive the books in the post now with reference to 50 Shades on both. 3 Stars only because of that!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart or those looking for a sex fix, 17 Sep 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Story of O (Paperback)
Definitley an interesting read. Delving into how one can give themself up so completely and utterly... in it's own frightening way it can actually make you feel liberated in knowing how and why you give yourself up to someone (albeit not necessarily in such a fashion as O). The erotic content is subtle and is masked behind the rest of the story as well as what O endures... and that is part of the erotic content. If that is not understood it's just a story about a woman being tied up, used, whipped and branded. Not too erotic if you think about it. But in the context of the story, she endures it to show her love and devotion, and that is where it becomes erotic. Delving into the human psyche and uncovering that little part in all of us that wants to give ourselves completely to the one we love. However, if your looking for a quick, one handed read, this will not provide it. It's thinking erotica, definitely.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark territory, 3 July 2012
By 
Mr "rat de biblio" (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Story Of O (Paperback)
Pauline Réage (a pseudonym) wrote this to demonstrate to her older male lover that a woman could write just as well as de Sade, in the same vein. So, in a sense, it's an intellectual exercise. It goes on too long and it is very repetitive, and the central philosophical/ethical ideas are tendentious, but it certainly succeeds in being disquieting. The main downside is that the characters are cardboard - we never really see what's inside the minds of the protagonists (except for their perversion, though this may be symbolical). Other readers may also agree with me that the increasing degradation and humiliation of the heroine - though she purports to accept them as a kind of liberation - are just too repetitive and go on too long, so that what starts as intriguing goes nowhere and becomes dismal and depressing. De Sade shows greater respect to women, demonstrates deeper thinking, and manages to be a lot more sexually stimulating as well (and if that's what you're looking for, I think you'll have to be un peu particulier to find it in 'O'!) But there's another side to this book: you could call it a metaphor for the human condition, and read with that in mind, it's probably one of the bleakest works ever written. Does it work on this level? The jury's out. Might it all be meant ironically? I doubt it - there's not a trace of humour in this, overt or implied.

By the way, you should get an edition which includes Une fille amoureuse & Retour à Roissy if you want more context.
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Story Of O
Story Of O by Pauline Réage
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