Story of O

Story of O


By (author) Pauline Reage

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  • Publisher: Corgi Books
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 22mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 28 April 1994
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552089303
  • ISBN 13: 9780552089302
  • Sales rank: 7,955

Product description

The classic French erotic bestseller that preceded Fifty Shades of Grey. A beautiful young French woman, known only as 'O', is taken by her lover Rene to a splendid mansion near Paris. Here, she is initiated into an elite secret society, where she must learn to serve the sexual fantasies of Rene and his fellow members. But she must also explore the nature of her own darkest desires - and confront just how far she is willing to go for love...

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Author information

Pauline Reage is the pseudonym of Anne Desclos, a French journalist and novelist. Story of O was first published in 1954, to much controversy and speculation as to the identity of the author. Desclos publicly admitted that she was the author of Story of O forty years after it was first published. She died in 1998.

Review quote

"'A rare thing, a pornographic book well written and without a trace of obscenity' Graham Greene 'A highly literary and imaginative work, the brilliance of whose style leaves one in no doubt whatever of the author's genius...a profoundly disturbing book, as well as a black tour-de-force' Spectator 'Here all kinds of terrors await us, but like a baby taking its mother's milk all pains are assuaged. Touched by the magic of love, everything is transformed. Story of O is a deeply moral homily' J.G. Ballard 'Cool, cruel, formalistic fantasy about a woman subjected - at the prce of the great love of her life - to the gamut of male sado-masochistic urges' Birmingham Post"

Editorial reviews

O ..... Oh! She appeared in Paris ten years ago and as one of the several prefatory pieces (when there are several, one becomes suspicious) explains, O contains many of the "devices" of any one of a number of books sold under the counter years ago. Only this one has no pictures. Only a bridal white jacket with the title fore and after and the injunction "The sale of this book is limited to adults." All kinds of claims are made by M. Paulhan, her sponsor (editor of the NRF: one of the sacred brotherhood - the Academic Francaise); it is a "mystic" book; it has a "ruthless decency"; it has "spaciousness." In the good old days, one could attach a single word to it, pornography, without being guilty of a parochial prudery. Actually O is old-fashioned erotica based on an old-fashioned premise: the function of the woman is sublime submission and O achieves her ennoblement through defilement. She is taken to a chateau, a sort of gothic maison close by her lover, trussed up in all sorts of positions and hardware, assaulted from all directions. Her vassalage continues when Rene, her lover, turns her over to his older English brother (he has riding whips in his golf bag) who exercises his droit de senior. Finally she is commanded to proceed through further supremely supine indignities in what can only now be a state of cataleptic exhaustion........ O. (Kirkus Reviews)