Story of O
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Story of O

By (author) Pauline Reage

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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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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 22mm | 200g
  • 28 Apr 1994
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Corgi Books
  • London
  • English
  • 0552089303
  • 9780552089302
  • 8,342

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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.

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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"

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Review text

Classic, once-banned tale of sadomasochism which is now known to have been written by the French literary critic Dominique Aury. O, a young woman, is taken by her lover to the chateau in Roissy where her sexual education in absolute obedience is undertaken. Like a visit to the sexual circles of hell, O's odyssey is a gripping exploration of the darkest extremes of sexuality and dominance, made all the more remarkable by the undoubted pleasure the heroine takes in her fall from innocence and grace. Still a controversial book that evokes very different reactions. Review by MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI (Kirkus UK)

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