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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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Book Details

ISBN: 9780552089302
ISBN-10: 0552089303
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 127mm x 18mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Corgi Books
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publish Date: 28-Apr-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » 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)

US Kirkus Review » 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)

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Author Biography - Pauline Reage

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.

Books By Author Pauline Reage

Story of O by Pauline Reage

Story of O

Paperback, June 1998
Return to the Chateau by Pauline Reage

Return to the Chateau

Paperback, March 1997
Story of O Part Two: Return to the Chateau by Pauline Reage

Story of O Part Two: Return to the Chateau

Paperback, April 1994