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Publisher's Summary

O is a young, beautiful fashion photographer in Paris. One day her lover, René, takes her to a château, where she is enslaved, with René's approval, and systematically sexually assaulted by various other men. Later, René turns O over to Sir Stephen, an English friend who intensifies the brutality. But the final humiliation is yet to come.

©1965 Grove Press, Inc. (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A rare thing, a pornographic book well written and without a trace of obscenity." (Graham Greene)

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Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    147
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    69
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    32
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    32

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    165
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    86
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    49
  • 2 Stars
    15
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    21

Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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    127
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    74
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    70
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    32
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  • Story
  • Justagirl
  • Tacoma, WA, United States
  • 10-15-12

This is not 50 Shades

I enjoyed this book when I read it in college, I enjoyed it even more a few years ago. This is classic literature, it is dark, and naughty and hot....but it is literature..not beach trash. There is nothing light or whisical about it.

The story is prefaced with a number of forwards, and literary studies on the work which I found fascinating.

The story was originally published in 1954 as Histoire d'O. It was penned entirely in french and some may find the "translation" difficult. The writer, Anne Desclos a french author and journalist, wrote the book because her editor said no woman could write erotica. She did not reveal herself as the author until 40 years later.

I enjoyed the audible edition, and truly appreciated the forwards, but it will not be for everyone.



27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Oh O!

Would you listen to Story of O again? Why?

Definitely, the story of O is a complex one but well worth the listen and read! I do recommend going in with an open mind and trying your best to not form an opinion until the very end. This story seems like one that helps you further develop your thoughts of the story, characters,and concepts with every additional read.

What other book might you compare Story of O to and why?

As so elegantly stated in the introduction, this was the first erotica book written by a women! The better question is what books would I compare to O. The whole idea of the possession can be seen as an extreme version of the Crossfire novels. To be noted, there are plenty of differences between the Crossfire and O but if open to see it, you can also find similarities.

Which scene was your favorite?

An unforgettable part in the book was the branding of Sir Steven's name on O, and the way they attached the leash for the ball.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

In the beginning I was very offended and at times upset but once O explained herself and her feeling and reasons my reaction turned to respect. Not respect in what she allowed to happen to her, but in respect in knowing what she liked and wanted and not apologizing for it.

Any additional comments?

I truly loved the book. There are difficult parts and down right things I would never fully digest, but the story is well written, I only wish I could have enjoyed it in french.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mon
  • San Francisco, Ca
  • 03-30-14

Can we say intense?

Would you listen to Story of O again? Why?

Not sure if i would listen to it again but I am glad that I finally gave this audio a go. It's intense, disturbing, sad, and seductive.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't know if I liked any of the characters. I found Jacqueline's character to be very interesting because she was so different from O. She was not so willing to bend and while O called her selfish, Jacqueline had a sense for self preservation. "O" had zero inkling to save her self and truly and literally was a submissive.

What does Käthe Mazur bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She was perfect. She read each word slowly and deliberately. I got sucked in and thought that Kathe Mazur's voice cut through the tragedy and lulled you into "O's" tale. It was a very hypnotic listen.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes it was intense and spellbinding. It was a psychological journey and makes all the FSOG books look so trite because this story is the real deal. Don't get me wrong, I read FSOG and it's light and fluffy and shinny. The Story of O doesn't do a damn thing to make you feel good or try to entertain you. It has a strange voyeuristic feel - you are watching or reading something that you shouldn't and what is happening behind closed doors isn't really meant for you, yet you can't stop listening or watching. It has that quality to it.

Any additional comments?

The last scene where O is displayed for all to see as nothing more than Sir Stephen's object, his toy, his person was so tragic. She allowed all this and became nothing more than an owl, an object; a thing to be used in any which way for love. She gave everything away and had nothing left to give. I finished this book about 5 days ago and still can't get the images out of mind. It's a powerful read and I think it's worth the listen.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Changed my view on a lot of things

Would you listen to Story of O again? Why?

Yes, I will wait at least a year because I became outraged listening to the level of inhumanity one woman would endure in the name of "love". To think these dehumanizingactivities may go on in the world is truly disturbing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Story of O?

When O has a chance to get away from the abusive behavior she chose to stay.

What does Käthe Mazur bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Mazur reads with a slow steady pace. It allows the listener to really absorb what is happening and the mind blowing way in which this woman accepts her fate and how in the end she is discarded like a piece of garbage.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did. I was shocked then angry and at the end very, very sad. I wanted to shake O awake until I realized she had become numb from her mistreatment and would have enjoyed my actions and nothing would change.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this book to any reader that enjoyed the Shades of Gray trilogy. While I did not read the series I would hope that listeners of this story would understand that we demoralize our selves by making these abusive behaviors entertainment. the Story of O was an education.<br/> I downloaded the book because J.K. Rowling refused to read the Shades of Gray series <br/>after reading this one.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Crystal
  • Richlands, NC, United States
  • 12-26-12

I truly enjoyed it.

What made the experience of listening to Story of O the most enjoyable?

Watching her change into what he knew she wanted to be, for she did not know herself yet came to for she never said no to anything he asked her to do. The trust and the love she had for him and he for her. This type of lifestyle is not for all

What was one of the most memorable moments of Story of O?

When she truly found out who she was and was proud of it

Which scene was your favorite?

there were many

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. The love and the depth of respect

Any additional comments?

For this type of book to be written and published in the 50's was something. Women were of the home to cook and raise children that was there role. This book said they could have another and that sex was not dirty or just something to be endured but to be enjoyed. Yes it's not the taste of everyone but for those of us that have lived this way can see the person inside wishing to get out and helping them to be what they wish, or the person that can truly trust another to show them all they can be. Its truly a book about sex and erotics but more of trust and love

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Big Big trigger warnings here

I am by no means a prude but this book was a bit much for me. The entire story was horribly sad for me. O was clearly disturbed and looking to be loved and is just abandoned time after time and does horrible things for her lovers approval. Some of the scenes were terribly difficult to listen to, not because of the sexually graphic nature, but the psychological abuse she endures. I really had to find a quiet place after this book because it was very unsettling to listen to. This isn't what BDSM should be about so PLEASE don't go in thinking this is a representation of the community or that this is just book porn because it definitely isn't.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent reader!

What did you love best about Story of O?

The reader found great nuance in this novel.

What does Käthe Mazur bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her interpretation of the characters and rhythms of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Well done but very disturbing

Would you listen to Story of O again? Why?

This story was really hard to listen to, I would not not listen to it again nor would I recommend it to friends, it was difficult to listen to due to the subject matter and the nature of the torture.

What other book might you compare Story of O to and why?

None of the Erotic books I have listened to prior

Have you listened to any of Käthe Mazur’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to this author prior

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found this book upsetting as it crossed the line mentally as to what I find acceptable as "willing" participants

Any additional comments?

I did not dislike the writing, how it was translated or the reader; they were all well done. My issues are personal and with the subject matter relating to how "O" and the other women were mentally and physically degraded and harmed.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

disturbing

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

no not really

Would you be willing to try another book from Pauline Reage? Why or why not?

no

What three words best describe Käthe Mazur’s voice?

I didn't care for the narrator

Could you see Story of O being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

no idea

Any additional comments?

This is my opinion...I read this book about 16 years ago, give or take a few years. This book is quite hard to forget. Rene- O's boyfriend takes her to Roissy ( a house of torture) she is raped, beaten, humiliated and she does it because she loves Rene. At the end of her time there Rene gives her to Sir Stephen H. I hated Rene at that time in the book. his character is just a whimpy, stupid man. Sir Stephen takes over and tortures, disfigures and rapes O constantly, By the end of the book she doesn't know her head from a hole in the ground. One of the endings had something to do with Sir Stephen leaving and she was going to kill herself and he gave her his permission, I was thinking.... she really should.... I think everyone should read this book (listen to it) I enjoy reading different opinions. Also this book is not easily forgotten.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

the story of O no

was okay the auther is known now wish the last chapter was on here but leaves it to your own imagination