Carrie's Story - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Lara

Carrie's Story review

If you liked Story of O, you’ll like Carrie’s Story. It’s a smart, engaging, well-written, extremely sexual journey into the many forms of power.
well-written, engaging story, believable characters
the rare moments where Carrie’s self-reflection gets tedious
Rating by reviewer:
useful review
According to Nielsen BookScan, erotica sales have grown by almost 25 percent over the past three years. Racy literary fiction can now be found in most bookstores and mainstream publishers are creating erotica imprints. BDSM fiction|BDSM Fiction is becoming more accessible and more legitimate every day. The problem is that so much of it is simply bad writing. This is where Carrie’s Story|Carrie's Story stands apart from the thousands of pages of heaving and trembling currently on the market.

Carrie’s Story is a very, very good book.

The story centers on Carrie - a recent UC Berkeley graduate who, true to that generation’s sense of ambivalence towards The Man, works as a bike messenger by day and lives out her submission fantasies by night (and weekend). Her master, Jonathan, is everything she is not - an affluent San Francisco architect in his mid-30’s with a compulsive need for order, structure, and control.

Carrie enters into a master/slave relationship with Jonathan almost immediately after meeting him at a party. He takes her through the basics of slave training and sends her off to a “pony farm” where she learns the surprisingly complicated techniques behind being a human pony. He shares her with his friends, uses her to manipulate the women he dates, and, finally, auctions her off at a European slave auction.

It’s a stretch, but not a difficult one. Carrie’s world may very well exist and it’s a voyeur’s dream to be able to gain access to it without participating physically. The extraordinary writing makes all the difference in this respect. Molly Weatherfield not only crafts a deeply engaging story, she does so using smart language and a remarkably smooth writing style.

Unlike the more familiar “boy meets girl, boy spanks girl, boy and girl live happily ever after,” Carrie’s Story gives us the perspective of a woman acutely aware of how surreal her situation is. For the vast majority of the book, Carrie’s intelligence and curiosity serve the reader well. Her narration goes beyond a chronology of events and explores the power dynamics inherent in all relationships, not simply those based on overt dominance and submission. At the same time, there were also moments where I found Carrie’s mental dialogue pretentious. Yes, Carrie, we know you’re smart. Yes, we know how interesting you find all of this. Yes, we understand that you’re seeing this as a story as much as we are. Please get off that precious intellectual high horse of yours.

The writing is titillating (“She lay down on the couch and pulled me into a straddle on top of her, the dildo deep in my cunt...”), it’s thoughtful (“Power is exercised, but power relations are enacted. I model the form, you reproduce it...”), and it’s occasionally bizarre (“He reattached my tail, first regreasing the dildo.”). Carrie’s Story is very much a work of BDSM fiction, but at the same time goes far beyond the genre. It’s unmistakably kinky, but it’s also a very good read.
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  • Nashville
    Fantastic review.. it sounds like a very interesting read!
  • thedude
    not for me, thanks
  • LittleBird
    Great review!
  • fromazoo
    Thank you for the review
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