Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back to the Classics: Carrie's Story by Molly Weatherfield Revisited

Back to the Classics features one book (or series) that you consider classic. It doesn't have to be a Greek classic or a Victorian novel... contemporary classics are always welcome!

This is a free meme, meaning there's no scheduled post dates, no requirements, no prompts—it's completely up to YOU what you decide to post. You're welcome to write a review, ramble in anticipation, make historical rundowns, or provide any other interesting content pertaining to the book you choose. This is supposed to be a fun way to fawn over your favorite books while sharing with your readers your preferences as well! If you're participating, be sure to link up!
Before there was Anastasia, there was Carrie...

Molly Weatherfield's infamous, haunting, and time-revered S/m novel has recently received a makeover! This new Cleis Press reissue has a fabulous foreword by Tristan Taormino, as well as a gorgeous public transportation-friendly cover:

Release Date: 12 February 2013 (reissue)
Publisher: Cleis Press
Page Count: 198
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Brilliant, bold, and exquisitely kinky, Carrie's Story is an American Story of O that goes to the head of the class. Told in the whip-smart voice of a wickedly perceptive English major, this fully imagined and elegantly expressed erotic tale may well be the finest BDSM novel ever written. As Carrie's passions for irony, self-scrutiny, and obedience to her master Jonathan take her from San Francisco to the rough rural byways of Central Valley and posh enclaves of an overcivilized Europe, her story will sweep you into a world of secret, high-concept sensuality. In Carrie's Story, Molly Weatherfield (the alter ego of award-winning romance writer, Pam Rosenthal) has created created an indelible "thinking readers' submissive."

Desire runs rampant in this story of uncompromising mastery and irrevocable submission.
You think Fifty Shades kickstarted the contemporary scene's BDSM obsession? Think again; Carrie's Story came first.

It's been nearly two years since I first read and reviewed Weatherfield's 1995 classic, so it was rather sinfully nostalgic coming back. Carrie's Story is the first BDSM novel I ever read—my initiator, you could say—and it was probably the best-written, most tragic breaking-into I could have possibly asked for. Since then, I guess my taste in erotica has been de-virginized (...deflowered? ...done in the ass?). I remember when just looking at the old cover made me queasy, and the concept of whipping and caning itself made me sick to the stomach. Since then, I've made progress, so rereading this neo-Victorian love story was interesting, to say the least.

When it comes to erotica, especially when it's as hardcore as this, the mainstream is too scared—too polite—to really give it a chance. The seediness, the raunch, the explosive, completely intentional sex—it certainly can be a little daunting. But I think Carrie's Story is exactly the type of book that could quell those fears, bridging the vanilla to the... rocky road, shall we call it?

Aside from containing some of stormiest sex scenes I've read in literature (there's no steamy or sizzling here; it's all temper, passion, and of course, pain—both physical and emotional), books like Carrie's Story are so valuable because of the emotional resonance they convey. The helplessness of a love so strong, it will slowly disintegrate if left alone, is perfectly woven through shameless romps of wicked sex. Weatherfield's compelling, absorbing prose wraps readers up into a chilling, powerful narrative that reads like the wisps of a sensual dream, and the plot, in the end, leaves readers aching. At once an emotional ride and an undisciplined frolic in the dark and complex world of BDSM, Carrie's Story combines all the naughty bits—all the chocolate, marshmallow, and of course, nuts—into a relatable, tender love story.

And just to assuage you vanilla folk, I'll end with this: Carrie's Story is like designer-brand erotica; you won't find anything better-written or more intelligent in the genre. It's lyrical, and even its most explicit of passages are tasteful... well, as tasteful as human ponies and sex slaves get. But let's give credit where it's due: there's only so much dignity that one can carry while bound and gagged Americanflag

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store 
You can find distinctive, high-quality erotic titles like Carrie's Story from Cleis Press at Edenfantasys, today's Back to the Classics sponsor. Regardless of compensation, the content is 100% original—I was not paid to say or advertise anything—and all thoughts, opinions, and ideas are solely my own.