Monday, 27 October 2014

Review: The Story of Control

Adrianna Taylor, dominatrix and now author, was kind enough to offer me a copy of her autobiographical spank-heavy book The Story of Control. I gratefully accepted, because:

(i) I like writing reviews
(ii) I like reading
(iii) Wheeeeeeeee, free book

However, one of the reasons I was so keen to read this is that I'm not really interested in BD/SM, and particularly not domination. I mean, I know what it involves and all - it's just not my thing. YKINMK, after all. So I read this book from the point of view of an "outsider looking in" - not someone who needs to be instructed so much as someone who's just... curious.

So, anyway, The Story of Control is similar to a few other books I've read, except it's not made up of a number of blog posts or newspaper columns: it's a book of ten distinct chapters, presented in prose, going through a time in Adrianna's life in which she attempts to juggle her professional life as a dominatrix with various relationships and adventures out into Real Life. Which is fine, really.

The good points: I like the way she writes. She's got a pleasant, almost brisk tone that moves along at an okay pace, and she certainly characterises the people she writes about well enough - in fact, I found myself able to visualise them - even her clients - which is the sign of a good author. She's no-nonsense and down-to-earth and sometimes writes with genuine feeling.

The bad points: Despite all this, there were a few sections where I felt the feeling had gone missing somewhere. There are a few paragraphs where Adrianna talks about, in a kind of printed monotone, her professional boundaries, and they get a little repetitive. She states more times than I'd care to count that she doesn't have sex with her clients (I could have done with once!), and even tends to sometimes interrupt the flow of a scene with a couple of short sentences explaining what she's about to do, or has just done, which I'm sure is important but seems to make things a little stop-start to me.

Sometimes, it even seems as if she's trying to justify being a dominatrix with these sort of things. I'm reading a book by a dominatrix about domination; I've got no problem with it - you don't need to make any excuses!

In any case, from my point of view, this was a good book - but not much fun. It's well-written and nicely presented - and if she's a first-time writer it's a really good start, given its frank nature and range of experiences to describe. It's just too serious for me: I like there to be at least some laughs in my literature, and this has the potential to be much more light-hearted than it actually ends up being. I'm not saying it's dark and sinister - because it isn't, which is a relief - but it's not really something that grabs me as much as it could have were it written with just a pinch of salt towards all the happenings and goings-on.

But, as I say. YKINMK - and the same probably goes for books, too.

The Story of Control is available here. Thanks to the author for the copy.

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