So today I finished the second book in the 2016 reading challenge. And like A Year in Japan, I finished this one in one afternoon. This time, I read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice, which was my “book that was banned.”
Why did I choose to read this one next? I went to the library and they had this book, so I got it. Then I got curious and started reading it and kept going.
(The following post may be NSFW, so be warned)
Unlike the copy I found at the thrift store several years ago (yes, this is the exact same book that I found at the thrift store) this one screams “PORN!” right at the start, whereas the copy at the thrift store had a plain solid-color cover with just the title and author. One only has to look at the cover of this book and see the image of Sleeping Beauty fast asleep with one breast out of her nightgown to know what the book has in store.
The book starts with the traditional Sleeping Beauty fairy tale: Sleeping Beauty, her parents, and the entire castle under a spell that will make everyone sleep for one hundred years, and the Prince making his way through the wall of thorns to go find Sleeping Beauty. And yes, this does remain rather faithful to the original in that the prince rapes Sleeping Beauty while she is still unconscious. But then it takes a weird turn as Sleeping Beauty wakes up to the Prince’s kiss and the Prince refuses to let her put clothes on. He takes her back to his castle, forcing her to remain naked and perform various degrading acts during the two-day journey home. If I went into any more detail, I would have to give this entire blog an NSFW disclaimer. And then the rest of the book follows Beauty as she becomes a slave in the Prince’s castle, which resembles a sadist sexual dungeon, joining a rank of other (naked) slaves. I really can’t go into any more detail without making this post age-restricted, but let’s just say that I understand why it was banned. The entire book was filled with sadist, erotic scenarios, so much so that frankly, I’m surprised the librarian didn’t check my ID before sending me on my way with this book.
This book is the first in a quartet, and I’m rather curious to find the second book and find out what happened next. But I must warn my readers that this book is not appropriate for anyone under the age of eighteen. And I might also have to add a trigger warning for sexual assault, just in case. But reading a banned book can be a liberating experience, and I’m proud that I’ve finished the second book in my reading challenge, with only ten more to go.