An incredible accomplishment in and of itself, this is only one part of something that is difficult to adequately review without overly complicating any summary description and coming across as exaggerating the praise.
The prose, the writing, is superb--a marvel and pleasure to read--as is the case with other parts of the story and other stories by this author.
As is also the case with other parts the story, and other stories of his, this author is uniquely skilled in taking the reader into and through experiences of shame and humiliation in many devilishly devised forms and contexts, at many levels and from various angles through many well-constructed characters without losing touch with the centrality and complexity of the main ones.
Within and through its sadomasochistic scenes and themes, the story is very erotic and sensual, but, without being overtly a socio-political critique and 'intellectual' in ways that make it less arousing, in my opinion, astutely scathing socio-political observations are threaded and woven into the story about classism, racism, sexism, careerism and the precarious and treacherous state of humanity and morality in each of the characters ... and in all of us, especially those of us reading this astonishing, anguishing tale, and, like the characters in it, being aroused by what we should have simply despised.
Appalling and yet enthralling, the story immerses the reader in scenes and events, conflicted and addicted characters who inflict and experience capricious, imaginative, outrageous cruelty, and yet keeps the reader keenly in touch with the humanity and emotional complexity of the characters ... and of ourselves, if and when we let it.
Surely many would be, will be, offended by things in this story, and, for those and that especially, in my opinion, it could and should be even more strongly recommended.
(reviewed the day of purchase)