One view of the novel is that it is about the ultimate objectification of a woman. The heroine of the novel has the shortest possible name, consisting solely of the letter O. This caused much speculation as to what it could symbolise or stand for, some suggesting object or orifice, but is in fact an abbreviation of the name Odile.
Eliot Fremont-Smith (of the New York Times) called its publishing "a significant event".
The sequel was Retour à Roissy.
A film of the same name, based on the book, was made in 1975 by director Just Jaeckin, starring Corinne Clery. The film met with far less acclaim than the book.
Compare with: Venus in Furs