I work in a large book store and therefore, have witnessed first hand, the perplexing frenzy created by 50 Shades of Grey. This book began being requested discreetly in January, with a little more enthusiasm in February – and is now a full-blown fervor after a spot on Good morning America and front page article in the New York Times! The phenomenon has been compared to the release of the controversial (at the time) Davinci Code and has its origins in the fan following of the wildly successful Twilight. It has been described as Mommy porn, categorized as Erotica, and embraced by adult females from all walks of life, some who otherwise may not have picked up any book to read – let alone one that delves into the shadows of S&M.
So … of course, I had to read it myself. Just to see what all the hub was about. RIGHT?
I’m not going to review, judge or dismiss it. But tell you, I really did enjoy reading it. Although it is a trilogy, I have no desire to read the 2nd or 3rd. My guess is they would be too predictable and more of the same. However, the first one was an interesting education for me … and one I probably never would have sought out for myself. So, it was an unexpected and delightful surprise.
Since I have taken my job with the book store I mentioned before, I have opened my mind to read much of what I wouldn’t have subscribed to in my prior life. And, although I now read many more genres, romance is one from which I still abstain. That being said, I was completely entertained with the compelling characters of Anastasia and Christian and their budding/surprising connection/romance. The book is well written but 100 pages too long. The sex is handled expertly in that it is edgy and explicit, but not lewd or vulgar. It is an intelligent, descriptive and believable fantasy (if there is such a thing).
But I must confess, whenever any woman comes up to the counter and asks for the book by name, I have to resist the urge to wrinkle my nose at them. And it amazes me how many women actually ask “what is it about?” WHAT?
Every successful story must have a conflict. And the struggle Anastasia has with the morality of her situation is hers. I believe it would be a struggle for most women today, and that is the universal appeal. We can all relate to … what would I do? And the fact that the situation (complete and unadulterated submissiveness to a fascinating dominating man who wants to pleasure you in crazy ways) is against all that you have been brought up to believe is right, is intriguing and what gets women hooked.
Recently I overheard a discussion from some tired old grey haired women insisting with disgust “how can women possibly be interested in this trash … after all that we fought for and gained! It’s humiliating! Most of them weren’t there for the fight for women’s liberation. And now – it looks like we have come full circle!” I understand how this argument could be construed …. I don’t agree with it. But then, I was never a big fan of that movement anyway.
And puh…leeeze – reading this book does not subscribe you to the dark world, nor does it indicate you have no brain, are morally deficient, sexually frustrated, or have no life. Trust me … it doesn’t even make you a “romance” reader … it is FICTION for God’s sakes! It is meant to entertain!
And, oh my, it does!