This popular mommy-porn novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, has completely shaken the literary world, and I do not know if I should forthrightly admit to the world that I read it. However, this prudish, Baptist girl read the first installment of this trilogy from cover to cover. I turned 100 shades of red, I put it down several times and walked away, and I also found myself anxious to get home just to read it! So what is it about this absurdly risqué novel that has everyone coming unhinged?
First, there is the history of this particular novel. It originated as a Fan Fiction piece, an online story that continues fills the voids of top-selling fiction. This means the author, E.L. James, who claims she was inspired by the Twilight series, decided to write a novel in which the main characters fulfill their sexual desires in explicit detail. For instance, instead of repeatedly reading how much Bella loves Edward, one reads how they actually get it on – down and dirty. Hence, the Fifty Shades trilogy was born. Anastasia Steele, the female lead, bites her lip reminiscent of Bella, and not surprisingly she bites it more than the reader can stand (Aren’t you picturing Kristen Stewart doing just this and wanting to walk out of the theater!?!)
Secondly, Christian Grey is a remarkable love machine. He knows all the tricks and more of the trade, yet he is a diabolical character. He loves the sadomasochist side of things, too. If he isn’t swooning Anastasia with mere good looks and gentlemanly charisma, then he’s convincing her to be whipped or bound. Male characters like this have withstood the test of time. Think Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights or Rochester from Jane Eyre. There’s something about trying “to save” the bad boy. Women, ironically, find these Byronic figures attractive. (Perhaps it is something Freudian?) Women, especially stay-at-home moms, cannot help to be captivated by Mr. Grey.
Finally, there’s the plot. What plot? Other than Christian and Anastasia dying to be in each other’s arms…and more, there is no thought-provoking plot. The writing is terrible, but the sex is what compels the reader. There is plenty of it!! (Maybe the entire literary world is lonely, and hence, there’s one more reason this book can’t stay on the shelves). The things Christian and Anastasia do are things that stay in the average person’s bedroom, and to read them in a novel is less taboo than talking about them with friends or even watching them in a movie.
Whether intrigued by fan fiction or simply curious to find out the appeal of this book, I would highly recommend it. It is a trashy, classy novel. How is that for a Byronic review? I give it 4 of 5 stars because it’s broken barriers – in publishing and literary genres. I dare you to read it – and unlike me, you wouldn’t have to tell a single soul that you did!
Library Voodoo is one of the newest contributors on OneManAsylum.com. She also reviews children's books on another site. You can find her on Twitter @libraryvoodoo.
Rating (1 - 5)
Library Voodoo - 4
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