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Fifty Shades of Grey

A Harlequin Romance on crack!

by E.L. James

I admit I'm a bit of a book snob.  I never read the TWILIGHT series or the HARRY POTTER series.  Whenever almost everyone is reading the same book, I just seem to lose interest.  But everyone, everywhere seems to be reading the FIFTY SHADES trilogy, particularly middle aged women.  In May 2012 I heard on the news that the books were sold out everywhere in NYC and that libraries in three states had banned the series.  Recently there was a psychiatrist on one of the morning talk shows who commented that she was "afraid that people would be hurt" after reading the books.  HURT??!!  Additionally, adult sex shops cannot keep up with sales of some of their merchandise......what in the world!?

With over ten million copies sold in 37 countries, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is the first book in a trilogy that is defined on its back cover as an "erotic romance for a mature audience."  The trilogy is noted for its erotic scenes with elements of BDSM (a condensed acronym coined in the 1990s to include bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism). 

Minus the vampires, the FIFTY SHADES trilogy was developed from a TWILIGHT fan fiction originally titled MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE and self-published episodically on fan-fiction websites under the pen name "Snowqueens Icedragon".  It ultimately evolved into the best selling trilogy released in April 2012 that booksellers can't keep on their shelves.

Wanting to see what all the hype was about, I finally relented and borrowed a copy of the first book after two of my friends started whizzing through the series recently.  Honestly, by page 77 I couldn't stop laughing!  With such pithy phrasing as "you are quite the disciplinarian", "he gasps, his eyes wide", "I gasp...my heartbeat spikes", and my personal favorite, "I'd like to bite that lip", the author at least threw in a few "holy shits" to keep the characters more normal.  And these phrases are all within the same three pages! 

While the author tries to elevate her writing with some well spaced fifty-cent words, the overall tone of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY can only be compared to a Harlequin Romance on crack!

Folks, ladies, please!  Aren't we more intelligent than this???

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janis albamonti June 18, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Guess that's off my Summer reading list!
wtfdrez June 20, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Not middle aged yet EL. These books are the talk of the town. When was the last time a harlequin romance novel was given this kind of response.? The book is written in a series of 3.and the first movie is set for production soon. While I hate romance novels, these books are crazy sexy and every reader (man or woman) has their own idea of who the character Christian Grey is. EL, millions of people can't be wrong!!
Lynn Kimmerle June 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM
They may be the talk of the town, but the books are also attracting a lot of eye rolling. It's all a matter of taste and opinion, wtfdrez, but let's be honest, FIFTY SHADES is porn for women. Nothing wrong with porn, but you can't elevate them out of their genre. The comparison to a Harlequin romance, which incidentally was done tongue-in-cheek, is that this trilogy uses the same formula.....woman meets man, let's him chase her till she catches him, all with an undertone of sexual excitement. But in this case the titilating volume is amped up to 100 decibels. No one is saying people are wrong to read what they want to read. I personally found FIFTY SHADES to be trite with pretty comical dialogue. Actually, there isn't much dialogue if you take away the steamy sex scenes. Wonder what rating the movie will receive or if it will have to play on pay-per-view on the adult channel. But all is good, at least millions of people are reading!
Themoonski June 20, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Millions of people have been wrong more than they have been right. these books are horribly written. I don't have a problem with publishing books with sexually explicit material. I just wish the writer had a modicum of talent! The writing in 50 shades of grey borders on imbecilic. Just because the writer shocks people doesn't make it literature. If you want to read some fantastic literature with great erotic scenes try Eric Von Lustbaders (of Bourne identity fame) "Ninja". Fantastic writing skill.
Remmah June 28, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Seriously, who really cares what any adult reads? (as long as people are reading) All the brouhaha surrounding the book, made me want to order it. So far, let's just that I am very thankful it has nothing to do with glittery vampires.

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