I bought into the hype, obviously. If you haven’t heard of Fifty Shades of Grey you probably live under a rock, which is probably better since you’re not exposed to unwarranted, overtly glorifying book reviews and women swooning over imaginary hedonistic men with intense control issues.
But let me pedal back; Fifty Shades of Grey is a New York Times bestselling erotic fiction paperback by E. L. James that traces the relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It gained notoriety (crazy amounts of press, screeching fans, CNN news specials, talk shows) for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of BDSM that have generated much hype. Honestly, I would worry more about the romantic relationships portrayed in this book.
Initially I thought, Wow - this is really pushing the boundaries of fiction for women! Well done E. L. James! Here’s a woman who wrote about something completely off the charts and everyone’s going crazy over it! And so I ordered my copy. I had to know why women were falling so hard for this book.
It seems women either have stopped reading good books, or worse, still cling to the strange notion of wanting to be simultaneously controlled/looked after by a man, and then being able to ‘fix’ all his emotional problems. It’s so regressive it’s depressing, and what’s sadder is that women are drooling all over it.
As far as the writing goes, it’s awkward, full of asinine phrases and clumsily crafted one-dimensional characters. I have nothing against the sexual nature of this book, I’m just appalled at the subtext of it all. I suppose the reason this book is such a bestseller is because we've become pros at hyping mediocrity. Thank you, social media!
If you want erotica, look elsewhere. If want romance, look elsewhere. If you want to know the reality of how far women have progressed in what they want from their relationships and lives, please don’t look at this book. It’ll send you back a century.