Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months, I’m sure you’ll have heard of the hottest book to hit the bookshelves and Kindles of bored housewives worldwide. 50 Shades of Grey is the once upon a time Twilight fan fiction turned erotic novel that has been dubbed “Mommy Porn” by the media.
I have asked so many people whilst I was reading this whether they’d read it. Some had never even heard of it, some had a “friend of a friend” who was reading it (that old chestnut) and said that it was good, some had read it but wouldn’t tell anybody because they didn’t want people to think bad of them for reading “porn and others, like myself were loud and proud of the mommy porn sitting in their handbag. As it was, I was reading it on my Kindle so it was quite discreet anyway, therefore not advertising the fact that I was reading it (as if the smirking and occasional blushing didn’t give it away anyway) – but I actually had no problem declaring “IM READING 50 SHADES OF GREY AND ITS FILTH!” when anybody asked. I think it made them more uncomfortable than it made me.
When it comes to “literature”, I’m not the most cultured of readers – I tend to lean more on the side of hearts and flowers romance or blood and guts murder books (mood dependant) but then, doesn’t everybody secretly love a bit of eroticism.. or is that just me? *ahem*
50 Shades of Grey centers around the relationship between Ana, a virginal college student and Christian Grey (swoon) the gorgeous millionaire CEO of a worldwide corporation who happens to have a penchant for rather kinky sex….and has a rather filthy mouth. In many ways its your typical girl meets boy, they do the “will they/won’t they” tango for a while, a few dramas sprinkled in for good measure but with some serious lashings of BDSM.
I’m not going to lie, I loved this book – it was everything that I expected it to be and more, but not far the reasons you would think. Part of the appeal to me was the central character, Mr 50 Shades of F*cked Up himself – Chrisian Grey. After reading this book I now fully understand the obsession that young boys used to have with Lara Croft. Fictional character or not – I fell in absolute love with Christian Grey and I started to understand my friend who text to say that she was reading it, and that “every time my husband comes near me, I’m like ‘GO AWAY YOU ARE NOT CHRISTIAN GREY!'”
Granted, E.L James is no Shakespeare, the writing is by no means top level and there were parts that didn’t flow right and I’ll say it – I started to get bored of the sex scenes (once she came on demand after about 20 seconds, I found it a little repetitive – or maybe I was just mad jealous of Christian Grey’s skills?) but that detail by no means pissed on my bonfire. I think what’s important when reading this is to take it for what it is, its not declaring to be Emily Bronte or at the forefront of Great British literature – it is popular for one thing and that’s its selling point – the fact that E.L James writes sex well. I also think that one of the reasons it’s become such a phenomenon because it’s allowed women to delve into a bit of sexual fantasy which has previously been frowned upon. Admitting to your your colleagues “last night I watched Tube8 for an hour” isn’t as socially acceptable as “last night I read 50 Shades of Grey for an hour” but it still provides that escapism and the excitement.
This is the first in a trilogy of books about Ana and Christian, the follow up books 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed focus on the developing relationship between the pair and their subsequent sex-capades. I was desperate to read the next second book, but I feel about that as I do most “follow ups” (except the Twilight trilogy of course) that the best part of the story was told in the first book and the rest is just fluff/a key to more $$$$$. After reading the 3rd and final book 50 Shades Freed, the last couple of weeks and it just seems to have lost that spark that the first book ignited in me, but needless to say, I still hold an Olympic sized torch for Mr Grey.