It seems like everyone is talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, this trilogy of erotic novels by first time author E. L. James. I’ve heard plenty about the series, which seems to be taking the “mommy world” by storm. Personally I couldn’t care less.
However, for the past few days Fifty Shades of Grey has been on my mind because it’s been chosen as the theme for the after-party at this year’s ShesConnected Conference. I am going to admit, I haven’t read the books and I’m not likely to. As a SCCTO Brand Ambassador I should probably be running out to find a copy of the book, but I have zero intention of doing so. It’s not that I’m a prude, or that I morally object to erotic literature, it’s just not my thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a book lover and an avid reader, but since I’ve had kids (oh yeah, and started a blog) my time is at a real premium, and time for reading novels is no longer anywhere near the top of the list. I already have a nice to-read stack that will probably keep me busy through 2013, and I don’t see any good reason to add Fifty Shades of Grey to what is really prime real estate.
Also the little time I do find to read I am usually sitting in the same room as my kids while they play. Ok, maybe I am a prude after all because I can not see sitting and reading porn while in the same room as my kids. It doesn’t matter that they are 2 and 4 and can’t read to themselves yet, or that I could potentially be reading it discretely on an e-reader, it would still make me uncomfortable.
Ellen spoofed the book a bit, and while her reading of Fifty Shades of Grey amused me it certainly didn’t make me any more eager to pick up the book.
Mostly what it boils down to is, I don’t see what the big fuss is about. Granted, I haven’t read the book but I’ve certainly heard mention of it enough to have a good idea of what it’s about… What I don’t understand is, why is this such a big deal? So yes, it’s much more explicit then your average Harlequin Romance, but how is it any different from say the books Anne Rice put out in the early 80s under the A. N. Roquelaure or Anne Rampling pseudonyms?
Like Fifty Shades of Grey the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy featured explicit x-rated sex and scenes of bondage and whatnaught. I remember taking the Beauty series out from the library when I was in my early twenties. Still living in my parents home at the time such erotic literature seemed deliciously counterband. However, I found I liked the idea of reading the books better then the reality. I quickly became bored with them and never finished the series.
I guess what I’m asking is… Why is everyone acting like these books are so ground breaking? Have you read the series? Would you recommend it? From the reviews I’ve read the writing style is nothing to rave about. So what the heck is it that sets them apart?