So most of you are probably aware of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon- a kinky S&M romance novel targeting an female audience is absolutely flying off the shelves, and it seems like everyone is reading it. I've spotted copies all over town, and whilst I am too ashamed to whip out my dirty book on the tram, other people are not. It's essentially Twilight for adult females- a romance between a handsome loner with stalkerish tendencies and a young innocent woman, only Christian Grey is not a vamipre, he's a "dominant" (seriously into whips and chains and the like) and he wants Anastasia Steele as his "submissive".
My book club selected the first book in the trilogy as our next read, giving me the opportunity to find out what the hype was all about. First of all, the writing...it's not just bad, it's dreadful. I fully admit to being a bit of a book snob, and sentences like these had me cringing: "The elevator whisks me at terminal velocity to the twentieth floor." But it was the repetition of words and phrases that made the book nearly unreadable...someone is always gasping or gaping or groaning, and the phrases "my breath hitches" and "I bite my lip" appear at least twenty times each. I won't go into the plot as not to spoil it, but let's just say there is a lot of sex and most of it is, er, unconventional, and if Christian Grey was not a handsome billionaire, young Anastasia would have run screaming by chapter two.
That being said, and I'm embarrassed to admit, but I did find myself getting sucked in...it's certainly an quick read and I was curious to learn how our Mr. Grey got to be so fucked up in the first place. A couple of people swore that the second book was better than the first, which is an outright lie in terms of the writing (it's still desperately in need of a heavy-handed editor with a thesaurus), but somewhat true in terms of the plot. And now I have a copy of the third book, so I might just go ahead and finish the trilogy, then read some Steinbeck or Hemingway to rinse out my brain.
I do think it's a great book club selection, as there's a lot to talk about, the book itself and the smash hit it's become. They say that sex sells, but who knew that included nipple clamps and butt plugs?