Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey - a review

Well, I'm assuming everyone's heard the hype about this book - it's hard to miss.  However, if somehow you've managed to miss out, here's a little precis.  It's set mainly in Seattle and is the story of student Anastasia Steele and older man Christian Grey.  It's main theme is sado-masochism and domination in fairly explicit sexual detail and as such has been slotted into the 'mummy porn' genre!  I've read a lot of reviews, some likening EL James to the pioneering feminist movement - Erica Jong eat your heart out and I'm sure Germaine Greer would have something to say about it.  One hundred years of the women's movement and what do we have?  A female character that says "oh my" every other word and our male protagonist who "growls" his replies.  Really????  Pulitzer winning writing it's not, I have to be truthful, because yes, I've read it.  Actually, not all the way through, I must confess I'm struggling to finish it - despite the sex!  I'm struggling because the characters don't seem real enough to me, I don't care about them.  I suspect that's because the quality of the writing has let them down (although I should have been warned when I read that James based her characters on her obsession with the twilight trilogy - which I also haven't bought into).

There are two issues here for me.  Is it a good read in terms of being well-written?  For me the answer is no.  Then there's the sex.  Bringing sexual practices into the open, ones between consenting adults that don't involve children, animals or force, especially allowing women to admit to their fantasies without fear of prejudice is a good thing, whether this book fosters anything more than sneaking away to read it on their kindles remains to be seen.  You'll have to read it yourself and see and if you're loving it, you'll be glad to know that it's the first part of a trilogy, so more to come - oh, and the film of course.

I'm now reading another book which has touched me in a very different way and I'll tell you more about that later in the week.

What are you reading?  I'm always looking for new books so please share your recommendations!

1 comment:

  1. Read snippets of all books and agree on the literary merits, really hate the phrase 'mummy porn' that is branded about.