Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weighing in on the Fifty Shades Debate

Fifty Shades of Grey is a New York Times bestselling erotic fiction paperback and e-book by E. L. James. Set largely in Seattle, the trilogy traces the deepening relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of BDSM. It is also worthy to mention that there are strong elements of Stephanie Myers’ Twilight Saga in them.
Have I read Fifty Shades …yes. Is it good …yes. In good faith I can tell you that it is worth the read. I would go much farther to say that if you are going to choose to read the book, you will need to read all three to under the story. I had a hard time putting them down; I read all three books in a short two day span.  I would also go so far as to give them a four and a half star rating.
This book has gained rapid notoriety for the subject matter. That being said, I have been reading Fifty Shades type books for years. I started with A N Roquelaure’s Beauty series, and continued in the John Norman’s Gor books. I have read every sub genre that romance has to offer, historical, suspense, and paranormal. There are hundreds of romances that have elements of erotica in them. There are many others that also have elements of BDSM in them including J.R. Ward, Shayla Black, Lauren Dane and the list goes on.  What sets these books apart from the norm is the sheer amount of erotica in them (we’re talking a sex scene almost every other page).  While it is an erotic novel, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that is all these books are about. When you strip away the erotic elements, a reader is left with a quite interesting and heartwarming story, where the hero is deeply scarred and the heroine that surprises you at every turn. This series isn’t a literary masterpiece but it can make someone think and most will find a connection with the key characters.  As for the Twilight connection, if you have read the Twilight books you will find the subtleties as they are there in the ways that the characters interact both with each other and on their own.
Fifty Shades is just what it is, an erotic romance. If you can enjoy a mature romance then this would be the book for you. However if you are a fan of the milder genre, then I would suggest ignoring the hype and pass them up.

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