In a bewildering turn of events, Fifty Shades of Grey, the first installment in a trilogy, has emerged on top of book charts across the world. Why? Your guess is as good as mine
The cynics are calling it “Mummy porn.” The readers are calling it “terrific.” Amazon’s calling it Kindle’s best bet since Twilight. And Universal’s just paid $5 million to call it, their next venture. Yes, the book everyone seems to be talking about – E L James’, Fifty Shades of Grey.
Before you go traipsing off to get your hands on the literary masterpiece that this is, let me tell you a thing or two I wish someone had told me about the book before I read it.
First, you’ll never guess the back story this best-seller has. Hint, hint. Twilight. No, thank heavens. E L James is no nom de plume for Stephenie Meyer. However, it is a pseudonym for London-based mother-of-two, Erika Leonard though. It seems that Shades of Grey rose from the ashes of a fan fiction series, based on the Twilight novels, known as The Masters of the Universe. Its immense popularity lead to the author rewriting the series, supposedly having removed overt references to the vampire series.
Next, the titillating story arc. Clumsy, headstrong, beautiful virgin blonde Anastasia Steele meets piano-playing, helicopter-flying, bachelor billionaire Christian Grey for an interview, for her college newsletter. Eyes meet. Hands touch. Auras clash. Sparks fly. But, and of course there is a but. “Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control.” Translated to mean, Grey likes to play kinky. He’s a “Dominant” and wants Ana to be his “submissive.”
And so what follows is page after page of Christian and Ana going at it, ranging from vanilla to risque, all the while negotiating clauses in their coital contract. Incessant e-mail exchanges about what they’ll do in the “Red Room of Pain”. “Is fisting acceptable?”, he asks “No,” she replies. “Caning?” “Flogging?” After a few hundred pages, it’s “Negotiable,” we find out.
If you are wondering, yes, an M&B is right. Only, this is for the repressed sex-starved 40 (and above) year olds with a thing for fantastical BDSM. But that’s just me. Surely, I’m being prejudiced. After all, as the critics say, Fifty Shades is daring. And as the feminists point out, it’s of a woman, by a woman, for a woman. That must mean something. So what does it matter if James writes in English or cliche? Or if this masterpiece is followed by some more orgasm-filled adventures in two more books in the trilogy, most originally titled Fifty Darker Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Freed. But, semantics aside, this book has been sitting on top of the New York Times Best Seller List for the past six weeks can only mean one thing — a new dawn has arrived in the world of publishing. If E L James can write something like Fifty Shades and make it a best-seller, so can I, and so can you. In fact, I say, what better place to start than perhaps, a multi-part fan fiction series based on the Fifty Shades trilogy?
Name: Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E L James