I resisted picking up Fifty Shades of Grey for as long as I possibly could — bought a copy last week. Oh my! The word I would use to describe the book is naughty, very naughty.
I'm intrigued that the story line started as Twilight fan fiction. The Fifty books certainly share many details — hot guy, lots of money, taboo love ... minus the fangs. Many Twilight fans certainly wanted Edward Cullen (or Jacob) to do naughty things to them. (I'm Team Edward myself.) The author is not going to win any awards for writing but I raise my glass of red wine to E L James for her success. (I want to write a book soooooo badly!)
While the first book was quite the ... page-turner, I found the second book a little boring. Take out the naughty bits and the angst (I love you. No, I love you more) and it could be a short story.
Does it encourage violence against women, as this Forbes post worries? Does the Fifty books romanticize controlling jerks? Give us the impression that our bad boys can be changed if we're open to taking his crap? It ain't happening! Your boyfriend/husband will not change. They will still have all the annoying habits they had when you first meet them. I myself still annoy Chris by having too many lights on in the house and leaving my shoes where I took them off.
Does it give guys another impossible-to-reach standard of perfection? I warned my teenage cousin there are no Edwards in the world (while there are great guys out in the world, no real man can be that perfect). Just like Edward, Christian is a fantasy — his world revolves around Ana, he buys her anything she wants and more, he'll even microwave dinner when he has too. (That link has spoilers but I found it a good read. The writer makes a lot of the same points I would.)
Does the series send a message to publishing houses around the world that as a housewife and mother I'm only interested in reading "mommy porn?" I really hope not. But just like vampire fiction flooded the bookstore, I'm sure we're going to see a lot more on shelves soon.
And maybe the most important question, how the heck are they going put the books to film and avoid a NC-17 rating??? (By the way, my vote to play Christian is Ryan Gosling!)