No, I did not drink the cool-aid, but this book (the trilogy) has electrified women across the country, who have spread the word like gospel on Facebook pages, at school functions and in spin classes. It sets the women in my office abuzz (I’m the only man in the office). My interns pore over it as soon as they are on break. At lunch in the pantry conversation would nudge to the terrain of this book. I heard buzz about how unbelievable the story is but at the same time it is addictive. Like for many of the bestsellers, my curiosity of Fifty Shades of Grey limits to pretty much what the blurb conveys. I have no desire to peruse it. Fifty Shades of Grey and the two other titles in the series were written by a British author named E L James, a former television executive who began the trilogy by posting fan fiction online. The books, which were released in the last year, center on the lives (and affection for whips, chains and handcuffs) of Christian Grey, a rich, handsome tycoon, and Anastasia Steele, an innocent college student, who enter into a dominant-submissive relationship.
My interns confirm that the people (themselves included) who are reading this are not only people who read romance. It’s gone much broader than that. It’s flat erotica—graphic, heavy-breathing erotica. Online reviewers have criticized the author for her plodding prose. Some even go as far as calling the novel written by a teenager. Even my boss read it but she concluded that if you take out the parts where the female character is blushing or chewing her lips, the book will be down to about 50 pages. Almost on every single page, there is a whole section devoted to her blushing, chewing her lips or wondering “gosh” about something or another. I think the book will only get bigger in terms of its success. What I found fascinating is that there are all these motivated, smart, educated women saying this was the greatest thing they’ve ever read for a long time. The last great hype I read was The Devil Wears Prada, and i read it after I saw the movie with Meryl Streep. Soft porn or no, I do have to give the author the credit, for she has written something that gales up a storm of discussion all over since Pride and Prejudice.