50 Shades of Grey – You can’t be serious?

THIS is the book that’s getting people talking openly about BDSM?   Really?  After hearing all the hype on twitter by commenter and writer @Andrewtshaffer about how much it sucked, I had to check it out.  The book has been labeled mommy porn by some of the folks who’ve read it, even getting the attention of Dr. Drew, having said the following:
“[50 Shades of Grey] is actual violence against women. I have to tell you, this is the part maybe i’ll get heat for, but there is a lot of violence against children in this country. There are various kinds of physical abuse. People subjected to those experiences are especially aroused by these images. I’m not saying the average women can’t be, but it’s especially arousing for them.”

on The Today Show.  Now he hasn’t read the book but he did take a LOT of heat for his assertion later on that consensual submission by women was wrong.

Andrew’s blog post did a pretty good job of bashing the Dr. so I won’t rehash that, but I will start with what I learned of the book from his post on the Suicide Girls blog:

“Regardless of why it’s popular, 50 Shades of Grey‘s very existence is leading to some interesting, sex-positive discussions. “I found myself explaining what BDSM was to some of the moms at Saturday morning basketball,” publicist Alison Brod told The New York Post. Whether or not this signifies that BDSM (or even erotica) has gone mainstream is up in the air at this point, but it’s not inconceivable that 50 Shades of Grey could potentially do for BDSM what Twilight did for vampires.”

Sounds pretty good, right?    Except that there are a TON of books in the erotic BDSM genre, including the ROMANCE section that have done this way before.  What makes 50 Shades so damn good?

I’ll tell you.

Nothing.  I respect Andrew’s opinion (goddess knows why!) so I asked him.  I think the quote I got back was “the book sucked bags of dick.”  Or some shit like that.

Curiousness made me pull up the free sample on my kindle app for my droid.

  • First problem:  First person narrative
  • Second problem:  First person narrative done poorly.
  • Third problem:  OH MY GOD did she just use the OVERDONE MIRROR TRICK to DESCRIBE HERSELF TO US?

You don’t see Laurel K. Hamilton doing that with Anita or Merry.  As for BDSM, Joey W. Hill’s series that starts off with The Ice Queen gives us a deeper look into BDSM from a romance point of view that kinksters are more familiar with and one that romance readers really enjoy.

So why again is this trilogy being hailed as something great?    Good question.  Even the plot itself is WAY overdone.

“Anastasia Steele, a college-age virgin who has never been kissed, meets Christian Grey, the 27-year-old billionaire CEO of Grey’s Enterprises Holdings. Christian is unbelievably handsome with his “tousled hair” and “expensive body wash.” He is also unbelievably kinky. He lost his virginity to a dominatrix when he was fifteen, and, after five years as her submissive, became a dom himself. He used his vast wealth to turn a room in his penthouse apartment into a virtual dungeon, nicknamed the “Red Room of Pain.” And he wants to share his love of BDSM (and fine wine, classical music, and Bruce Springsteen) with Anastasia.” – Andrew once again at the Suicide Girls Blog

Yawn.  I’m not normally a hater on books but the plot is so overdone in literature.  I know, you’re all probably wondering what fuck I give since I’m not out to write the Great American Bondage Novel but please, I can go to any book store, pick up any random BDSM collection and find this story written much better and with less annoying characters AND possibly a better 1st person POV.

I’m not going to lie, this post is how I feel but I did it for the SEO value.

Seriously, I couldn’t make it past the first page.  Something rubbed me raw with the writing and I’m honestly pretty open about what I’ll read.

Go read some REAL BDSM Erotica:

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dont think this posted but…

    it has killed me that this piece of trite Twilight fan fic drivel has gotten notice. So many other books are BETTER examples of what BDSM and “mommy” porn is that its disgraceful to even consider this fan fic shit in the same arena. You mentioned Joey W. Hill? APPLAUSE! She is the premiere author of BDSM romantic fiction… and people should know that.

    I got a lot of flack for hating it myself, especially since I’m a Con director and I “should” be impartial, but really, the book sucked a huge bag of moldy dicks. its not a Book, its someone’s fan fic on twilight with names changed. If you look at the original fan fic and the “published novel” they are 89% the same… HENCE… FAN FIC. Hack of the worst order.

    I have also told people do not compare what that woman did to what we do every day, and don’t you DARE call her an author. Authors, while they might be influenced by other things, create a world from NOTHING. they use their own ideas and VOICE to craft a story well enjoyed by the masses, and they do it with flair. What this person did is Fan fic, hence writing for fun, and that doesn’t make her an author. Did she beat the system? Fuck yeah, but that’s because shes a goddamn TV exec that had the means to do so. I dont support it, and I cant.

    Fan fic should forever be free… a bit of my love of publishing died when I heard it was being released by a real publisher…

  2. fan fic AND she got published. So it’s because she had money…

    It’s offensive to people like ME who ARE real authors. and really involved in the Lifestyle.

  3. Ok…so I have never read any of the Twilight series and don’t care to, so any correlation it has to Twilight is lost on me. I have never read erotica until 50 Shades. You all are over analyzing this to death!!!!!! So what if it’s been done before, so what if it’s not the best literary writing…how cares!!!!!!! If we liked it, we liked it! Does it really bother all of you that much that so many women liked this book?? It seems as though you all are just like Sports Annoucers…just trying to drivel on about nothing to seem relevant. And it shows a bit of jealousy on your part!

    Ohhh…and I hate the term…”mommy porn”. Seriously…are we all that naive to think that mom’s can’t like this stuff. It’s as bad as the “soccer mom” label. You all have put us mothers in some kind of weird category that assumes we live in a bubble and only think about our kids and “play dates”.

  4. Hi Sheryl,

    Obviously you mistook my comment, and Sascha’s about mommy porn because it was in quotes… meaning we think its RIDICULOUS as well. We agree with you there…believe me.

    As to the “does it really bother you all so much…” comment. Yes, it does. Why? because REAL books, written by REAL authors with REAL ideas and story lines not ripped off from other people are getting passed over for this garbage. And whats worse, its being touted as the fucking be all end all of erotic writing. Shes not Anais Nin, or even Anne Rice and her beauty series… shes a hack that cheated, ripped someone else off, and its criminal. Rewarding bad behavior like this (and it IS bad behavior, make no mistake about that… its stealing, plain and simple) is insane. Support real authors who live for their art and work… who SHOULD be celebrated for their ingenuity and forward thinking. Real books that capture BDSM and romance better, are what SHOULD be talked about. Instead the world is going gaga over a badly written regurgitation of a badly written YA.

    That’s just my personal take on it… and you don’t HAVE to agree with it.

    • First of all, I do support real authors! I have my own production company in which I design books covers and produce book trailers for Indie as well as published authors. Now that that’s out of the way….

      I understand the idea of stealing and copyright infringement as I have had my own work stolen.

      We (those of us who are “artists”…this not a bash on you, only defining who we is) all take inspiration from the world around us including other artists. Our work is never 100% truly unique and our own. We have derived our thoughts from somewhere else. Maybe we don’t know where, but somewhere the idea came to us through life experience.

      I don’t know what was going through her mind when she wrote the book and really neither does anyone else.

      I know there are countless authors (and many other artists) who are passed over for work that is far less quality than their own.

      My problem comes to this…why can’t we just have enjoyed something for the pure sake of enjoyment.

      I have not thought that it was the be all end all of erotic writing, and my guess is that many others of us who happen to read cause our friend mentioned it, didn’t really have that thought either. We just read the book and liked it. We weren’t really looking for a literary genius…just maybe an escape from real life (“mommy life” lol). Life is hard and it allowed us a distraction….that’s it…end of story…nothing more.

      I would think that actually this opened up an opportunity for other writers in this particular genre, to be taken notice of. This really opened up the genre to a whole new set of readers.

      By the way, I would love to know of any other good books in this genre that have a good love story.

      I DO respect your opinion, as “just” your thoughts on the whole matter.

  5. The problem I have with it is purely from a writer’s standpoint. The skill displayed is mediocre at best, when there are NUMEROUS examples like Joey W. Hill, Margie Church, myself, I think stephanie Burke has BDSM in some of her romantic books, Emma Holly, Diane Whiteside, Kate Douglas, all have struggled and written damn good BDSM.

    If the writer wanted to pass off this fanfiction as credible, she should have at LEAST had the creativity to change the blurb so it didn’t come off as so typical. There are editorial issues throughout the first two chapters at least and from my editorial experience, those carry throughout the entire story.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book and are more open to BDSM if you weren’t before, (just an assumption) but there are WAY more examples of better writing that deserved MUCH more press than this book. Hell I even listed four of my titles heh. And again, this was mostly an SEO post, it did what I wanted it to. And yes, some of us are going to be passionate about this issue, that’s fine too as long as we all keep it professional!

  6. Oh and I’ll second Sheryl’s comment about “mommie life” being hard. It’s damn hard. You DO need an escape. I understand totally :)

  7. As a erotic romance writer, Fifty Shades of Gray gives us indie authors hope that out work may tap into a cultural zeitgeist with the same level of success.

    I understand those who enjoy this trilogy are reading it for escapism and not as the definitive treatise on BDSM.

    That is what this is, escapist erotic fantasy with touches of cliched BDSM for the masses.

    First person narrative gets beaten up in romance literature. Mostly because its shoddily done. I enjoy it and have written a few stories in this particular narrative style with some modest success. In Fifty Shades of Gray, its quite annoying. Why? Ms James fails to remain true to her character. Twenty something English lit major who prefers classic British novels should into sound like a bubble snapping middle schooler.

    As Sascha pointed out, there are numerous editorial issues that would NOT pass muster at most e-publishing companies. Who ever line edited this at Random House should be fired.

    I’ll tamp down my vitriol. Instead, I offer the adult counter part to this juvenile fantasy. Look for Razor, co-authored with Margie Church from Sizzler Publications. A intelligent, complex mutli layered BDSM story that will stimulate your intellect and libido.

    Shameless plug over.

  8. I am reading the book now–because it was the book club selection. We are, in fact, a group of mothers. BDSM is not a term in our normal everyday vocabulary; as a matter of fact, when I gave my husband a brief thumbnail sketch of what we were reading, he asked me if I knew what “BDSM” meant.

    I am not a professional writer, but hope to be some day. However, as just “a reader”, here’s what I think about “50 Shades”:

    1. It is horribly written. Horribly.

    2. I am still confused as to why she would have set the novel in Seattle when she has no clue as to how Americans talk, act or live. Why not make at least one of the main characters British? It just doesn’t make sense and bothered me A LOT for the first 3/4 of the ebook.

    3. The sex is very hot. It is. HOWEVER, just after you eschew your puritanical American ideals and stop feeling “naughty” for considering the possibility of BDSM, the unbelievably named “Anastasia Steele” (I just love that name, hilarious) starts to dig around as to why and how her precious boyfriend was damaged and wronged, making him enjoy such deviant behavior.

    4. The entire premise is just plain crap. It is utterly ridiculous. But isn’t it fun to suspend all rational thought and belief for a minute, crack open the newly discovered aphrodisiac that my iPad has become, and then “bring it home to papa” — so to speak?

    5. This is just a 2012 version of a Harlequin romance with a naughty twist. But as God as my witness, if this gets Ryan Gosling on screen in loose blue jeans carrying a little whip and wearing no shirt, I am in.

    Once an idea becomes “known”, people will search for more. All the vampire crap is a very good example. (Anyone remember Anne Rice?) So, maybe this crazy, silly, enjoyable little ebook will open the door for readers to find more and MUCH better writers to enjoy.

  9. I don’t feel this is a book on BDSM…..THIS is a book on a man who wants to be in charge and takes advantage of someone Mich less experienced in sex…..she does not concent to his agressive sexual acts…yes in the end orgasm is received…but no is no….so in my world he raped the girl…wife….partner…nothing more than rape….

    • That’s been said of the Sleeping Beauty trilogy as well as STory of O, both are classics in BDSM erotica. I just feel 50 is poorly written…


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