Friday, April 20, 2012

50 Shades of Crimson


I'm sure you've heard all the buzz circling about the trilogy of books in the "50 Shades of Grey" series. If you haven't, you clearly don't troll the Internets like I do, because it's all over the damn place, from to blogs to Twitter to well, everywhere. You get the point.

For those of you not in the know, here are the basics. "50 Shades of Grey" was written by first time author E.L James and published solely as an e-book. It made the rounds quickly with women reading on their Nooks or Kobo's or iPads in privacy, without the shame of some racy Harlequin looking cover in their hands. It's an erotic work of fiction that steps into the world of Christian Grey, a billionaire with a penchant for domination and Anastasia Steele, a recent college graduate that falls in love with him and tries to understand his world.

When I first heard talk about the books, I had no desire to read them. At all. I'm just not an erotica type of reader and I stray far, far away from Harlequin romances. I've mentioned before that I'm not really a romantic type, so the silly plots that always seem the same never do it for me. You know what I'm referencing, here. The guy and gal cross paths and immediately one finds the other infuriating and they "try" to stay away from them, but in the end can't deny their passion and love blah blah blah gag.

However, I joined a Book Club and "50 Shades of Grey" is our June selection, hosted at MY house. It wouldn't do very well if I hadn't cracked open the book! I downloaded it on to my iPad and started warily reading.

Holy. Crap.

I read it in one night. It's one steamy book, let me tell  you.  I felt like I might need a cold shower a few times, actually. One woman's description of reading it cracked me up when she said, "My husband loved this book and he never read a word."  True. Dat.

On top of the (often bizarre) sex stuff, there actually is an interesting story line in terms of  Christian's past and how he came to be who he is and why he needs the domination/submission roles in his life.

I read book 2 of the trilogy last night (yes, in one night again) entitled "50 Shades Darker" and have just started "50 Shades Freed" today.  Word on the street is that a movie is in the works as well.

I can't say I'll be out there delving into the erotica shelves for my next read, but I do have to admit that this series shocked me (in oh so many, many ways!) and I actually really enjoyed the story lines. In fact, the "sex stuff" as I like to oh so maturely reference it, became some of the parts that I tended to skip or gloss over after the first ten times or so. I mean, how many times can you read about someone being spanked or handcuffed really? There are only so many ways to describe the scenario, and believe me, they all get covered.

Of course with anything that gets cult following, the questions and debates arise, trying to dissect the "why" as to women flocking to this series. "Do women actually wish to be dominated?" or "Are women hungry to submit to men in their private lives, after being dominate now in workplaces?"  and the best one, "Do we need to re-examine and redefine men and women's current roles in society?"  Whaaaat?

How about we break it down into something much more base. Women like sex, too. I know, it's shocking really. Women might not  necessarily like erotica from a man's point of view (a threesome or orgy, AGAIN?) but throw in a female writer with an idea of what women really find "hot" and it catches on with the masses.

So, "50 Shades of Grey"....I didn't expect to be hooked on your kinky ways, but you got me hiding out reading furiously for the last three days and I applaud you for that.

Don't worry though, folks, next book club selection is a creepy thriller entitled "The Boy in the Suitcase." It should shake off any last vestiges of hot billionaires and delve me into a world of mystery and darkness.

What are you reading?

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