Yep that's right. Everyone's talking about it and now so am I! Couldn't resist hopping on the latest bandwagon so here are my thoughts on EL James's 50 Shades of Grey. Whilst the book recently exceeded Harry Potter as the fastest selling book ever it's critical reception has been mixed.
For those that don't know here's a quick summary of the plot:
Set in Settle the book tells the story of Anastasia Steele a young college student who meets Christian Grey in a chance encounter after agreeing to do a favour for a friend by interviewing the multi-millionaire for her college newspaper. In doing so the pair are inexplicably drawn to each other and despite their logical brains telling them to stay apart the couple enter a romantic relationship.
However the young Anastasia in agreeing to enter a relationship with Grey then finds out that the business owner is only interested in a relationship based on BDSM rather than traditional romantic affection. Despite this as the pair grow closer Grey begins to realize that he may be capable of compromising his relationship to include some traditional values whilst Ana is slowly introduced to S and M.
The story ends after a particularly rough session of S and M where Grey shows Anastasia the highest level of pain she could experience with him. Anastasia immediately realizes that Grey will never change and she will only want a traditional relationship.
Personally I found the book to be only a slightly higher class of erotic fiction (not that I'm a connoisseur) And I really did expect there to be more to it than drawn out sex scenes. I'm more used to the relationships in literature having more of a political, historical or economical point of interest to accompany the story, whereas with this there is literally nothing more to it than the main couple and their bedroom antics.
Further points of criticism against 50 Shades have included that it demeans women which I certainly do not agree with. Particularly those comments from the notorious Samantha Brick who said that "The character is a victim. She's a virgin. She's negotiating to become the main protagonist's sex slave." I think it's quite fair to say that I agree with none of Samantha's comments.
I can't see any way in which the character is a victim. Being a virgin doesn't make her a victim, everyone is a virgin at some point and the two words are not synonyms. She does for a short while negotiate to become the main protagonist's sex slave. But as she agrees using her own free will to become his sex partner, than I can't see how she is being victimized. They are two consenting adults who explicitly agree to what they are engaging in, despite Grey often taking a dominating role, I would say Ana is in no way a victim. It does often seem that they pair are unable to control their emotions however this seems to occur equally in both halves of the couple.
Samantha then goes on to tell us how she's really concerned that people will try to emulate scenes in the book and then injure themselves in the process. Apparently "hospitals are full of people who have injured themselves this way. Deaths have occurred." I am almost certain that the majority of patients in hospitals are genuinely ill and are admitted in no relation to this book. I think Samantha Brick should concern herself more with admittance to hospitals related to alcohol, for example, something which is implicated in a great deal of hospital visits, while mummy porn, is most certainly not.
Personally while I found this book, the first in the trilogy, to be passable. I don't think that there's really enough merit or substance in it to warrant me buying or reading the other two.
And finally... please enjoy my little picture compilation of actors who I think would make excellent Christian Greys for the film adaptation.
My vote's for Gosling. Who does everyone else want to play the main man and what did you think of the books?