The things I do for this blog. As a feminist with a degree in literary studies, the last thing that I should be doing on the weekend is reading one of the Fifty Shades of Grey while my husband watches the football on TV. But that’s what’s happening now.
As most people in the western world seem to know, Fifty Shades is the latest blockbuster book series that’s outselling the Harry Potter books, the Da Vinci Code and Twilight all rolled into one. It’s especially popular with women of a certain age, because we’re meant to like ‘mummy porn’ and Mills and Boon (and our sex lives at home are so boring that we need to read trashy novels featuring Wartenberg wheels and nipple clamps.)
The problem is that the sales figures prove that many women do like this kind of thing, and bookshops and libraries are getting readers in by the score. So from that point of view, I can’t complain – half the battle for us these days is getting people through the door. And once I walk past the Fifty Shades display at the front of my local bookshop, I can see lots of other fabulous books on the shelves that people might want to buy.
I don’t like offensive gender stereotyping (rich, powerful, emotionally -damaged man dominates submissive, silly woman) and I don’t like cliché – ridden, bad writing. I agree entirely with these comments here. I think that there are dozens of better modern gothic novels and far more sophisticated erotic fiction to read.
But I feel I can’t criticize something I haven’t read, so here I am on the sofa with Fifty Shades Darker. It’s really bad, and I’m certainly not going to get to the end, at page 532. But at least I tried.
I miss him. It’s been five days, five days of agony that has felt like an eternity. I cry myself to sleep at night, wishing I hadn’t walked out, wishing that he could be different, wishing that we were together. How long will this hideous overwhelming feeling last? I am in purgatory.
Poor Anastasia – I know just how she feels. I’m in purgatory, too.
Because this is only page 8 and I’ve got 524 more pages to go…