Bookmarks: Turning ‘Fifty Shades’ of red
Thanks to the e-book-turned-paperback “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E. L. James, erotica has been thrown back into the mainstream, turning heads and lifting skirts all around the country.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably heard about this sexy work and even more about how it has steadily crept onto the bookshelves of women (and a few men, without a doubt) everywhere.
What started as a “Twilight” -inspired online fan fiction has quickly become a phenomenon that has taken mainstream literature by storm.
The novel follows young literature student Anastasia Steele, who quickly falls into a passionate, unorthodox physical affair with billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey, a man with dark tastes and an even darker, secret past.
Ana is allured, and Christian can’t seem to stay away from her either, despite his best efforts (sound familiar, vampire fanatics?).
In exchange for her first steady, intimate courtship, Ana agrees to dabble in Christian’s dominating sexual lifestyle that involves binding contracts, sexual bondage and safe-words.
Now it’s not what you think. Many people would run screaming for the hills at any mention of the shit that tickles Christian’s fancy, but James introduces her characters and their habits with grace.
Despite featuring hot and heavy kinkiness, the sex scenes aren’t explicitly graphic, and leave small portions to the imaginations of the readers.
So if you’re turned off or even frightened by any words found in the synopsis, let me assure you: it’s not that bad!
The book only begins to drag after the first few sex scenes, when it becomes just a repeat of events until the climax near the very end (no pun intended).
“Fifty Shades” reads a bit like a young adult novel, which may make it stylistically appealing to younger readers.
At times I had to remind myself that this work was forged by a middle-aged woman and not a rusty teenage rhymer.
Sometimes the appeal of these characters, particularly Ana, was reduced by repetitive dialogue, verbose rehashing of details and just outright verbal stupidity.
There were moments where I wanted to slap Ana right in the face, especially since I’m a big fan of Mr. Grey.
Luckily there were characters outside of the double-Dom duo whose consistency and attitude I really enjoyed – Christian Grey’s employees, to be specific.
Of course, there are positives to this novel.
It’s funny, sexy, romantic, and it’s an entertaining way to unwind. By the novel’s end, you witness the blossoming of Ana’s sexuality, which may resonate with young women within the college age-range.
You also delve into the heart and mind of the sexy Christian Grey as he showers Ana with kisses, cars, clothes and cash, all while discovering his ability to love.
It’s a bit far-reaching, but isn’t it kind of fun to fantasize about rich, extravagant boyfriends?
By no means is “Fifty Shades” a masterpiece.
It did not break new ground, but it did manage to bring erotica to the attention of a wider audience.
If you read solely for merit, don’t expect to get any kicks.
Read it for fun, read it out of boredom, read it to spice up your evening or your coffee break.
And trust me, as soon as a passionate elevator scene sneaks up on you, you’re hooked, and you’ll keep reading far into the wee hours of the morning.
You may even see the sun come up.