50 Shades

Artemisia

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So women are carrying on like this series is the best thing since sliced bread, they're making a film adaption and once again the issue of relationship dynamics in literature affecting societal thought pops up.
One of my students discovered I liked reading and said I simply HAD to read 50 Shades...I got through 20 pages and shut the book. I found the writing style puerile, the character of Ana annoyed me from the start - "Oh, I'm just a clumsy awkward Plain Jane, just getting on with my quirky life...what's this? An impossibly gorgeous, successful man is sexually attracted to me? But he's got weird bedroom habits? Oh, the dilemma!"
I felt like I was reading a romance novel for 14 year olds. I was immediately given the "you're a prude" lecture from those veterans who weathered all the sex scenes, until I informed them that I stopped reading before I even reached a sex scene! I read Anne Rice, I have no problem with sex scenes in books. The difference between Anne Rice and E.L. James is that Rice's writing style is infinitely more intricate, mature and well-formed than James's. As for the debates about the impact the book is having on women's sexuality and relationships as a whole, I am not well acquainted enough with the series' content to get into that (I am just not that interested in it). I do feel that it is nothing more than glorified Mills & Boon that began as a Twilight fan-fic of all things (ugh points +50), so what all the fuss is about is beyond me. I've also heard it being dubbed as "housewives' porn" :mrgreen:
What are your thoughts on the series? And how do you think its impact is having on the women fervently reading it?
 

Starships

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It's stupid and it's amazing and shocking how much it's being successful. A complete mystery. I think that mums and adult woman are not really getting much in the bedroom in RL and so they have to read this cheesy book to get and feel something. Sort of a female version of a Playboy magazine. Empty and pointless, but it gets you horny so it does the job.

It's like a 13 year old boys wet dream made for older woman which is so ridiculous. It's sad and depressing that literate novels have gone into the dump and have taken a huge step backwards. Though I'm not really a fan of the " Baby Boom Generation " anyways. They are so damn fucking PC towards their children and they think that books like this and Twilight are good. Stop being so damn horny and read a decent novel for crying out loud.
 

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So I'm not the only one who found this book overhyped and annoying? Seriously, EVERY female (except my mom, thank god), including girls my age are going on and on about how great this book is. I read the first chapter of it and got bored of it almost immediately. The smut in it feels like it's way too forced and looks like the author is trying way too hard to make it accurate.

It's stupid, and the funny thing is, E.L. James actually has two kids from what I heard. I'd be embarrassed to be her children.

You can find better smut on fanfiction.net
 
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Lirael

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I haven't read this book, so my opinion of it is somewhat limited, but the extracts I have heard are poorly written. :hmmm: The writer has a terrible habit of telling the reader how characters feel. The writing lacks subtlety; she doesn't show her audience how the protagonist feels. It's a case of 'I felt anxious' instead of 'My palms were sweaty.' A part of me would quite like to read part of it, so that I can speak about it critically and judge it fairly, but I cannot bare the idea of reading a text that's written in this way. :ness:

The content/story doesn't interest me either. :hmmm: I don't have a problem with others reading romance novels, so I would not call this genre 'terrible,' nor would I want to call other women ridiculous for reading it. It was just intended as a form of light entertainment! (Based on that, one could argue that it doesn't need to be well written.)

What IS a shame is the number of copies that have been sold. The best writers haven't received the same recognition. Being a successful writer has very little to do with writing well. It's kinda disheartening!
 

ribbit

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You can find better smut on fanfiction.net
pretty sure it actually started as a twilight fanfiction :wacky: the books sound pretty gross and shouldn't have been published because it is just a creepy 40 year old's wild fantasies :mokken:
 

The Master

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Haven't read it. But from gathering all the information from people that have read it I have come up with a synopsis...

It's a woman's BDSM porno disguised as a novel. Or the other way around (A novel disguised as a woman's BDSM porno), depending on what you are reading it for...
 

Sheechiibii

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Yeah, this book was originally written as fanfiction for Twilight. The characters aren't original at all, they are taken straight from Stephanie Meyer. The worst part isn't even that however, it's that the writer of the book clearly knows very little about bdsm and how it works. The portrayal in the book is far closer to an abusive relationship than a bdsm relationship. And the sad part is that most readers won't understand or recognise that.
 

Silver Rocket

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Yeah, this book was originally written as fanfiction for Twilight. The characters aren't original at all, they are taken straight from Stephanie Meyer. The worst part isn't even that however, it's that the writer of the book clearly knows very little about bdsm and how it works. The portrayal in the book is far closer to an abusive relationship than a bdsm relationship. And the sad part is that most readers won't understand or recognise that.
Despite how plainly and obviously and creepy the characters are... It's sad, really. I don't judge you if you read the book, but don't try to tell me how good it is.
 

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Sheechiibii

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I've not read it either (I don't read too much), just small excerptions in Gavin's blog, and I must say that what I've read is amateurish, even for my own standards.

I've read an interesting article about it some weeks ago though, and I'd like to share it and see what you all think: http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/08/16/50-shades-of-grey-pedophilia-hiding-in-plain-sight-letter-from-a-reader/
I haven't read the book myself, but I've read enough about it (and parts of it) to know what goes on in the book etc. So because I haven't read it I can't say whether I agree or disagree with that article. I think it's a bit extreme though, I think the reason Ana was made so innocent was because the writer simply didn't know how else to write a submissive woman other than for her to have no experience otherwise. But in the book she's 21 so it can't actually be child abuse, because she's a grown woman...

Having said that, I do think the book portrays abuse. The bdsm relationship they have is in no way healthy or right. At the beginning he makes up a contract for her to sign, and explains how important it is for her safety that she understand the contract and her rights and her consent but then mere pages later he rips up the contract, says 'to hell with it' and jumps on her. There are also numerous times when she asks him not to do something, and it's described in the book that she's scared he'll hit her again - this is not how a bdsm relationship works! It's so wrong!

The worst part is that this book has become so popular, and a lot of people reading won't know that this portrayal is all wrong and is really just dangerous abuse. I mean, the guy practically stalks her, controls her whole life, and she hasn't given him consent to. Not to mention that even if she had, she lacks the experience to understand what that means, and any proper dominant would know that and make sure she was protected and safe. This book is not what a bdsm relationship is like at all.
 

Artemisia

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Very interesting take on the story.

" Take away the aspect of money, and the character of the abuser becomes much less attractive"

Couldn't agree more. If Christian Grey was a regular dude with average looks and a mediocre job, I'm pretty sure women's opinions of him would change to a "weird control freak into bondage". But because he is rich, good looking and powerful, it gives him license to exert complete authority over a young woman with minimal emotional intelligence (something that sexual predators always look for in their victims). They then justify this by giving him a sad, abusive background and how it's all okay because she fixes him. That's BS, I was involved with a guy who was sexually molested as a child and he was nothing like that. A reason had to be given for Grey's deviant tendencies, what better way to appeal to the mothering instinct of the women readers with the "I was abused as a child" story? Yuck.

I would classify 50 Shades as "emotional pornography". It's said that sex is a far more emotional experience for women than it is for men. Couple that with a big bad bondage boy who really is just broken inside and needs to be fixed by a good little girl, and you have a winning formula for people too ignorant or naive to see through it.
 
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