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Let's talk about... > What is it about 50 Shades of Grey?

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message 1: by Alisa (new)

Alisa | 973 comments I know Fifty Shades of Grey is not a book in our genre but I find the continued popularity of it fascinating. Every time I open my groups here on GR I see a group called Fifty Shades Support Group. All they talk about it FSOG and they have almost 4000 members! Even my 67 year old mother asked me this weekend if I thought she should read it. (after I stopped hyperventilating I said "no, no & heck no"). But on a serious note, what is it about this book that has drawn so many people (mostly women I assume) in to it? Do you think it is having a positive effect in getting more women to read? What do you think it says about women and sexuality? Are guys reading this book & if so what do they think?


message 2: by Lisarenee (last edited Mar 15, 2013 09:07AM) (new)

Lisarenee | 2046 comments I haven't read the books, but when a book does this well you know lines are going to be skewed in a lot literature arenas. The proverbial edge in romantic literature has been pushed and we should all expect to see more of what has been termed "mommy porn" to show up in romance novels as well PR and UF books. My favorite author, Lisa Kleypas, added Kinbaku, what is referred to in the book as an artistic Japanese form of bondage, into her novel. We'll see how this will infiltrate into everything else as the year progresses.


message 3: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) And don't forget the "I read a naughty book" feeling. I read them because I was curious. And had the same feel I had after reading twilight (the first 3, I don't talk about the #4 AKA the one that got me addicted on the damn story *hides in shame*): I get all the fuss about it, but the books aren't good. The story isn't good. The characters aren't good. And the bondage isn't good (again, mommy porn)

*sighs heavily for the next part*
But... that been said... I'll be grateful to a friend of mine that convinced me to read the book because it was the one that ended my reading rut that had almost 6 months and no book seemed to keep me interested long enough.

It also made me curious to read a "real" bondage book, although I have so many books that I want to read now that I'm letting the subject shimmer a bit :o)

And I will see the movie too *hides in shame again*


message 4: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Wallace | 5 comments *Sigh*. Honestly? I think the book taps in to things that a lot of people have thought about, at one time or another(and maybe tried in some form or another)or wanted to try.
It doesn't appeal to me, but I'm sure having been in an abusive and controlling relationship myself has something to do with it.
If anything, I'd want to be the one who had control-I JOKE about the fact that if I can't find a job soon, I'll be a dominatrix:P. Hey, I already have the boots.
Seriously, I'm just joking. I've only read excerpts from the books, the hideous quality of the writing was enough to scare me off. I know that many authors have spoken out against them. Janet Evanaovich has even called them 'dangerous' and I have to agree. There are fantasies, and there are fantasies.
I don't think submission and degradation has any place in a healthy relationship.
But obviously, many people see it differently.
To each their own I suppose. I just don't get it.


message 5: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) The bondage part isn't the problem. The problem is the relationship out of the pain room, and the way that Christian & Ana keep excusing all his attitudes with his abused childhood.

It was a sad fact. True. No child should be mistreated. But his first 4 years totally overcome the other 24 with him being part of a loving family, that would do anything to keep him protected and cared? And then a simple woman do that in... 6 weeks? Seriously? their relationship was so twisted that I didn't know what to think for the whole book. Even the sex scenes were so unreal that took all the appeal the book could have.


message 6: by Alisa (last edited Mar 15, 2013 02:31PM) (new)

Alisa | 973 comments I don't think that it was just the first 4 years of his childhood abuse that were supposed to be factored into his issues. I think that was supposed to have led up to his out of control teen behavior which then led to his abusive relationship w/ Mrs. Robinson during his sexually formative years. I have to say that as a social worker/therapist I've seen my share of guys w/these types of issues, almost always from childhood abuse. But I personally never saw a rich, successful hot guy. They were all on parole due to drugs or domestic violence but hey that's just me.

I think that there is a really strong "something" the author hit on or it wouldn't be so wildly famous. I stil can't get over the FSOG group has 4000 members. Maybe it's a combination of things. It could be the sexual aspects, it could be women wanted to help the "injured" man. My thought is that women (at least here in the US) have a society where they are expected to work full time & be bread winners and are expected to maintain an Ozzy & Harriet household. I think the appeal for many is a man who will take care of everything. He will protect her and take care of her emotionally, sexually & financially. That's the appeal for a lot of woman reading PNR too right? The alpha vampire or werewolf is much the same but we overlook their control issues as part of being a vampire, etc. I think FSOG was the first mainstream crossover which dealt w/the alpha type issues and we are expected to overlook his control issues due to his abuse.


message 7: by Alisa (new)

Alisa | 973 comments Sonia wrote: "And don't forget the "I read a naughty book" feeling. I read them because I was curious. And had the same feel I had after reading twilight (the first 3, I don't talk about the #4 AKA the one that ..."


You totally should not hang your head in shame for reading Twilight or FSOG but maybe should have a little shame that you're willing to watch the movies....lol


message 8: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) Alisa wrote: "Sonia wrote: "And don't forget the "I read a naughty book" feeling. I read them because I was curious. And had the same feel I had after reading twilight (the first 3, I don't talk about the #4 AKA..."

What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment! We have a Portuguese saying: lost for 100, lost for 1000. Since I already read the book, twice, why not see the movie, the harm is already done :o)


message 9: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (StephsBookRetreat) | 29 comments I won't be reading them, ever. Please do NOT think I'm a prude, I have friends who have read them and a few who know my past laugh & say what I've done is more "intense" shall we say, than what is in those books; so why would I desire to read something that I've evidently lived to an extent? If reading those novels gets people to try something new or expand their views, I'm all for it.

I think a lot of it is hype with regards to the taboo nature of the books and impending movie(s). Why read it, when you can do it?! I've done it, so I don't need to read it. Lol.


message 10: by Sara (new)

Sara | 860 comments A lot is the hype - I only tracked down the books because I have a 70 year old friend who wanted to read the books because she heard about them on the Today show. I went to the bookstore and bought a copy for her and a copy for me. She loved them - she's young at heart - the whole I'm reading something naughty aspect. They were okay. I've read better novels that explored similar themes. To me, a book is good if you want to re-read it. I have books that I've read well over ten times. I've never gone back and re-read the 50 Shades series.


message 11: by Alisa (new)

Alisa | 973 comments Sara wrote: "A lot is the hype - I only tracked down the books because I have a 70 year old friend who wanted to read the books because she heard about them on the Today show. I went to the bookstore and bough..."


Love your neighbor for still reading at 70 & taking chances on things she heard about on tv (especially since it was probably advertised as mommy porn). That's awesome. I hope I'm like that at 70.


message 12: by Stefani (new)

Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 30 comments Sara wrote: "A lot is the hype - I only tracked down the books because I have a 70 year old friend who wanted to read the books because she heard about them on the Today show. I went to the bookstore and bough..."

I agree with you Sara. A lot of it was, "wow, I've been hearing about this book on every single news show and talk show on the planet lately...it must be really good." I also think that it was accepted as "not shameful" erotica ad so the typical desire to hide the book behind another book impulse that a lot of people would have had wasn't there.

Now, before I say this next theory let me be clear that I have no opinion whatsoever on anyone who decides to read and like whatever they want. It's just a theory about the readership of the book in general, not anyone in particular. Ok, good, disclaimer out of the way...

I think that the sudden influx of books that are poorly written, poorly edited, and really just not good is for a reason. It is catering to the lowest common denominator. This has been happening forever in the school system and it's created a generation of people who are increasingly lazy about decent grammar and writing. Perfect example, my sister. She read FSoG because, "It wasn't a pretentious book, it was easy to read and didn't make me think too hard." More and more people who may not read a lot are lazy, they don't want to have to think and so they seek out books that are horribly written because it's on their level. People who read a lot, typically aren't like that but that's not the majority of the audience that fawns over books like this.


message 13: by Alisa (new)

Alisa | 973 comments Very good point Stephanie.


message 14: by Sara (new)

Sara | 860 comments Alisa wrote: "Love your neighbor for still reading at 70 & taking chances on things she heard about on tv (especially since it was probably advertised as mommy porn). That's awesome. I hope I'm like that at 70."

I will be 37 this month and she is my role model on how to grow old - loving life and always ready to try new things. We go on road trips and to everything from county fairs to drag queen shows. She is awesome.


message 15: by Sara (new)

Sara | 860 comments Stefani,

I can see your point - 50 Shades and similar books are the equivalent of popcorn movies - nothing wrong with them but you should be willing to give more in-depth reading a shot. I've read 50 Shades but I've also read the Greek classics and Shakespeare. Even avoiding the classics because of the old style of language you can still sink your teeth into a "Game Of Thrones" style book with the multiple characters, plotlines, hints, and forshadowing. Nothing wrong with fluff but you need to give your brain a good workout and an in-depth book provides good exercise.


message 16: by Stefani (new)

Stefani (steffiebaby140) | 30 comments Sara wrote: "Stefani,

I can see your point - 50 Shades and similar books are the equivalent of popcorn movies - nothing wrong with them but you should be willing to give more in-depth reading a shot. I've rea..."


Precisely what I was trying to say. Absolutely nothing wrong with the cotton candy for the brain, but your brain needs a workout sometimes. And that's where you get more experience in what is good and what's bad, what you love and what you hate, is by experiencing a lot of things.


message 17: by D (new)

D B | 6 comments Idk why ppl want to read it. The subject of the book is enough for me not to read it. I haven't read it nor do I intend to. I've from many who have and it is described as a porn written in words. I am not into pornograpic novels or any that ghetto hood books. When I hear ppl talk about this book, there is no mention of a real plot or storyline. And I can not simply read a book with no actual meaning or story line. I need to be entertained and I need to empathize. The small story line there is, I've hear again and again is not very good. I guess this is truly "mommy porn" but I doubt my mom would pick this up and actually read it. Again the lack of a storyline and the subject is something that would make you not read it.


message 18: by Jacy (new)

Jacy (jazabell) | 214 comments I actually think what's drawing people to the series is the "growing up together" aspect of Christian and Ana's relationship. I mean to say that Christian is not very mature because of all the hang ups he has over his past, so he's really that messed up teenager, who was tempted into the B&D lifestyle by "Mrs. Robinson". Ana is really inexperienced and seems naive in many ways. Christian opens Ana's eyes to things that she's never known and in turn Ana changes how Christian see himself and gives him something more, something he didn't even know he was missing. As their relationship grew, they "grew up together" and I think lots of people can relate to that aspect of the novels.

As far as the sex in the books, I think that the "naughty factor" may have something to do with it. But there are all kinds of "sexual" stuff out there and in many ways it doesn't matter that it's B&D or a hot scene between a werewolf and a coyote ;-)


message 19: by Sonia (new)

Sonia (darktalynn) Kathy wrote: "I have to agree. Just think if we were too snobbish to read Harry Potter because the first book was written for kids.
On another tact, Stefani, does your avatar come from a book cover? I keep seei..."


I think her avatar is Dean Winchester from the Supernatural TV Show


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