Having just finished the 3rd book in the Fifty Shades trilogy I wonder, who out there wants to stomach another blog on 50 shades.
Let’s just get past one thing. There is a lot written regarding the intensely poor literary quality of these books; not all books are written for their literary quality. No this is not John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, which was only 90 pages in the latest edition being read by my 9th grader (and myself again for old time’s sake). The book was intensely appealing to much of the population at large and James is laughing all her way to the bank.
I read the books, Fifty Shades-all 3 of them. I would probably title Book One a ‘the seduction’ which is all about Grey, the hero, getting her to fall in love with him via his process-his manipulations, secrets, psychopathology and of course good looks, massive wealth and great sex (well who wouldn’t be interested?). . . at least until the end. Very much another Cinderella story-wealthy man rescues delicate and, as we are introduced to her, clumsy maiden. As all the whilst I’m reading I’m thinking, ok, and what if grey wasn’t this megalomaniac of a success financially and physically-would the young maiden be interested? Probably not. And would the readers be interested if he were say a blue collar worker or a struggling artist? BTW-Grey is good at everything he does including being a notable pianist.
Book Two, Fifty Shades Darker, entices one more into the world of Grey’s secrets, more seduction and highlights even more than the fair maiden is not and will not be an accommodating submissive. Via the process and through the help of his psychotherapist he is ‘healed’ and has little need for his pathology, revealed in the world of sex (not drugs or alcohol-not as appealing-I mean would you have read it if he was addicted to oxy’s?). As he learns to feel safe with being touched and taking risks for real love (I think?) he is healed. In Book Three it all resolves and his life is changed. Events are merged-everything happens in a short period of time as does the whole story but it is definitely faster moving. Secrets are revealed and everything makes sense. They are married with children and prince and princess live happily ever after.
I often get asked . . . .why the appeal. Are we a sex-starved nation? Is this the classic archetype duo of Cinderella and Prince Charming, a sex-laden sort of pretty woman?
Appealing or not-perhaps we are ‘sex-starved’ as I read in one review, copies are sold and that is the bottom line. Even before we were a culture of constant feeding and stimulation, sex novels were popular with many. I would not chalk it up to the times and our business. Actually, I think it was time for another sex book. Enough of Fifty Shades. Harry Potter and its sequel (Twilight) has taken up way too much time!