fifty shades of grey by el james

 I am the last person to pledge to invest my affairs in mass-scale interests that recruit fans like rapid fire –never read/watched Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, Gossip Girl, Glee, etc.– so when I saw EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey plastered on social news feeds and then some, I disregarded them with perfunctory scrolls down the page.  It wasn’t until I saw a male friend’s status that said “If you are a guy, buy your girlfriend Fifty Shades.  Don’t ask.  Just do it!” that pulled on my string to read it. He had rarely (if ever) recommended books.  Sex does sell because my curiosity amplified once I discovered that it was an erotic romance novel, something that I’ve never come across.  And for something so X-rated to metamorphose into an overnight sensation got me to wonder how our culture is revolutionizing.  Everything, and I mean everything, is so readily accessible for anybody now.  Especially with e-books. You don’t have to worry about people knowing what you’re reading with a slate between your hands.

Fifty Shades revolves around a story of star crossed lovers helplessly and madly in love, trying to painfully rebel against the norms of society, hurting and healing each other with sweaty passion and bloody nonsense.  Anastasia Steele is a university senior who encounters Christian Grey, a 27-year-old billionaire financial executive when she interviews him for a school newspaper.  His immaculate attire and perfectly chiseled looks resort Ana to think he is completely out of her league.  But through unexpected twists and turns, they end up going on a first date.  This is where Grey suggests they sign a contract before any coital relationship takes place (BDSM).  The entire novel spans around just 3 or 4 weeks but the relationship and character development is so physically intense and emotionally drenching that by the last page, I felt like I lived through months with the couple.  The book goes on to answer if love could go the distance to be in pain for the beloved to experience pleasure.

Personally, I was intrigued by Grey’s psychological emancipation to conduct BDSM, and began to wonder about the causes of emotional abuse.  The novel isn’t at all “pornography”; it’s definitely a web of graphic sexual details but the real story is about violence and abuse that could take place in any relationship.  We all know that conventional erotica has been created to fully serve men and their fantasies.  Women have been engineered to portray the submissive roles.  So perhaps this novel has cult following because it finally accommodates to female fantasies.  I’m not sure how I feel about the book.  But I guess I’ll recommend it.  It has obviously made some kind of breakthrough with society because they’re now making Fifty Shades of Grey into a brand!

dee’s recommendation: 3.5/5