My second download from Audible.com was of course E. L. James 50 Shades of Grey. How could I resist? And then immediately had to listen to 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed. Which just should have been entitled 50 Shades continued and continued some more; because really, it's all just one long book. But never tediously long. No, quite the contrary, I too fell in love with these simple characters and didn't want to let them go.
For me, the books take me back to a life I left behind about 15 years ago. Not SMBD! I'm referring to Soap Operas and Romance Novels, was weened on them, starting from age 12. And 50 Shades of Grey just plays off of all the same themes - If Christian and Anna were on a soap in the 80's early 90's, they would have been called "A Super Couple". These were the characters that we saw through thick and thin, ups and downs, presumed deaths, possible pregnancies, jealousies, intrigue and delightful, over-the-top romance.
I can't say anyone on Guiding Light or As The World Turns had a "Red Room" exactly, but I've certainly read romance novels with plenty of "Kinky Fuckery" as Christian calls it.
Many news magazine pieces on 50 Shades, condemn the book for having an older man seduce a virgin and introduce her to a dark, sinfully sexy world. First of all, Christian is 27 to Anna's 22. Secondly, no matter how erotically written the sex scenes - and I've gotta give it to E.L. for her wonderfully descriptive language when it comes to these passages - It's still not dark. It's not intense or brooding or sad or scary or edgy or sick and depraved. It's just romantic and delicious!
Why, oh why, did I never write down any of my fantasies, so that I could be sitting on a pile of money and fame write now!?! Over the years, I've spent countless hours imagining a handsome, capable, sexy man who would take me to 4 star restaurants, buys me extravagant gifts, fall madly in love with me and best of all be a sex-pert! Not a dog who's been with so many woman you want to shine a germicidal blue light on him before even holding hands. And certainly not someone who has 5 different baby mammas. You also don't want someone who condescends to you in bed or is intensely demanding.
E. L James got it right (write) with Christian Grey, he may be 50 Shades of F*&% up on some levels, but when it comes to sex and intimacy, he's perfect. He takes Anna from steamy sensuality, to raw, hot intensity, to playful naughtiness, racy games, total abandonment, then to loving tenderness and back again.
That being said, I can in no way call these books a brilliant piece of literature. They are not particularly clever, there's no unexpected twists and turns, or elaborate plots. Anna is supposed to be an English major, but her inner dialogue is repetitive and often obtuse. I really can't see much difference between 50 Shades and anything else based in romantic nonsense - However, seeing this book sweep this Country and many others, gives me a sense of validation for spending my formative years lost in such escapist drivel. And pathetically, feeling a pull to return.
Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine)
More from love