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Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
by EL James (Random House Struik)
I completed the Fifty Shades trilogy about two weeks ago and have been trying since then to write a review.
Receiving a press release from the publishers has made it even more difficult – this trilogy is literally flying off the (virtual and bookstore) shelves!
Random House UK announced last week that the trilogy had sold more than four million copies in hard copy and e-book versions combined.
Remarkably, the paperback edition of Fifty Shades of Grey has sold in just two months (765 000+ copies) what Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, the best-selling paperback novel of all time, took more than six months to achieve.
People are jumping over hurdles to get their hands on this trilogy.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that best-sellers need not necessarily be well-written, thought-provoking works of real art. But how this collection has achieved an almost cult-like following boggles my mind indeed.
In a nutshell, the Fifty Shades trilogy is merely book porn with the hint of a storyline.
It centres on Anastasia Steele (could a name be any more contrived), a young, naive college graduate who is eager to enter the world of publishing.
A chance interview throws her into the glamorous and ludicrously wealthy world of Christian Grey, who has a few deep and very dark secrets he wants to share with her.
Christian is the epitome of wealth beyond any normal person’s wildest imagination. And Anastasia, when she isn’t breathing heavily and catapulting under his lascivious gaze, is going to tame the dark horse, make him more human.
Considering she spends most of her time breathing heavily, she has very little time to do this, of course.
That, in essence, is the storyline, and it takes EL James a whopping three books to tell it.
If she dropped just half of the raunchy sex scenes in these books, the story could have been written in a single book, I am sure.
I read the first book hiding under my duvet and hoping my husband wouldn’t see me blushing down to my toes.
At the end, my only thought was if I heard someone saying “Oh my!” I would seriously vomit all over them.
Fifty Shades of Grey’s only redeeming feature was that Anastasia still kept intact a semblance of strength of character.
I think I would have had more praise and respect for the entire exercise, despite all this descriptive BDSM, had it ended there.
But then I had to read books two and three. What can I say? I still had faith that maybe, just maybe, the author would rise above (oh the irony) her blatant capitalisation of every sexual stereotype in the book.
Still blushing furiously and feeling like a voyeur in a world I have little knowledge of and feel very uncomfortable in, I soldiered on.
I shouldn’t have.
Fifty Shades Darker lost all plausible storyline and by the time I picked up Fifty Shades Freed, I was just desperate to get through it and forget it – and hoping beyond hope that Anastasia would stop with the heavy breathing and be a “real” woman.
That the Fifty Shades trilogy is such a massive hit worldwide, has me truly perplexed. Am I missing something here? Am I just too stuffy and out of touch?
If you can pluck up the courage to walk into a bookstore and pick up a Fifty Shades and hand it over to a knowing cashier to ring up, maybe you would be able to explain it. – Meneesha Govender