Tag Archives: E.L. James

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E.L. James

Unless you like to read erotic sadomasochism, don’t buy this.

Because you may have seen this book everywhere lately, you might be wondering about it and I felt a responsibility to address it.

It amazes me that booksellers are shamelessly promoting ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ as a powerful bestseller. Normally it would be lurking on a back shelf somewhere with a warning attached. The cynic in me suggests that publishers saw $$$ signs in their eyes with this one and went for it, publishing immediately in paperback with a classy looking cover, and launching a bold marketing campaign.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a prude. I am not against a trashy beach novel with a few steamy scenes now and then, but this one goes too far and has no literary merit whatsoever.  The writing is poor, with a thin plot line and undeveloped characters providing only a stage for the erotica. I couldn’t finish it.

Sex is not a spectator sport and a book like this undermines the beauty of sex in committed relationship. So should there be any sex in novels at all?

Sex and violence are part of human story and therefore do belong, unless they are gratuitous. Some authors hint at sex and others are far more explicit, making it a matter of style for the author and matter of taste for the reader. If sex is handled well by an author it can naturally flow from the narrative and add to the story. Author skills vary in this area but we do recognize those who capture a moment well and those who do not. The purpose of the author in any case, is to produce good literature and depict human story. The purpose of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ however, is to titillate and stimulate, not to educate, appreciate or acculturate.