Fifty Shades of awkward
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 21:08
Yes, it’s about sex. Let’s just go ahead and break the awkward tension that inevitably surrounds the Fifty Shades series. In a moment of apparent weakness, I purchased the first book of the series, Fifty Shades of Grey. I’d heard the rumors--S&M, soccer mom porn, Twihard fantasy--but nothing prepared me for what author E. L. James actually had in store for her readers. After her Twilight fan fiction gained popularity, James decided to slightly alter the story and character names, and thus the Fifty Shades series was born.
The book follows protagonist Anastasia Steele as she gets wrapped up in a sexual agreement with millionaire Christian Grey. After previously serving as a “submissive” to one of his mother’s friends (who is cleverly referred to throughout the book as “Mrs. Robinson”), Christian has apparently developed a fondness of controlling women sexually. After Anastasia stumbles, quite literally, into his life, he knows that he has to control her as well. Conveniently, Anastasia and her “inner goddess” (yes, that really is a direct quote from the book) seem to be equally smitten with him, and so she agrees, somewhat reluctantly at first, to his lengthy demands regarding her health and sex life.
I didn’t have a set idea of what the book would be like aside from the “mommy porn” genre, but it ended up shocking me. Of course, the explicit sex scenes were quite surprising, although not totally unexpected. James leaves no room for the imagination in the physical scenes between Anastasia and Christian, and describing them as “raunchy” is probably the understatement of the year. James actually does have a fair amount of character development throughout the novel. Unfortunately, Anastasia ends up being confused, needy and just plain obnoxious, while Christian is a rich businessman who is damaged and domineering. Oh, and let’s not forget the use of some pretty impressive vocabulary words throughout the novel, with some slightly less intelligent words like “shouty” and “weirding out” thrown in there for good measure.
The thing that stuns me the most is that the series is dominating the top of the New York Times Bestseller list since their release. EMI has plans to release a Fifty Shades of Grey album full of all the classical music that Christian is so fond of throughout the book. Also, the series is in works of becoming a movie--hello, NC17. I hope I can contain my excitement.