Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I'm not someone who thinks that if I'm going to read trash, it should be well-written trash.  I think that if I'm going to read trash, it should be really trashy. On the plus side, this book is kinky and erotic, and it's part of the pop culture.  On the minus side, it's degrading, chauvinistic, and ridiculous.  So what if the writing is mediocre?  It's still better written than The DaVinci Code, and it's quite the page-turner, in its own appalling way.  So many women in my over-the-hill age group have read this book that I assumed the protagonist to be our age.  Wrong.  The heroine, if you want to call her that, is recent college graduate Anastasia Steele (Ana for short) who loses her virginity to Christian Grey, who seems perfect in every way—rich, smart, sophisticated, and gorgeous.  Christian, however, is interested in submissive women only and expects them to sign a non-disclosure agreement and a pact that basically relegates them to slave status, complete with corporal punishment.  This was a big turnoff for me, but Ana faces the dilemma of deciding how much she is willing to sacrifice to keep from losing him.  The book is not devoid of humor, either; the email exchanges, especially the subject lines, are priceless.  This is the only manner of communication in which Ana can be brutally honest, as Christian just intimidates her too much in person. Christian, on the other hand, divulges as little as possible about his background, but he obviously has survived some very dark times.  The author would have us believe that there's give and take on both sides, as Ana tries to be what Christian thinks he needs, and Christian tries to be more of a normal boyfriend.  What I found most disturbing was that Ana is turned on by Christian's sadistic ways.  She may be good for him, but she can't seem to find her equilibrium in this warped relationship.  She obviously has him wrapped around her little finger, so why put up with all the scary stuff?  Well, because she likes some of it, sort of.  At least I now know what all the fuss is about.

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