Wherever you go, you can’t get away from it. 50 Shades Of Grey that is. Everyone has an opinion, everyone’s talking about it – some positive, some negative.
During the Olympics opening ceremony my wife and I had a debate about it after someone had shown me sections at work. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t the sort of book I would ordinarily read, but at the same time I found it interesting that such a phenomenal amount of hype had been blown up around the book and we came to the conclusion it was like Marmite – you either love it or hate it.
As the conversation progressed I made the point that if I were to sit on a bus reading what was obviously an erotic novel I’d no doubt be greeted with tuts, looks and in all likelihood other comments, however, it seems perfectly acceptable to sit there and read a book that’s probably as explicit (although in the Kindle age you can sit there and read whatever you want without anyone knowing). So how come one is okay and one isn’t? Is it the target market? The phenomenon?
It doesn’t matter at the end of the day, but my opinions were countered and when my wife revealed she had read the books I kind of had a disadvantage having only read one chapter. I was reminded of a quote about one of the Harry Potter movies where a religious person, having clearly denounced the movie despite never seeing it, received a missive ‘You are indeed a man of faith. You believe though you have not seen’ and this is the same scenario. I hadn’t read the books and was basing my opinions on one chapter, hearsay and other reviews.
Clearly I cannot have a proper opinion on something that I haven’t read I was challenged to read them, but only if I read all three. I agreed.
One of the issues is possibly the content (which I’ll confirm when I’ve read it). In most books any intimacy is usually incidental to the story line, however, for obvious reasons in the case of 50 Shades the sex is (I’m assured primarily in the first book) the primary point and the rest of it is incidental. Digging below the headline screaming erotic nature of the books apparently reveals a deeper story and this is why I have to read all three. Hey, I’m pretty much game for anything.
What I do find mildly disturbing is that 50 Shades was apparently based on Twilight fan fiction. It’s not the fan fiction bit I have an issue with, but I saw Twilight and would frankly rather have all my toe nails extracted with an ice pick that sit through the remainder. I wouldn’t read the books if you paid me (unless it was a lot) based on what I saw in the film, although in fairness I’m about as far away from target demographic as it’s likely possible to be given that I’m a slightly overweight middle aged male. I realise that films and books are completely different but even so, what I saw on the big screen was enough to put me off for life.
So, how am I getting on? Well, I finished chapter one at the weekend and I have to admit I’m quite intrigued. I want to see what happens from now on and I like both characters so far. That bodes well.
And at least now I can discuss this much with my wife from a strategically educated position knowing that I can’t be accused of being falsely opinionated 🙂