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shades of grey
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The Fifty Shades Phenomenon
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If you live on planet Earth, then surely you must have heard of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. Fifty Shades Trilogy is a love story, divided in three novels, all written by E.L James. By the end of July, the Fifty Shades Trilogy had sold 20 million copies in the United States and according to Random House UK, 50 Shades of Grey, the first novel in the trilogy, is now United Kingdom's bestselling book ever, beating out any single Harry Potter title! Women all over the world are obsessed with these novels. And as if that was not enough, Universal and Focus features paid 5 million dollars for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades. Unable to resist to the hype of a good read, or rather the claim of "Mommy Porn", i downloaded the trilogy, looking forward to read this modern-day love affair, but after of four whole days of reading, i was utterly disappointed and shocked, not because of the so-called explicit sex scenes, but rather of the unrealistic storyline, the terribly underdeveloped characters and the poor writing techniques. So, there rises the question: how is it possible that such poorly written books have sold millions of copies worldwide? How can we explane the Fifty Shades Phenomenon?

But before i get to answer that, i should tell you a few things about the plot.

This modern love story takes place in Seattle and the first novels opens with the protagonist, Anastasia Steele, a 21-year-old college student who is graduating in a few weeks. Though she is supposed to being studying English Literature, her every other word is "holy cow", "holy crap", "holy shit" or "oh my". In the first novel she says 79 times "oh my" and 172 times "holy something." Ana has to interview this very successful businessman, who will deliver the commencement letters in her graduation, because of her best friend, Katherine, the editor of the school newspaper who is ill and cant make it to the interview. That is how Anastasia and Christian Grey meet for the first time. In the universe of these books, there is this beautiful and super famous businessman and Anastasia is the only person who has never heard of him. Yes, the depth of her stupidity is endless.

Of course Anastasia falls for Christian from the first minute she sees him, and for some inexplicable reason he also feels the same, though at first he has other plans for her. It does not take long for him to express his feelings to her. The only problem is that perfect Christian is a sadist and he wants her to sign a contract, that will allow him to be her master and do whatever he wants with her. Did i say problem? Not for Anastasia! In the name of love, everything is permitted, i guess. In the first week of their relationship, he introduces her to his mother, he buys her a blackberry, a macbook, a car and a first class ticket. During the second week he meets her mother and by the end of this week the relationship is over, because Ana comes to her senses (that won't last for long though).

The reconnection comes just a few days later, in the first chapter of the second novel. Christian realizes that Ana is the love of his love and he can not live without her. They make sex all the time, as they did in the first part, they fight a lot, because Christian is domineering, stalker, control freak and he has a crazy(unstable) ex. During the third week of their relationship, he proposes to her. At the final part, we find them at their honeymoon at the South of France. In this novel, Ana tries to adjust to being ridiculously rich and Christian continues to be the usual domineering Christian. They do a lot of sex and they fight all the time in this final part, as well. They no longer have to deal with crazy ex-girlfiends, but they have to cope with revengeful ex-bosses and unwanted pregnancies, but finally they get their "happily ever after" ending.

And now it is time to understand why these books are so popular.

It is important to know that this trilogy started off as a fan fiction, based on the twilight series. The protagonist, Anastasia Steele is a clone of Bella Swan. She is really shy and she feels awkward in her own skin. She has very low self esteem and it is actually a miracle that she hasn't committed a suicide yet and also she falls in love with a man that is out of her league. Because of her undeniable resemblence to Bella, she has earned a place too, in the hearts of all those people who loved Bella and the Twilight series.

Another thing that contributes to the popularity of these novels, is the main character, Christian Grey. Christian is a billionaire (yes, not just a millionaire), with audi cars, penthouse and private jet. He is also beautiful, beyond handsome, self-made, a helicopter pilot, an amazing piano player, a philanthropist and the best part is that he is only 27-years-old! He is caring, he can offer you the world and a great number of orgasms. He is a Mark Zuckerberg with the looks of David Beckam.

Lets face it, he is the Mr. Perfect for most women. The author knows that most women have the tendency to like fairy tales and thus she created the ultimate Prince Charming. She sells the fairy tale and the knight with the white horse. Well, to be accurate, she sells the dark knight, because girls dream of the bad boy they will get to change. A great part of the Fifty Shades Trilogy's success is owned to all the fairy tales, we women have read since our childhood. Because of the fairy tales, most of us are in search of Mr. Perfect in real life, and now we find him in the face of Christian Grey.

You probably have heard that Fifty Shades Trilogy is shocking because of all the intense sex scenes and the BDSM (which stands for Bondage, Domineering, Sadist and Masochism). Well, the truth is that there is nothing really shocking in these novels. The protagonists may have sex all the time, but the author's poor vocabulary, lack of imagination and writing incapability, make the scenes absolutely ridiculous. Only if you were a nun, you could be shocked. The only really shocking thing in this trilogy is the cruel abuse of tha language. If you think Fifty Shades Trilogy is bold and extreme, you should never touch The Story of the Eye by George Bataille. Even though the scenes are not shocking, it has become a sensation because the women never actually discussed sexuality without the help of Cosmopolitan. In United States the rope sales have skyrocketed and women start to feel free talking about their sexuality and expressing their desires and fantasies. It has always been very common for men to watch porn, but for women, this is still a taboo. If women watched porn as well, the Fifty Trilogy would never have become such a success!

So, romanticize an abusive realtionship and you get youself a bestesseler. Mission acomplished James! These books are poorly written, they are like the wet dream of a 12-year-old. They are the "Justin Bieber" of women literature. the sad thing is that as long as women are not comfortable with their sexuality, they will not stop trying to find comfort in such novels, turning them into besteselleres. So, my advice; if you are a woman do not read this trilogy. These books are awful, so try porn instead. You can find better smut on the internet, trust me! Google is your friend.

Street Talk


Thanks for your nice comment on my writing Pat!! I wrote another book review and i think it will be published tomorrow. It really was a waste of time, but i couldn't resist. I've been hearing about these novels for a few months now and i needed to know what all the hype was about. I'm glad i helped. I am now reading your article "The Superior Arrow Sign: A Vintage Entrepreneurial Lesson" and i will comment in a little while! :D

  about 1 decade ago

Ha! I knew you had spunk the moment I began reading your article! Nicely penned and well put together! I am very impressed with your boldness for a young woman! Can't wait to read your next article! Thanks for the heads up on a poorly written trilogy. I really didn't know what all the hubbub was about, and now I know! Thanks, Jo! Keep it up!

  about 1 decade ago
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