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Thread: 50 Shades of Grey?

  1. #1
    Time Traveler mfarraday's Avatar
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    50 Shades of Grey?

    Has anyone here read 50 Shades of Grey?

    Did you like it? I am curious about what all the fuss is about.

    Just heard it was accepted by a U.S. publisher for...publication.

    Anyway, just wondering if people liked it or not.

    Thanks, might read it sometime.

    - Madeleine

  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    There's a big thread about it in here somewhere. Not my sort of thing but I don't really see what the fuss is about. Good luck to her.

  3. #3
    Time Traveler mfarraday's Avatar
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    Darn, it figures...I did search for a previous thread....wrong forum maybe? Anyway, thanks!

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    "We're all mad here" - Cheshire Cat Silver-Midnight's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think it's in AW Roundtable.

    I haven't read it; I have heard of the fan fiction version of it though. I didn't read it, but it was popular from what I hear.

    It looks like all three of her books are taking the top three spots in Amazon Paid. I think the first one took the first slot, followed by the sequel, and then the last one.

  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I'd heard about it, and decided to pass. I'm fond of well-written fanfic in general, but this seems to have migrated to print with its flaws intact. Also, its genesis came through Meyers' 'Twilight', and it has vampires. Neither point recommends it any more to me now than when it was a fanfic. I wish her luck, and hope she has the sense to invest her earnings well.

  6. #6
    Freeway stomper extraordinaire Sarah Madara's Avatar
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    I have no idea what it was like originally, but the current version has no vampires or reference to anything Twilight-y. I wouldn't know if it weren't for the news that it started as fanfic.

    I started reading it because of the Dr. Drew controversy and while at first I thought he was being way too judgmental, I have to say I kind of get his point. I'm not judging whether this is a "healthy" fantasy - what does that even mean?? - but it's *not* your typical strong-dominant-male romance scenario. The chick is a virgin, and her first introduction to sex is through a BDSM relationship with a guy who only likes BDSM because of his extraordinarily messed up childhood and who can't stand to be touched.

    I don't know anything about BDSM so I can't speak to any authenticity issues there, but in terms of men "in control," I love a dominant hero as much as the next suburban housewife, but this one rings false for me. I think it's because the heroine is so inexperienced and unsure of herself. There are places where it smacks of abuse to me, where she really isn't happy with the arrangement. Her emotional needs aren't being met, and she's only doing the physical stuff because it pleases him, not because it pleases her. (She still has lots of orgasms, though. One of those pleasure-in-spite-of-herself scenarios.)

    I think that's supposed to turn into an emotional healing thing but I haven't gotten there yet. I may not, because the writing is... meh.

    Everything I've read is legal and technically consensual and I'm not trying to pass judgment. This was just what I think people might want to know about the book before they read it, if they aren't sure whether it's up their alley.

    Hope that helps.

    P.S. Apologies if this is the wrong thread. It looked like the other one was discussing more fanfiction/copyright issues but I didn't read the whole thing.

  7. #7
    "We're all mad here" - Cheshire Cat Silver-Midnight's Avatar
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    I just heard that it came from a Twilight fan fiction, and it has horrible writing. That's about all I've heard.

  8. #8
    Hamtaro Rules FoamyRules's Avatar
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    I think this is the book that was previously published by a small house in Australia. I don't read much fanfiction, and I'm not sure if I'll be reading this or not, but good luck to the author

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    I read it last week, all three volumes. It's really one work split in three, the individual books have no coherence in and of themselves.

    It's horribly written, awkward to the point of pain in some cases, but for me it was at the same time very compelling--embarrassingly so. I don't even know why, but she's definitely pushing some kind of buttons.

    In terms of fanfic, I have read a lot of articles and I liked the comment "etching the serial numbers on" rather than "filing them off." It, as far as i can tell, has nothing to do with Twilight other than the original having the same names. So I think she may have exploited Twilight fandom, but I don't think she exploited Twilight in particular.

    To me, the important thing about it is this is not a romance novel no matter how much Random house wants to rebrand it. There's about 5000 words in the trilogy that aren't sex scenes. And the concept that something that explicit, even if that flawed, is at the top of the NY Times ebook list is a big win for people writing erotica.

  10. #10
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    But is it really a win? From what I've heard, here and elsewhere, and from the excerpts I've seen, it's pretty crappy writing in general. So while it may be a win that something deemed "erotica" is being noted by lists, it's still crappy porn. Which means that people will still equate erotica with crappy porn.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  11. #11
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    It's not a win. It makes us look bad in the eyes of the buying public and critical reviewers. When we could otherwise point out the real merits of our own work, we're left explaining this pile of putrescence.

    I got a chapter in to FSoG, and gave up: it really is horrible writing, and the characters set back the erotic romance genre at least 30 years.

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It's a win because it has a readership, a huge number of people both read and loved these books.

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    Freeway stomper extraordinaire Sarah Madara's Avatar
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    I'd say it's a win because soccer moms recommended these books to each other. Most of the steamier material on my Kindle is not something I would openly recommend to a friend, because I know so many women who will put down a book if it has too much sex in it. If more people are viewing an erotic novel as having mainstream appeal and aren't ashamed to say they're enjoying it, then I imagine that's a win for the genre overall.

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    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    So, it doesn't matter how bad it is, as long as people are reading it? If I'd never read "erotica" before and someone recommended that book to me, I'd never read erotica again.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

  15. #15
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    If a lot of people like it, a lot of people consider it good. Right now they are discussing it on morning TV. That makes it a "win". What part of being enjoyed by a huge readership and getting a deal with Random House is non-winning? As usual, those that don't like it, don't need to read it. And forming an impression of erotica by one book is probably not going to go well regardless of the book. However the pundit on TV speaking now seems to have not read erotica before, and she liked it.

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    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    A win for the author, yes. For the genre? I'm not convinced.

    And morning TV pundits work from scripts.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

    Eat This.

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    Nascent sxoidmal's Avatar
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    I don't think every published book has to be a classic for the ages. What self-publishing shows us is that readers really want to read, and that's why embarrassingly sub-par writing samples can still generate income on e-reader sites. Readers are infinitely more forgiving than publishing houses, which makes sense since the latter has a greater financial investment in any writer it contracts with. Not so the e-reader shopping for self-published titles, who can afford to toss between 99 cents and three dollars at a gamble.

    Yes, the Twilight series was very poorly written. Fifty Shades of Grey is being politely characterized as "purple prose." Does that mean they should not have seen print? What fascistic taste-maker would bar a writer from writing? At the end of the day, it is most important that reading has been done, whether it's a soccer mom exploring a new release or a new, curious reader discovering an interest. We may prefer they pick up the classics rather than People Magazine (or throw money at our brilliant and flawless work), but reading is reading, ultimately, and at the very least they're reading something.
    NULLA DIES SINE LINEA

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    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I read all 3 of these books. For some simple, mindless reading, I thought they were good. If I looked at them with my writer's eye, I thought they were terrible.

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    Recovering from sock monkey trauma Big Kahuna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScarlettMetal View Post
    I read all 3 of these books. For some simple, mindless reading, I thought they were good. If I looked at them with my writer's eye, I thought they were terrible.
    Cool. Maybe I've got a shot after all.

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    Cool. Maybe I've got a shot after all.
    One of the things that got me to actually try my hand was the assurance that no matter how bad your writing is, there's someone out there making money who's worse.

  21. #21
    Recovering from sock monkey trauma Big Kahuna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie Elle View Post
    One of the things that got me to actually try my hand was the assurance that no matter how bad your writing is, there's someone out there making money who's worse.
    Yeah, I'd only hate to find out that I'm wrong.

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW Celeste Carrara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Kahuna View Post
    Cool. Maybe I've got a shot after all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Katie Elle View Post
    One of the things that got me to actually try my hand was the assurance that no matter how bad your writing is, there's someone out there making money who's worse.

  23. #23
    Forever Learning
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    NYT Review of Shades of Grey

    Maureen Dowd reviews Grey at link below. Note comments by Anne Rice ("godmother of vampire and S&M fantasies"), a "phone dominatrix, and Rutgers professor. Review claims the book follows pretty standard track: mousy, virginal girl falls for rich, powerful man (conventions from Harlequin, it seems), with quality of writing "overwrought." More interesting is the discussion of the implications for female readers, with the eternal wrangling about women as submissive or not down deep, and the significance of S&M fantasies within women, acted out or not. Rice claims very few act out such fantasies, except in northern California where I live. Guess Ill have to keep a better eye out. Or, I suppose I can await the movie, with rights sold to Universal for $5 million. See:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/op...%20tied&st=cse

  24. #24
    "We're all mad here" - Cheshire Cat Silver-Midnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another View Post
    Or, I suppose I can await the movie, with rights sold to Universal for $5 million.
    I still can't believe someone bought the rights to that, especially someone like Universal.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin smp1218's Avatar
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    I'm reading it now after hearing so much about it. I just had to know what the fuss was about! I'm about 100 pages in, and m just not compelled to continue reading. I'll finish it eventually, but it's not the page turner that the news made it out be, at least in my opinion!

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