The (somewhat) controversial novel 50 Shades of Grey is the first book in a trilogy by EL James. It follows Anna, a naïve college senior and her extremely sexual relationship with young mogul Christian Grey. Anna has a chance encounter with Christian when she helps her best friend by conducting an interview for the college paper with him at the last minute. He soon makes her his submissive in an S and M lifestyle that Anna is completely unprepared for. They spend the remainder of the novel navigating this world as Anna examines whether she is really cut out for her new role.
Shades of Grey is widely known as Mommy Porn because of the explicit sex scenes, of which there are many. Hardly a page goes by without Christian and Anna having sex- in the bathroom, in the bedroom, and in The Red Room- a scary room of bondage devices where Christian brings his submissives. However, the book isn’t just about sex. There is also a genuine love story between a young woman becoming an adult and the man she has deep feelings for. Christian also finds himself caring for a woman for the first time in his life and it scares him to death. The struggle to decide if they can be a normal couple makes for some entertaining reading.
Many have argued that the James’ writing is terrible and difficult to get through. But this is not supposed to be a great literary work. It was originally written as a piece of fan fiction based on the Twilight trilogy. It received such a huge following that it led to a publishing contract and a brand new life for James, a housewife from. The rumor is that James will receive a 20 million dollar check this fall as her portion of the profits. Is Shades of Grey a classic? No. But does it provide an escape to a world few know about and many are curious about? Absolutely!
James is not the first writer to struggle with dialogue. If there is any question, take a look at some early works by Danielle Steel or even at Luke and Laura’s conversations in the 80s. But where are people getting the idea that James takes her own writing seriously? She has admitted to being stunned by the success of the trilogy. So why does the public feel the need to attack her on a daily basis?
The cultural dialogue about the book has definitely influenced the book’s attraction. And taken for what it is- a love story with a lot of sex- it is perfect for anyone looking to escape their own lives, for a brief time.