We have a problem: The New York Times Best Sellers List
Holding the top spot is E.L. James's pornographic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. Number two on the list is E.L. James's pornographic novel, Fifty Shades Darker. Next up is E.L. James's pornographic novel, Fifty Shades Freed. Go down the list, and you find the entire trilogy (box set) at number six. I have only one question: why?
Popular literature? More like popular crap. In 2005, we had our vampire-romance mania with Twilight. At least when that came out, there was a public vomit-fest. We crazed over the "lets have children kill children" The Hunger Games in 2008. And now? We run to bookstores to buy pornography outright. Do you know how long it's been since Harry Potter came out? 15 years. And that was respectable literature, because at least the author did not need to resort to overt sex or violence to gain attention. Sure, Rowling had to pull out some wizards to make HP a bestseller, but wizards are cool, are they not? Cooler than sex addicts, at least.
What's makes Fifty Shades even more terrifying is that it's been on the Best Seller list for 18 weeks. Damn.
Well, at least the reviews have been interesting...
"This has to be the most appallingly atrocious writing I've ever seen in a major release. The pseudonymous British author sets the action (such as it is) in Washington State... for no reason than that her knowledge of America apparently consists of what she read in Twilight."
"The characters are out of a 16 year old's fantasy. The main male character is a billionaire (not a millionaire but a billionaire) who speaks fluent French, is basically a concert level pianist, is a fully trained pilot, is athletic, drop dead gorgeous, tall, built perfectly with an enormous penis, and the best lover on the planet."
"If I wrote like that, I'd use a pseudonym too."
Entertainment Weekly says: "In a class by itself."
I'd imagine that people would have a little more self-respect, but then, I tend to be idealistic. Are people buying this because they enjoy erotica, or because they are intrigued by the terrible reviews? If the latter be true, I say we rename it Fifty Shades of Crap.