For the last couple weeks now I've been wanting to start a book club on my blog. My dear friend and hilarious twitter personality Eric Gonzalez has been sending me tons of fantastic reads for the last couple of months and I haven't been able to put my iPad down. I asked Eric if he'd be willing to help me start this book club since he has such great taste in finding juicy books. In the latest batch of books he sent over to me, Eric sent me the book we chose as our inaugural pick. While we hope to shake things up and choose a less predictable book next time around, how could we not choose "Fifty Shades of Grey" as our first?
Take it away, Eric.
**Don't forget to follow Eric on Twitter. He's hilarious: @ericg622
Hello blogosphere! Ever since I got my iPad last year, I have been zooming through book after book. If you are looking for an investment: the iPad. You’re welcome. With that said, I dove into every type of literature – biographies, sci-fi (not my thing), politics (taking a breather), comedy, the classics, really you name it. Now that I have read well over 100 books this year (most NY Times Best Sellers), I feel that it is my duty to share with you some of these golden nuggets – instead of me rambling, let’s get going with the first book…
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I read this book, and I’m even more embarrassed by the fact that I couldn’t put it down. Fifty Shades of Grey is authored by E.L. James and it has become a pop culture phenomenon (coined the phrase “Mommie Porn” and has spiked a 300% increase in the adult toy industry) – if you haven’t heard of it A) you are lying, B) you live under a rock, or C) you are Amish.
For starters, E.L. James is a piece of work in herself. She says writing this book was the cure to her midlife crisis. As part of your homework, YouTube one of her interviews – she’s a real mess, doesn’t make eye contact and repetitively uses the excuse “it’s because I’m British” to undermined the filth in this book – you’ll end that five minute interview feeling extremely awkward. This is the perfect segue into the obscenities of the book – Fifty Shades of Grey is known for being overtly provocative and tackles the topics of S&M, dominants and submissives. What really sparked my interest was the discussion of the novel on the Today Show – they were shocked by how crude and explicit it is. I assumed that Savannah Guthrie and myself would have different definitions of obscene – incorrect assumption, the book really is that vulgar. Let’s put our cards out on the table, that’s what draws you to it – the writing is lackluster (at best) – by they end of the book, you won’t be able to give me a detailed description of the female protagonist, BUT you will have a new Rolodex of filthy words and techniques (warning, if you don’t know a phrase, don’t Google image it, take my word).
Here’s the plot. Fifty Shade of Grey centers on a tryst/budding relationship between a recent college graduate (Anastasia Steele) and a billionaire mogul with a disturbing past (Christian Grey). Throw in some spanking, crying and extreme possessiveness – voilà, Fifty Shades of Grey in a nutshell. From a Gloria Steinem standpoint (first and last time this will come from my mouth), I find it hard to believe that women love this book so much – I think it’s rather demeaning, but I’m not going to attempt to wrap my head around the female psyche. Moms love it, and for that, more power to them.
My criticism for the bad writing and overtly obsceneness in no way negates how fun of a read this book is. You’ll finish it in a few days, and when you’re not reading it, you’ll be eying the book on your nightstand. So sit back with a glass of wine (you’ll need it) and enjoy what your life has accounted to – a trashy novel that is all of the rage. Cheers!
PS. For further reading, check out Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed (the trilogy is 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the NYT Best Seller List). The books seem to get worse and more lovey-dovey as the series progresses. Still, once you read the first, you’ll want to follow it through. Believe me.