Darlings, I leave you to your own private predilections. However, studies reveal significant differences in retention, memory and cognitive mapping betwixt printed text and electronic media. Upside? Nobody will remember reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

First published on April 4th, 2012 when the film rights were acquired and before hard copies were printed… Heavens, a movie, a world wide sensation, the publication of a new wave of spanky pants erotica, a freshly minted millionaire — but I have to say, anything where the words “inner goddess” are repeated on a regular basis makes me want to (full disclosure) un-swallow, as in throw-up, retch, hurl, pirouette like a ballerina to the toilet, you get the picture… A friend of mine recently flew in from New York to join us in Palm Springs for Christmas. On the flight in an Englishman sitting next to him commented on his reading material. “I see you’re reading FIFTY SHADES OF GREY rather unabashedly.” To which my friend replied in the positive, to which the Englishman chuckled and said, “well done.” And, that’s the way it crumbles, literary-wise.

A little update in August of 2013…  E. L. is the gift that just keeps giving – have you read she was the highest paid author of the year? That’s right ducklings, $95 million, shall we say, smackeroos? Depending on how you look at it, that’s either a resounding “ouch”, or “oh yes! please! may I have another?”.


    • I still haven’t read the books — I know it’s part of the zeitgeist — and I could handle it when it was the midnight read of the 6th Harry Potter — but “Grey” — the first page was enough, actually the heroine’s name was enough. Anastasia Steele. Wow.

  1. My reaction exactly. I wouldn’t touch the Shades. Even as a professional effort to be aware of the flurry of lust over the books. No. I’d rather haul bricks. Dig a moat. Read the 1,000 pages of Robert Burton’s “The Anatomy of Melancholy.”

    • Hat tip to you. This I find immensely more readable:

      I’th’ under column there doth stand
      Inamorato with folded hand;
      Down hangs his head, terse and polite,
      Some ditty sure he doth indite.
      His lute and books about him lie,
      As symptoms of his vanity.
      If this do not enough disclose,
      To paint him, take thyself by th’ nose.

      Yeah, baby! Let’s hear it for Robert Burton! (And, I think his completed work is some 500 pages shorter than E.L. James’.)

  2. Give me Nin or heck Henry Miller any day. But, I must say there was a copy of Shades in the grocery store of all places (discount bin!) and I read a few lines will standing in the dairy isle. It just was kind of too forced and just badly written to be taken seriously.

    • “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”
      Ah oh! E.L. James just proved Anais Nin wrong…

  3. I am not going to read it.I have no interest in it.It has no doubt made a lot of money.It will probably be read by people who otherwise read very slowly ,whilst running their forefinger under the type ,mouthing the words to themselves as they do.In this case they may be breathing a little harder than normal.Life is too short and such books are too long.I would rather be doing something else,anything else.

  4. beautycalyptique

    can’t and won’t force myself to read (more than those 5 pages of the preview that left the linguist in me saying holy fuck over and over, and not for the sexyness, just for the poor writing. and I’m not even a native speaker.)

    besides, here’s one more nice and geeky word for throwing up you might find useful someday: reverse engineering.

    you’re welcome 😉

    • Vickie,I could not be bothered to read the book.I can not even imagie reading the book.You know sometimes when you have inadvertantly stepped on a piece of dog dollop you know it first by the smell.You dont have to examine the sole of your shoe for evidence.In much the same way I have no need to examine that book.

    • What is truly remarkable is that so many people have bought it and read it.Just as remarkable is the fact that they bought it apparently of their own free will.I have even heard people praising it.No one had a gun held to their head with the choice read or die.I must point out that eveyone that I have heard praising it are not to say the least habitual readers and would probably otherwise read a book once every five years and only then when it has reached a certain level of publicity.This is a classic example.

      • beautycalyptique

        presumably the clientele is the same that LOVES the twilight books, and given that the shades are actually edited and printed fanfiction, previously loved at the boards (as I am told, I have no idea – twilight is an abomination of the written word in itself), the success is actually at least partially borrowed.

      • beautycalyptique

        OMG. I haven’t seen the movies. are the lips movements altered digitally or is it just the actors moving their lips in such a weird manenr?
        either way. hilarious

      • Danielle,sorry to hear that you have not recovered completely from reading the Twilight books.You may find a -Post Twilight Trauma Therapist locally and I have heard good things of Post Twilight Recovery Groups.Seriously you are a braver person than I.

  5. Unbelievable she makes such money with such books… I haven’t read them and I won’t read them either. The three lines I once read (the person next to me in the bus was reading a book and I wanted to know what it was- of course it was the shades stuff…) made me roll my eyes equally as many time.
    Next to that, I like to be called duckling ;).

    • My mom used to always call me duckling, my full name was reserved for when I was in trouble. I only read an excerpt that was published in an article announcing the books were being made into a film — and I know they picked them very carefully — but the phrasing made me burst out laughing.

  6. George Kaplan

    Not only is this post hilarious as you deliver a well-deserved spanking (uh oh!) to ol’ EL’s (her name is quite funny in itself as it brings to mind Peter Cook’s amusingly boring comic character E. L. Wisty) sub-literary unerotic cough syrup but your replies are so wonderfully erudite and sharp as to make me both giddy and to laugh aloud! Anais Nin and Robert Burton quotations in service of eviscerating 50 Shades of Shonkiness? To quote you Vickie, “Yeah, Baby!”, I guess I’m just a sucker for wit and erudition!
    Beautyc’s comment about your superfunny synonyms for being sick reminded me of these: I just gave at the office, producing a chunky avalanche, the technicolor yawn, anti-eating (as in “Are you okay?”, “No, I just anti-ate.”… Bwahahaha! Suitably disgusting…

    • I don’t know how you led me down this path, but I remember this from a friend who used to down the most intricate, liqueur laden, sickly sweet drinks – the aftermath was referred to as, “talking to God on the big white telephone.” And, now we’re done with this subject!

  7. Great post and a fantastic photo in the header, a picture worth more than a thousand words!

    I can’t find it now, but earlier this year I came upon sales figures for five authors who had received the Nobel Prize in literature (totals for sales from book debut to prize announcement). They ranged from 2,000 to 400, and in one case, figures were not available because the book had been remaindered.

    Oh well – after reading the description of the Nobel books, I had no more intention of reading them than I had for “Fifty Shades.” Wonder if they’ll add a car chase and explosions to the movie?

    • That is fascinating… And, did you know that a book is considered a “best seller” if 10,000 copies are sold? I think some books, like Grey, may owe their initial popularity to the ease and anonymity of the Kindle. And, this is one instance where I think a car chase and few explosion could only improve the story 😉 .

  8. I have not read the books. I cannot imaging reading them. I must confess I did read the Twilight books and have still not recovered completely. The only thing I can say is that I had an infant at the time and my brain was tired and foggy. That is probably what kept me alive.

  9. Thank for Bad Lip Reading.Very funny.I bought the film at a knock down price,sped through it and thought it awful.Maybe you have to be a certain age for that sort of thing.

      • Vickie,my word I was thinking teens.I just had the sense-What is all the fuss about in relation to THIS.Its not a film I would ever want to watch at normal speed.I use the fast forward review method a lot.It saves time and annoyance as you can usually get the gist of something awful very easily and then go and do something interesting like stare at the wall.I am afraid to say it,but I use this method with a considerable number of films.I have also double checked from time to time to see whether I may or may not have been hasty in my appraisal of the film and found that it works for me quite to my satisfaction.

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