When I worked at a national news magazine, I learned that the optimal “cover story” evoked an equal number of “pro” and “con” responses. I found that to be roughly true after my recent blog post on the popular Fifty Shades of Grey series: half of the respondents thanked me for the warning not to read the book(s), and the other half expressed gratitude for encouraging the read.
What’s most interesting is that 90 percent of these remarks came through one-one-one conversations or personal emails, not comments on the WordPress or Facebook posts. Could my loyal readers be afraid to admit publically that they’re reading – and even enjoying – E. L. James’ books?
Do we need permission to take a break from our duties as serious grownups at work and home, where we normally spend our days stressed and hurried, cooking, driving, cleaning, spectating and reading children’ s books or school papers?
Is it so wrong to take flight from our normally frantic lives, and maybe even to fantasize a bit?
I admit that I did read the first book out of obligation to the book club (our meeting is this Thursday; I’ll let you know how the discussion goes). But, aside from the over-the-top sexual stuff (who knew you could do that with a riding crop, that balls could be inserted there and that you could buy things to “plug” certain orifices) – the story grew on me. And, when Book I came to a sudden halt, I moved right on to Book II (Fifty Shades Darker), and got sucked into the story of Christian and Ana’s burgeoning relationship.
So, ladies – and brave gentlemen – give yourself a little permission to escape every now and then, and let us know how the “trip” feels.
– Linda Williams Rorem, 9 June 2012
- 17 ‘Fifty Shades’ Stories That Haven’t Been Written Yet (theatlanticwire.com)
- Rumor: Angelina Jolie Could Direct ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (slashfilm.com)
- Fifty Shades of Grey (mimiandchichi.com)
- Fifty Shades of Grey, captivating or over the top? (amymayd.com)
- Fifty Shades of Gay (dcmcmillen.com)