Sunday, August 12, 2012

Color me 50 Shades

I’m going to just come out and say I really enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey. 

I just had to read it after all the breathless reviews I saw, and I found it hugely entertaining. The word I often use for it is ‘compelling’. I found it a truly compelling read, and clearly mobs of other people did too. I was interested in the story, interested in what would happen. Lots of things were working just right in that book. 

I was also into it as a writer. 

What did it do so right? What is that mysterious ingredient that makes it so compelling? So entrancing? I heard somebody suggest it was the beauty and the beast angle. Somebody else suggested it was due to the “caretaker alpha.” I don't think it's as simple as that. It just sort of fascinates me as an author, thinking about this. I mean, it’s not just luck it was passed around like wildfire. 

I love that is has that magical something, and that I can't quite isolate it. 

It’s not a perfect book, and I could see the problems people typically have with it, on the level of the writing. I do think it could’ve used better editing, I didn’t like the whole inner goddess bit. And it portrayed bdsm as illness based, which isn’t accurate. Though I didn’t have a problem with its fan fic roots—it doesn’t feel like a copy to me.

I also love that this is a book that got people reading. And it got people into genre fiction, reminded them what it’s like to be swept up by a book, to love a book, to look intensely forward to the next time they can get to it.

And it was so damn compelling!

I’m all for 50 Shades! 


  1. I agree, Carolyn - "compelling" is exactly the word. That's the special ingredient that's the first element to be thrown away before any analysis, much like Twilight. A plot description/critique will never touch on that magic. I feel quite certain that all the "how to be a bestseller" seminars will never teach what that is. Magic.

  2. Hey, thanks Jeffe. Yes, the magic! Unable to be isolated and examined.

  3. it seems these type of books tap into something very basic and instinctual in is a modern fairy tale...there is a reason those have been around forever :)

    1. Right, something deep and archetypal. That's a good thought.

    2. that is the word I meant to use...after I looked it up