I borrowed and read the hit book 50 Shades Of Grey (actually a trilogy). 50 Shades is the fastest selling paperback of all time, beating Harry Potter. Somewhat literally. It a romance novel, but lightly about BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism). You know. whips and chains, na na na come on. I honestly don’t think the book is that bad.
50 Shades was originally a bit of fan fiction based on the Twilight series, but it’s been adapted into something unique. Critical reviews of it are generally bad, but I can’t deny that it’s an interesting read. That said, Mills & Boone romance novels are page turners whereas Joyce’s Ulysses is not. Something can be bad and interesting.
50 Shades, the first novel at least, leaves a lot of room for characters to develop or change so perhaps it gets more sophisticated across the trilogy. As it is, the book is basically the classic girl meets guy, guy wants to tie girl and beat her up story. While the book is supposedly about BDSM, it actually describes very vanilla sex. The only thing that seems completely off is that Christian Grey seems to have no male refraction period. He can orgasm and have an erection again almost immediately. Which is weird.
Besides that the strangest it gets is some spanking and blindfolding, nothing too severe. It’s a bit of a fantasy work in that Christian’s unexplained wealth and virility enable huge leaps by the author. She (the author) can switch locations or situations rapidly simply because that character is so wealthy, and yet he also seems to have no shortage of time.
There is honestly more detail about food in the novel about BDSM. Most of the latter is just hinted at. Perhaps it gets darker in the later tomes, but I doubt it.
50 Shades is truly a fantasy novel. It’s an unqualified woman who feels unbeautiful being wooed expensively (gifts, cars, computers, travel, food) by a man who is perfect in all ways but one, giving her something to fix. There’s not much more to it, but it’s not that there needs to be. It’s really entertaining enough.
It’s not a great novel by any stroke but it’s not, as many critics have said, completely unreadable. It’s completely readably and kind of OK. It’s a romance novel with a twist. Why not.