Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey - my guilty secret


Ok. Time to brave it and come clean. I’m a Fifty Shades addict. I know, I know. I’m an embarrassment
to myself and all other English students. I’ll tell you the story. I first read about the book on The
Vagenda and instantly took a dislike to the self-effacing, spineless protagonist
and her ability to crumble at the knees at the sight of a smile from her wealthy, over-protective,
controlling, sadist boyfriend.
I then came across the book when a friend unwittingly puchased it
without realising it is basically porn with a bit of romance and drama on the side. I scoffed away at
lines such as ‘my own Christian Grey flavour popsicle’ and mentions of his ‘impressive length’ and
decided I would rather shame myself by swimming nude in a local monument than read this book.
My mother then announced she had purchased the book for our upcoming holiday – I taunted and
mocked her for her poor choice in literature; I had personally purchased Women in Love and was
also taking Caitlin Moran along for the plane. A few days into our holiday my mother picked up the
book and was instantly scoffing as much as I had done – I’ll be honest, I was proud of her. However,
her scoffing slowly faded and she finished the book within two or three days. I, however, had given
up on D. H. Lawrence (he isn’t welcome on the beach) and beguilingly picked up Fifty Shades and
decided to see what all the fuss is about. I tutted, huffed and sighed my way through the first few
chapters but I slowly started to get engrossed. I regret to admit, I slowly fell a little in love with Mr.
Grey. Despite all the clich├ęd, repetitive imagery and overuse of ellipses I started to get quite involved
in the plot (a little too involved some would say). Slowly, the girl inside of me who classes Pretty Woman as one of her favourite films (I love a wealthy man rescuing a woman for love), surrendered her angry feminism viewpoint and gave into the escapism. I finished the book in about two days. Spent the
last half of the book crying intermittently as I struggled through the pain Ana Steele endured as she
loved an emotionally unavailable, disturbed, broken man. I spent the rest of the day holding my
teddy close and hoping Christian Grey would eventually soften. A kind friend then lent me the
second book which I devoured in about 20 hours. I could not put it down until 4am and was picking
it back up at 8am (I sleep an excessive ten hours most nights, being awake at 8am is unheard of). 'I'm not sure what happens to my inner-Germaine Greer when reading this book but I find myself wishing I had a wealthy man to buy me ball gowns and fly across a continent just to say hi. But I think we can all be permitted to dream. In defence of the book, Ana Steele does appear determined to have her own career and hold back her boyfriend's interference; but she also forgives his interference with a wink and a roll in the hay. The second book eases off on the shock factor and becomes a little more like a normal book – it has a
plot. I’m still finding my way through the third book – taking it a little more slowly this time. I’m not
even ashamed to admit that after finishing I I fully intend to read them all again and enjoy every
single moment of Christian Grey’s burning eyes and his forceful kisses. Yes, the protagonist drives me
absolutely insane with her ability to forget Mr. Grey’s wrongdoings with a flash of his grin and I
cannot help but scream in my head ‘get a grip, you stupid woman’. Also, I am driven to think that E.
L. James is a little confused when it comes to the male anatomy and sex. But this book is pure
escapism and lets you dive into a world of unbelievable love and lots and lots of fun sex. Don’t cast it
off like I almost did and give it a shot. If nothing else, it will allow you to enter into the flaming
debate surrounding the book and allow you to scoff at silly Ana Steele, dominated by a man. And if
you fall in love with Christian Grey then you can just keep that a personal secret ;)

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