Of marketing. I doff my helmet to whoever managed the promotional campaign.
EL James' over-hyped bonkbuster trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, has become the best-selling book ever on Amazon UK, stealing the title from JK Rowling's seven-novel Harry Potter collection. The first novel in the Fifty Shades series has experienced twice the number of sales Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, taking the saucy …
Well, I went on Amazon the other week to order Fifty Shades of Grey - I thought the price was a little extortionate at first but I guess it's the price you pay for finding out what all the fuss is about...
Imagine my surprise two days later when a pallet full of Dulux turns up at my front door and the delivery man says to me "I have your fifty shades of grey here mate!"
Mines the one with splodges of "Lovers Drizzle Eggshell", "Midnight Depression Matte" and "Major's Extra Dull" all over it!
The reminds me of an economics study published back in the spring. It looked at the Oprah Book Club sales and found some interesting conclusions. First and foremost, significantly less books were sold because of Oprah. It turns out that those who watch Oprah read at an average level of 3rd grade, coincidentally what the craze of bodice rippers have been for the last forever or so. It also turned out that the Oprah books were significantly longer than the usual tripe and three grade levels harder (6th). So what they ended up with was longer and harder (COMPARATIVELY mind you. I agree 6th grade reading isn't exactly something worth breaking out the OED over) books that consequently meant less books were read. Worth a read,
Paris....well because the parent's comments on boring sex and thin are fitting.
There's a weird irony that — in an age where you can go onto a chat room or download an app in order to meet strangers within the hour in a lay-by for kinky random sex, every teenage girl is posting naked photos of herself taken in the mirror with a smartphone, and you're never more than six clicks away from free extreme hardcore photos and videos — what was once nothing more than the obligatory text on the readers' wives pages of Parade (which every normal person didn't give as much as a glance to) has now become something 'normal' middle class 30/40-something women are queuing up to buy in their millions.
Where were these people hiding when their generation was dancing in fields to acid house records, getting stoned and having lots of casual sex? They're like baby pigeons — No one ever saw them when they were young, but at 40 they've all stampeded out of the shadows.
Or have the 90s ladettes become middle aged and turned girlie, just like that young long-hared hippy on the VW Camper van with a guitar in the '70s turned into the Tony Blair we all know when he hit 40?
One thing I will never understand and always seem to forget is the reason why these books are so popular with women is that women need to make a mental and an emotional connection to be turned on, unlike a man like who can watch two women burying their faces in each other and be done with it in five minutes.
Paris because shes an expert in these areas.
From what I've gleaned from friends who are forcing themselves to read it (they are aware it's dreadful, but they are ploughing on in the name of science to find out exactly when, where and why it is dreadful so they can't be dismissed for not having read it) the 'fantasy' male basically treats the girl like shit. I also seem to recall from a review - which I can't find the link for atm - that the protagonist is almost sexually assaulted by one of her male friends and this is just glossed over and forgotten later in the novel.
Women are mental.
I will declare a certain interest in the subject matter of these books. And go no further. Whilst it's illegal to fire someone for being black or gay, people are dismissed on the spot after being outed for being interested in BDSM, or arrested for having photos of adults engaged in safe BDSM. Think of where laws on homosexuality were in the 50s and 60s, back when Alan Turing was driven to suicide, and you're exactly where BDSM is today.
I've no interest in reading them. Partly because I like well-written books, and when even casual readers are saying it's badly-written, I know I'll just end up slinging it in the bin out of disgust at crimes against the English language. And partly because if this is something you'd enjoy, then get the f**k out of the closet, get your hand out of your knickers, and go and actually do something about it. Fetlife, Alt.com, CollarMe, InformedConsent...
Or if you really must go for fiction, then watch "Secretary" instead. Still somewhat stylised, but at least it's well-written and well-acted.
All that said though, if a badly-written bit of fiction can blow the current bad laws and discrimination out of the water, then it won't be a complete loss.
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