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Patch Book Club: 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Discussed this week: The first of the trilogy by E.L. James which became a reading phenomenon over the summer.

We're big readers here at Patch, and in that light, we thought it would be a good idea to get a discussion going on what books we editors and our readers are reading lately. 

But the discussion only begins with us. If you've read this week's highlighted book, let us know what you thought of it, and suggest other books for future discussion.

This week, we take a look at a book that has caused quite a stir this summer, both in the U.S. and worldwide - "Fifty Shades of Grey" by British author E.L. James.

First, a little information on the publishing phenomenon that is "Fifty Shades":  The erotic novels of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy currently occupy the top three spots on The New York Times' list of best-selling print and e-book fiction, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. The series has been cited by major book stores as the reason for revenue increases in the last quarter, burned in protest by womens groups and lamented by famous authors. Fans, however, remain enthusiastic, and gained a new outlet for their obsession when in July, Universal Pictures announced a film version is in the works.

Now, if the word "erotic" makes you uncomfortable, hold on to your hat. Or simply skip to the next item on your reading list.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" is the story of Anastasia Steele, a slightly awkward and naive young woman who as the story begins is a literature student at a college in Washington. Steele is hijacked by her best friend and roommate to help with an interview for the school newspaper - an interview of Christian Grey, the unbelievably handsome, unbelievably rich and unbelievably young CEO of Grey Enterprises. They meet, the sparks fly and Grey begins to pursue her. It's what young girls everywhere dream of, right?

Wrong. The complication is that Grey's only "relationships" are dominant and submissive - a world of BDSM (sexual preferences that include bondage, discipline, dominant, submissive, sadistic, or masochistic acts) that the inexperienced Steele knows absolutely nothing about.

The book follows their romance, as Steele attempts to balance her love of Grey with caution against his lifestyle, and Grey struggles to give her the relationship she really wants. And, as the genre "erotic novel" suggests, along the way there are some rather descriptive bedroom scenes - descriptive enough that in the author's native U.K. the books have earned the title "Mummy porn."

Have you read this book, or any of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy? What were your thoughts?

Let us know what other books you'd like to discuss for a chance to be involved in next week's Book Club discussion.

Charlotte Canelli August 30, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Several of the librarians at the Morrill Memorial Library have read it, enjoyed it, realizing that reading is all about different tastes and different genres. http://fromthelibrarycolumn.blogspot.com/2012/07/fifty-shades-of-el-james.html
C Leonard August 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Poorly written. Boring. Juvenile. Might appeal to very young reader (like teen, early 20s). Would not bother to read beyond book one. Comparing Gabaldon books and Shades of Grey, is like comparing apples and oranges. No comparison!
Karminak August 30, 2012 at 03:01 PM
This book is not what it appears. A clinical psychologist has stated that this story is about pedophilia. It is a story of a girl being sexually molested, over and over again, by a male figure with all the power, all the control.  It is the classic abuse scenario. Read more about it at this link http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/08/16/50-shades-of-grey-pedophilia-hiding-in-plain-sight-letter-from-a-reader/
sharon lee scott February 03, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Have not read 50 Shades Of Grey, not my type of book, but I think all or mostly all genres are lit. My concern about any of the comments above is the so called Clinical psychologist. I am concerned because not everything needs to be anylized. As Freud once said " sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Why is he saying it is pedophilia? As I understand, from reviews, she is in college, she makes her own decisions, she freely decides to go with him and go back to him, so to me, one she is not a child, therefore not pedophilia, and two she had a choice, was allowed to choice her fate, therefore not abuse. So what is this person talking about? I get from the reviews it is just a fun, enjoyable read. And reading no matter what genres, should be fun and enjoyable! Reading Rocks!
sharon lee scott February 03, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Okay, checked out the site written by the psychologist. She makes good points, I understand where she is coming from, however, I am a teacher of emotionally disturbed children, I also have a degree in psychology, yes,I agree about her points! However, I have aspurgers syndrom, which is a very high functioning form of autism. I am 54. I tend to talk like a child at times, I was nieve when I got married. But does not mean I was abused as a child or after, sometimes people in the field get to wrapped up in their work or bitterness, and that's when they need to step back. It is up to each to each person to decide what is right and wrong, or what the books they read say to them, if you start to read into everything something that may not be there then you need to look at you. The problem she talks about with the coach and the boys he was said to have abused have nothing to do with this fictional book. I believe maybe she needs to take a break and have some fun or change her field. I speak from expeirence I was in an abusive relationship before my marriage. I am very happy now!

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