Fifty Shades of Grey

What a kerfuffle there is at the moment about that rude book, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’!

Have you read it? One of my friends has told me not to bother (“it’s a load of rubbish”), another couldn’t put it down and “didn’t think such things were possible” (not that she couldn’t put a book down – some of the contents! Keep up, please).

What I find really interesting is that the series of 3 books (by a British author, note!) have become the fastest-selling novels of all time (beating Harry Potter!) and they’ve apparently created a new literary genre: ‘Mummy P***’ (horrible name! I can’t even bring myself to type it in full).

I remember reading somewhere that if you can produce a book that creates a new genre, you’ve made it BIG! Think ‘Bridget Jones’ which started ‘Chick-Lit’ and Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code which produced a host of copy-cat ‘Holy Grail Lit’ novels – and of course, the Twilight series and ‘Vampire Lit’. (I have just made up the names of those last two ‘Lit’ types by the way, but you get the idea).

The background to the books is really interesting too. Author E.L James was one of those ladies-of-a-certain-age who love the Twilight vampire series (by Stephenie Meyer aimed at teenagers but which have ‘crossed over’ and become adult reads too). Disappointed by the lack of rumpy-pumpy in Twilight (because they are, after all, teenage books), she started to write ‘Fan Fiction’ and posted it on-line, imagining saucy scenes between Edward (the vampire) and Bella (his girlfriend).

And the rest, as they say, is history. And an awful lot of money.

Anyway, Take A Break’s ‘You’re Telling Us’ £60 question this week is about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, so if you’ve read any of the books or have an opinion on them, you might want to post a comment on their Facebook page here. Or, send an email to

This is what TAB are looking for: Fifty Shades detail the romantic and sexual exploits of handsome, rich, troubled Christian Grey and his wide-eyed, beautiful and inexperienced lover Anastasia Steele.

Here at Take a Break we can’t decide whether they’re a bit of harmless fun or just too rude to read?

Have any of you read them? Have they made a difference to your love life? What does your partner think? And would you dare read them on the bus, in full view of everyone?

If they publish your comment in the magazine, you’ll receive £60 but remember that they’ll want your name and photo so you might want to think carefully before (for example!) you tell the whole world how they’ve ‘changed your sex life forever’ or that you ‘never knew spanking could be such fun’.

Tomorrow I’m going to be giving away a book about writing – so come back soon!

This entry was posted in Books, Ideas, Magazines and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. johny141 says:

    Mmm! so there is hope for my first as yet unpublished Novel that I started in your classroom Helen,
    “The Reluctant Gigolo” but I may have to censor it Down a bit first,,,

    • John – yes, it might be too racy even for the readers of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’! That made me laugh, remembering that afternoon – we did have a giggle, didn’t we?!


  2. Anne Bravey says:

    Twilight? Er … shouldn’t that be twi-LIT? Just a thought.

  3. Tracy Fells says:

    I have bought this book – purely for professional reasons you understand, as a writer I want to see what all the fuss is about – but can’t comment as I haven’t read it yet. There is now a lot of backlash in the media for the book, with everyone claiming its badly written. Which seems to be the fate of all mega bestsellers! Perhaps a warning for us all. You can now predict the copycat books to follow. But at least it gets everyone talking about books and that can’t be a bad thing in this digital age.
    Will let you know what I think of it. Didn’t realise it was going to become such a talking point and almost embarassed to open it…

  4. I read all 3. Got the first one as I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I enjoyed it but some of the sex was a bit graphic (some people like this). Book 2 was rubbish – weak story line & even more sex but I wanted to know what happened so I kept reading. Book 3 had a much better story line & the sex scenes weren’t as long. I enjoyed the trilogy but have enough of sexy writings for quite a while now. I wanted to read them so I could have my own opinion on them. I’m glad I read them as now when people talk about them I know what they are on about.

    • Yes, exactly -it’s nice to be able to say you’ve read them and then give an opinion! I think I might have to at least give the first one a go!

      • I enjoyed the first half of the first one but then it got a bit repetitive. Try it and see how you get on. Its nice when everyone is talking about them to know what they are on about.

  5. Years ago I wrote a few Lord of the Rings fan fics, along with a group of online friends. If only we’d known the publishing possibilities! The frolics of a Ranger might have been popular, though I suspect those involving hairy footed child-sized men and bearded dwarfs might not have been so appealing.

    I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey yet, but a friend of mine claims she skim-read the first book in twenty minutes!

  6. I haven’t read it yet but have a friend who is raving about it (she’s reading it on Kindle so no-one will know what she’s reading….) and her rave reviews are tempting me to get it myself. If I do, I’ll let you know how I get on!

  7. Waiting for Sixty Shades of Grey

    ‘It’s a novel called Sixty Shades of Grey,’
    ‘Yes, that’s what they say.’
    ‘I don’t know yet, but that’s what they’ve said.
    ‘Well, it’s plain that there’s danger
    In the domestics of life,
    You better play mistress
    Instead of dreary old wife.
    Roll on your fishnets,
    Frolic and play,
    While awaiting…
    Your Fifty Shades of Grey.

  8. johannanield says:

    I’ve been avoiding this book like the plague, for two reasons: (1) I never follow “best-seller” trends, having been disappointed so many times – I wasn’t overly impressed with the ‘Twilight’ saga, for example – and (2) I’ve heard all the negative comments about the way it’s written. However, curiosity is beginning to get the better of me, and I’m starting to feel that I should read it, if only to form my own opinion of it.

    • Johanna – I agree with you about the ‘Twilight’ series – but then I had to keep reminding myself that they books weren’t actually aimed at me! I did enjoy the first one but I lost interest after that (same with The Hunger Games, I have to say). But like you, I’m starting to feel I should read it, if only to form my own view!

  9. < check out this review of the book. Personally, I loved the book, definitely an interesting way to start my summer lol. The book has its pros and cons: the first was filled with extreme erotica, the second was a bit of a drag for me and the third felt a bit rushed but all in all I enjoyed the storyline despite the repetiveness of the sex scenes

  10. says:

    I loved them totally gripped and read trilogy in 3 days, had to tell myself a few times it’s not real! However every women I have spoken to feels the same. I think it’s so far fetched but deep down a real fantasy of lots of normal women, I’ve even started a small venture off the back of this fifty shades more shop on Facebook

    • Riette says:

      ? a real fantasy of lots of normal women is to be a slave to a fictional character with a load of baggage and a past history of sexual abuse? Anal Fisting? Really, is that a fantasy of lots of normal women? Glad i’m not ‘normal’.

  11. Riette says:

    Jeez this book, what a load of rubbish! What is the big deal? I bought it and have to say I find it quite tedious, disturbing and boring. It concerns me that instead of the predicted baby boom that will result after reading this trash, it will discourage young victims of sexual abuse coming forward. And lets keep it real, youngsters who have been victims of such abuse rarely go on to be billionaires with wierd sexual fantasies. Some victims of abuse turn to drug addictions, alcohol abuse and self destruction. Some victims become successful individuals too but how many become billionaires. A question for all the social workers perhaps? Should people really be raving about a book that stems from childhood sexual abuse? Yeah. yeah it’s fiction but abuse is real.

  12. Patti says:

    A friend of mine send me the e-books, mainly because she wanted to know my opinion…it is true the sexual parts are graphic. It is also true that is kind of repetetive. I don’ t the author was aiming to be consider as one of the best writers of this century rather she wanted to entertain. After reading the three books in less than a week (just reading during my lunch time and 1/2 before bed) I have to say that I loved the sense of humor and the great chemestry of the main characters. The tension of their relationship, the power struggle, and the quick and witty responses of the main female character made me stay with the three books until the end. However, I don’t think I will be reading another book of this new genre.

  13. deb yates says:

    it was ok it seems as if it were written for less than stellar iqs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s