I first encountered the Fifty Shades series in one of the articles published at Time.com sometime last January. Dubbed as the most controversial trilogy of 2012, the books explore the unconventional love story of an extremely handsome and wealthy Christian Grey and a seemingly ordinary, fresh out of college Anastasia Steele. The series is selling like hot cakes internationally and the Philippine market is no exception. Copies sell in a day at all bookshops in Glorietta/Greenbelt area.
Naturally, I am curious what the hype is all about and so here I am sharing what I think about the 3-part story. Please note that I had all my copies reserved and got first dibs as it was released in Manila.
Low EQ lang ang peg.
As described in Wikipedia, the plot traces the relationship between Ana Steele and manipulative billionaire Christian Grey. Grey is 27 and is extremely wealthy. Steele is required by Grey to sign a contract allowing him complete control over her life as well as a non-disclosure agreement, something that he's required from all of his previous submissive. As she gets to know him, she learns that his sexual tastes involve bondage, domination and sadism, and that childhood abuse left him a deeply damaged individual. In order to be his partner she agrees to experiment with BDSM, but struggles to reconcile who she is with who Christian wants her to be: his submissive, to-do-with-as-he-pleases partner in his "Red Room of Pain"
The book is well-written. It's simple and easily comprehensible. It is a fantasy love story with a lot of adult content. Other than that, I don't see any thing special.
Why I think it sells:
1. It's a fantasy love story of an ordinary girl meeting an impossibly handsome and wealthy man. It helps as well that the man is madly in love with her. It's an adult fairy tale which every little girl has been wishing for when she believed that she's a 5-year old princess ready to be swept off her feet by a dashing prince when she turns 18.
2. It's a form of escapism. Related to my first point, Christian showers Ana with Louboutins, Saab, and Audi R8. Oh and a trip to London, France and Monaco. It tickles a woman's fantasy that a man can give her all these wonderful things. My take on that is, you can work hard to achieve the things that you aspire for rather than wait for an extremely wealthy man to give them to you. Sorry for bursting the bubble.
3. It explores sexuality.
The series actually reminds me of a Mills and Boon novel.
Or as a friend pointed out, Precious Hearts Romance?
So why did I read the 2nd and 3rd book despite of the points I raised? Because I wanna know how their love story turns out. The book is well written and entertaining.
The Fifty Shades series is not going out of our sight anytime soon, a movie production company already won the rights to make it to a film and actors are already expressing their interest.
Here's Ian Somerhalder expressing his interest to play Christian Grey.
I am sure that Christian stare can make tons of women swoon.
I'll be watching and we'll all make Erika Leonard James richer.