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Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey Paperback – November 20, 2012
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Publishers Weekly starred review
"Food for thought for readers eager to learn more about the series and the lifestyle it depicts."
"Written by some of my heroes in the industry, including Judith Regan, M.J. Rose, Heather Graham, Sylvia Day and forty-six others, it offers a way to understand [Fifty Shades'] popularity and appreciate its impact."
ForeWord Reviews staff pick
"For fans of the trilogy and readers who enjoy erotica and erotic romance novels, and for those interested in pop culture."
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I read Fifty Shades of Grey It's the story of a naïve virgin who falls helplessly in love with a young, gorgeous, billionaire who somewhat inexplicably falls equally hard for her. But he's a Dominant and she isn't particularly attracted to the world of BDSM. She's just attracted to him. Christian Grey needs to Dominate because he was abused as a child, first by his crack whore Mom and then by an adult female friend of his adoptive Mother. Anastasia Steele is compelled to submit to punishment because she's in love with Christian and his kink is Sadomasochism. He gives her hope, by deflowering her with vanilla sex, but he takes it away again by revealing that his desire is only ever truly slaked when he inflicts pain on his partner.
Here we have two situations that are considered no-no's in the world of erotica publishing. BDSM can be used to heal victims of abuse but it isn't (shall I say "wasn't"?) a popular plot line with editors. Similarly editors, in the main, prefer their submissive protagonists to be, if not eager, at least "horrified but thrilled" and not just plain horrified.
Finally, all the editors I've ever worked with like to buy well-written erotica, and Fifty Shades of Grey is not very well written.Read more ›
But even as much as I despise these books, I am interested in the ideas they have inspired. In spite of the execrable writing, the banal, jejune characterizations, the idiotic pop-psychology, and the ignorant misrepresentations of BDSM, the trilogy has inspired a good deal of highly intelligent discourse, and this superb, engaging collection of essays, “Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey”, offers a rich banquet of food for thought, some exceptionally fine, palate-cleansing writing, and many hours of reading pleasure.
To be honest, I have to say that some of my enjoyment was rooted in Schadenfreude. I most relished those pieces that supported or reinforced my own prejudices—the ones that put James and her trio of best-sellers down the hardest. And yet, I found a great deal of intellectual stimulation and even inspiration in many of the “pro-FSG” essays. There is a broad range of point-of-view, opinion, and style represented here, from scholarly monograph and high-brow criticism, to unapologetically treacley fan-girl fawning, and gossamer adulatory fluff. Fortunately, most writers have staked out an agreeably literate middle ground.
What all the contributors here seem to agree on is that Fifty Shades has become a “game changer” both for publishers and readers, though what this contagious little meme actually conveys is not always clear.Read more ›
Divided into six sections this book analyses the Fifty Shades of Grey books and phenomena from every conceivable angle. The literary merits and quality of the writing are discussed; the book is compared to and given its place in a long history of romantic and erotic literature; publishers comment on the randomness of the success this book achieved. Lawyers evaluate the content and the value of the contract Christian Grey wants Ana to sign and people who live the lifestyle comment on the way their BDSM relationship is described and Christian's mastery. Feminists tell us why these books are bad for the cause while other women tell us how and why these books empower us. I know I'm forgetting angles here, but I'm fairly sure that this book didn't leave a single one out.
To be honest, I was more interested in the factual analysis of the book than I was in the literary one. As far as the pro's and cons of the story, the way it is told, originality and literary merit are concerned, the authors in this book didn't say a lot, if anything, that I haven't said, thought or written myself (although it is of course always gratifying to see "professionals" agreeing with what you thought was an "amateur's" point of view).
I was far more fascinated with the things I learned about contracts, the thoughts and opinions of those involved in the BDSM life-style and discovering how fanfiction actually works.
Did I find a lot of new opinions in this book? Well no, I didn't. I found all the pro and con arguments I have read many times before again in these pages. But, it was nice to have them all together if only because it felt like taking part in a balanced debate.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
fantastic book, especially if you understand how 50 Shades is actually about abuse and not real power exchange relationships.Published 10 months ago by LZuk
Whoa.... um not really my cup of tea but it I did pass it on to a friend who is totally into the Fifty Shades trilogy. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Michelle Carrell
It was definitely interesting to read different perspectives on this book since it is such a cultural phenomenon and is so divisive. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Laura
I'm enjoying authors different viewpoints, but some of the essays are fairly redundant.Published 15 months ago by P. Talley
This diverse mix of writers gives us a great understanding of the 50 shades phenom and the implications for writers of BDSM erotica. Read morePublished 16 months ago by N. Strickland
This is an excellent book that explores the nuances and complexities of BDSM, and its implications for gender, power struggles, and empowerment. Read morePublished 19 months ago by miriam