Is Fifty Shades of Grey Worth Reading? Why or Why Not?

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Is Fifty Shades of Grey Worth Reading? Why or Why Not?

phoenixfire phoenixfire
I have seen so many vastly differing opinions in the reviews of this book here on Eden that I thought it worthwhile to ask on the BDSM forums. Is this book worth my time? As someone who is into BDSM, do you think it is fun reading or complete trash? This series has the feeling of a fad about it, a series written to titillate very prudish housewives, and so I have really hesitated to pick a copy up. I tend to wait until very late in a book fad to try things out.

However, I have liked two of the three "book fads" I can think of that I came into late. I loved the Harry Potter series, which I didn't pick up until the release of the third book. I thought the Hunger Games series was decent and thought-provoking, for a YA series. (Came in after all three were written.) I--Hated--Twilight. And. Still. Do. With. A. Passion. A variety of hatred usually reserved for the singing purple dinosaur of doom. XD

Anyways ---do you think I should give Fifty Shades a go? I'll let the forums heavily influence me, if not outright decide it.
12/22/2012
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Supervixen Supervixen
Quote:
Originally posted by phoenixfire
I have seen so many vastly differing opinions in the reviews of this book here on Eden that I thought it worthwhile to ask on the BDSM forums. Is this book worth my time? As someone who is into BDSM, do you think it is fun reading or complete trash? ...
Do whatever you want, but I prefer real literature. Sorry--got my bachelor's in English and I prefer a completely different style from mainstream "fad" books made for consumption of the masses. That being said, I too read Harry Potter, and I enjoyed every page of them. Sometimes those fads are fads for a good reason. I'll never for the life of me understand the pull of sparkly, teenage vampires, but tell that to my 30 year old sister who has Twilight magnets on her fridge. I can think of better vampire stories, but hey, at least the movies are good for Rifftrax to make fun of.

As far as the BDSM in it goes, from what I've been able to gather, it's not really the most honest or accurate portrayal of the lifestyle. Instead, it relies on stereotypes, typical assumptions made by people who don't do their research or dare to imagine that people in the BDSM world are (gasp!) normal and healthy. I don't care to fuel that fire of misinformation, even though I think it's more the fault of readers treating it like a BDSM manual than a work of fiction for entertainment purposes than the author's responsibility to make a book about something that it was never intended to be. Still, it would interest me a hundred times more if it didn't go the cheap, easy route and just become another cliche filled novelty about a lifestyle that few people bother to understand.

Also it started out as a Twilight fan fiction. I wouldn't expect anything too profound, or Shakespearean, or...good.

But who knows, it's just a book. Pick it up, start reading, and see if you like it after a chapter or two and go from there. You don't have to finish it if it's as atrocious as I assume it is, and it may surprise and be something you enjoy. What have you to lose?
12/22/2012
ZZ ZZ
Personally, I couldn't get through the first three pages. The writing isn't good, its quite bad really, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to overlook that fact.

A friend directed me to this blog the other day -Jen reads 50 shades of grey. She goes through the book chapter by chapter. It might be like reading the book without actually having to read it. Again, I've only read the first chapter, but she's pretty amusing.
12/22/2012
chernayavdova chernayavdova
Quote:
Originally posted by phoenixfire
I have seen so many vastly differing opinions in the reviews of this book here on Eden that I thought it worthwhile to ask on the BDSM forums. Is this book worth my time? As someone who is into BDSM, do you think it is fun reading or complete trash? ...
I was going to try to give it a shot despite the negative opinion I'd gathered from excerpts and other reviews, but I couldn't even get past the first few pages. The writing style was very poor and just came off as what it is - poorly written fanfic. Since it was Twilight fanfic, that could also be something to take into consideration if you didn't like the original series. I'd also like to add that not all fanfic is poorly written. It's actually my preferred form of erotica because it's so easily accessible and there is such a wide variety of pairings, kinks, and situations.

Sex Nerd Sandra did a podcast episode about the Fifty Shades series which gives a good, critical view of it that is both negative and positive, you might want to check that out too.

Something that does bother me about all the buzz surrounding it - aside from the pisspoor depiction of BDSM - is that it's being called "mommy porn." While there are a lot of women reading the series, it seems a little demeaning to downplay their interests and possibly erase anyone else who may enjoy the series too. I think people should read and enjoy whatever they like. Not everyone has the same taste, after all. It may also open up more people to the idea of BDSM, though hopefully they do their research. Though not everyone should be expected to automatically enjoy D/s play in the real world just because they like to read it. Sorry, I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this whole thing lol. The old standby of Safe, Sane, and Consensual should apply. Maybe I could print up little bookmarks to stick in copies of the books so readers will know where to go for good BDSM advice

I've noticed quite a few sex stores having more workshops in kink because of this series. So there's that.

*steps down from my soap box*

I do think you ultimately decide whether or not to read it, but maybe don't go in with very high expectations if you do.
12/22/2012
Cat E. Cat E.
If the book sounds interesting to you then yes, you should read it.
12/22/2012
Raymaker Raymaker
It's a waste of money as far as I'm concerned. i would only trifle myself with buying thr written word if there was nearly a unanimous concensus that It was good. You'd be much better off reading far superiorly written X rated fanfiction on the internet for free. Hell, if you even like a writer enough and give them helpful criticism, you can request more stories with specific characters and themes in mind and they'll often follow through.

In summary: If you want good kinky smut, turn to the internet. If you want actual bedroom ideas and a beginners guide to BDSM, look into actually practicing and kink-positive writers instead of a vanilla housewife with a keyboard, active imagination, and box set of the Twilight novels.
12/22/2012
kdlt kdlt
I haven't read it yet but it's under the tree (from "Santa") for my mom so maybe I'll get back to you after she and I each give it a read! From what I've heard, it's not really worthwhile and far better fanfiction stories can be googled.
12/22/2012
phoenixfire phoenixfire
Quote:
Originally posted by Supervixen
Do whatever you want, but I prefer real literature. Sorry--got my bachelor's in English and I prefer a completely different style from mainstream "fad" books made for consumption of the masses. That being said, I too read Harry Potter, ...
Your backgrounds and mine are very similar. It just so happens that I also have an English degree. I did not know that this series started out as Twilight fanfiction at all.....ugh. That makes me even more hesitant, but we'll see.
12/22/2012
phoenixfire phoenixfire
Quote:
Originally posted by chernayavdova
I was going to try to give it a shot despite the negative opinion I'd gathered from excerpts and other reviews, but I couldn't even get past the first few pages. The writing style was very poor and just came off as what it is - poorly written ...
First off, yes, fanfiction can be good. I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction myself, though none of it was very erotic in nature. Second, "mommy porn"---yes, you just crystallized everything I disliked about the social phenomenon of these books in those two words alone. Why is my sexuality somehow less valid, my sexual satisfaction less important, because I'm a mother? Why does mother somehow equal not woman in this society? Argh.

I believe 100% in Safe, Sane and Consensual, when applied to any kind of sex. With BDSM there is even more potential risk, so you really have to keep those big three in mind. If it were possible to put more than 100% endorsement behind a concept, I would in this case.

(Completely get your soap box. Stepping down off my own now.)
12/22/2012
RavenInChains RavenInChains
Read it if you want to, but -never- make the mistake of believing it is a book about bdsm. It isn't. It portrays a very abusive and unsafe relationship.

Personally, I think the writing was -terrible-. But to each their own.
12/22/2012
phoenixfire phoenixfire
Quote:
Originally posted by RavenInChains
Read it if you want to, but -never- make the mistake of believing it is a book about bdsm. It isn't. It portrays a very abusive and unsafe relationship.

Personally, I think the writing was -terrible-. But to each their own.
Raven--

BDSM, I like. I like it because I have a very loving relationship with my husband. I can trust him as I can trust no other person, and I know he will respect my limits. I am committed to respecting his. However, I do have people in my past that weren't so trustworthy (without going into detail on a public forum). If you really believe that what is portrayed in the book constitutes abuse---I don't need to read that. No one does.

Thank you for clearing up my misconceptions, because I did believe the books portrayed a consensual BDSM relationship.
12/22/2012
stlouisxxx stlouisxxx
I wouldn't buy the series for the retail price, library or 2nd hand bookstore would be best option. I don't think you will get many BDSM ideas out of it if that is the intent, but it was an extremely popular series that probably all of your friends have read.
01/01/2013
novanilla novanilla
I've heard over and over again that it is abuse, not bdsm, and is portrayed as bdsm, giving us a bad reputation and also making it seem like that's an acceptable type of relationship which is not something I am okay with as someone who loves consensual bdsm that is not abuse.
01/03/2013
Total posts: 13
Unique posters: 10