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June 9, 2012 / Rebecca Foss

It’s all in the Build-up

So I heard all the hype and had to see for myself what 50 Shades of Grey was all about. What can I say about this book? This is just your everyday, run-of-the-mill dom/sub sex story. I can understand why so many women are reading it— that whole erotic fiction thing (kind of like soft porn— or even hardcore in some places).

What I find most interesting about the 50 Shades phenomenon is that women are flocking in droves to buy this book. What does that say about the overall sexual health of women? Are the majority of women simply not sexually fulfilled? Perhaps. Or perhaps more and more women are more comfortable with their sexuality and are no longer embarrassed to read erotic fiction such as this.

The book isn’t incredibly well written, and yet E.L. James manages to captivate readers through her technique of building up to a climax (no pun intended). The first several chapters toy with the idea of sex, the build-up, what is to come. When we finally read about Ana’s first time, it’s been built up to the point where we just can’t wait for it. That seems to be the hook into keeping the reader mesmerized for so long. Keeping people reading? Well that’s the sex, over and over again. As a side note, I was getting a bit annoyed with the “Miss Steele-Mr. Grey” banter.

The story is easy to read and the characters are intricately developed with several levels. The writing is mediocre but E.L. James has definitely mastered the art of building anticipation. If you are looking for a beach read, this is a good choice. If you want something with a bit more depth, this is not the book for you. I read the book because I wanted to understand what all the buzz was about. Will I complete the trilogy? Nah—I think there are other books I would rather spend my time with. Now that there is talk of a movie, I can’t even imagine how this will be made without an X-rating while still being true to the book.

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