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The Write Erotica

Phyllis Humby's picture
Thu, 07/12/2012 - 10:04 -- Phyllis Humby

This is the first of a three-part series on the changing climate of adult entertainment.
Romance, erotica, or maybe...pornmomgraphy?

With all the hoopla over bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey, I bit the bullet and downloaded it to my e-reader. I purchased the book with the intention of doing a review. Alrightalready, I was curious, too. 

Erika Leonard, who writes under the pseudonym E. L. James, wanted to write a love story and joked that her husband didn't mind the research.

Aside from her titillating study, her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, is a flippin' best seller. Not exactly anti-climatic. Not only that, she followed up the first novel with two more books. You guessed it; the top three selling books for the last several months are all by E.L. James.

All Fifty Shades of...whatever.

There is a great deal of eye rolling by Anastasia, Christian, and other tenacious characters in the book. Actually, I couldn't help rolling my eyes. Here is a woman in her twenties who could barely put one foot in front of the other without falling on her face. Seriously, did that not bother anyone else? The first twenty-five pages were painful to read. She was stumbling, falling, dropping, tripping, struggling... If you are a fan of the Twilight series, you will recognize the character, Bella.  (I am not, therefore, I did not.)

Unable to help myself, I began highlighting awkward passages (phrasing−not positions) and marking repetition, which became tenaciously eye rolling. I finally gave up. 

Judging by facebook comments and conjecture, I anticipated a provocative read. The sex is not disappointing, especially if you are into BDSM (which I am neither confirming nor denying). I was disappointed in the book. My expectations were higher. They shouldn't have been. I had already heard that the writing was not the greatest. Clearly, it was only the sexual content that had women pulsating.

What makes this book a great seller? Is it the writing? We've determined it is not. Not by a long shot. Even though the emails are cute, it's not the writing or the character profiles that make this trilogy a Best Seller. It must be the story. No, there is no story. The author started to tell a story. She offered us a little, but I wanted more.

Christian's background intrigued me. I kept reading...and reading...until the last page. There was no satisfying reveal. Maybe that was her strategy. The book left me hanging, and not from the ceiling by handcuffs.

I appreciate in-depth character profiles and a storyline. This book has little of either. Not even a satisfactory conclusion. As if the publisher looked at the lengthy manuscript and said, let's end it here... and here. Make it a trilogy and sell three times as many books. Brilliant!
Erika Leonard (E.L. James) is now a zillionaire. Hollywood actors are clamouring to star in the soon-to-be-made movie.

Why is Fifty Shades of Grey so popular? Women have finally revealed their appreciation of porn and erotica. There is a difference between the two. In fact, I learned a few more juicy facts. According to online sources, one in three people viewing pornography online are women.

Due to the popularity of this series, be assured that many more books of this persuasion will inundate the market.

Hot and steamy may describe not only the rest of our summer but, also, the reading material tucked away in our luggage. What hot publications are you packing?

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