"Romantic, liberating and totally addictive"
scratch | July 17, 2012 - 21:30
Don't know, haven't read it and probably won't.
Porn trash, there can be no doubt.
steve_elliott04 | July 17, 2012 - 22:02
I heartily agree with scratch.
From what I've heard, the writing is worse than Twilight. Then again, I haven't and most definitely never will read it, so I can't really say for sure.
pepsoid | July 17, 2012 - 22:09
Ahh, thank you steve for your comment on the poor quality of the writing! For this was one of the cruxes of the argument I was hoping to get into. 50 Shades has been enormously successful - particularly considering its genre. There is a lot of "porn trash" out there which hasn't achieved anything close to the success of 50 Shades. Has EL James just been incredibly lucky then? Is luck really how a book (or trilogy of books) achieves such a wide readership? OK, there's marketing, word-of-mouth, etc, but people have to read it in order to recommend it. EL James no doubt wrote the books with the intention of being read, entertaining, titillating - and she has succeeded in these respects. Immensely so. Is this pure chance? How do you define "good" or "bad" writing? If writing communicates what it intends to communicate to a large number of people, isn't that as good a definition as any of it being "good writing"?
"the art of tea"
"that's an odd courgette"
Clinton Morgan | July 17, 2012 - 22:10
British women rise up and read a proper woman's book, 'Freak Out! My Life With Frank Zappa' by former secretary and feminist Pauline Butcher. No, really it is excellent and should not be limited to the fans of the moustached one. She is a damned good writer and should be read. My other half is currently reading 120 Days of Sodom.
Days = 80x The power of Shades.
Shannysaur | July 17, 2012 - 23:36
I think the reason it became such a big success was because it was originally Twilight fan-fiction. So due to that, all the twilight fans would of read it when it was still in its original form, then probably bought the book after it got properly published.
pepsoid | July 18, 2012 - 06:00
Twilight fan-fiction? Was it? What do you mean?
mrskatehowell | July 18, 2012 - 07:52
I have not read this and didn't want to due to everyone making it sound like the next big thing but from what I heard, I agree on the 'porn trash'
also I enjoy the films of twlight but again the writing was in bad shape and couldn't really picture anything. maybe thats just me!
over 100 people writing about mr.grey everyday and it's getting on my nerves more then the news is going on about olympics, haha.
CraigD777 | July 18, 2012 - 08:55
Okay I haven't read the rest of the comments so I may be covering old ground here. EL James isn't her real name, is it? Christ! I read an extract and I became hot under the collar.
To write for the largely unenlightened masses, you need to connect and to connect you need to sate their hunger. Big Brother and a lot of reality TV shows quench the thirst for entertainment. This is exactly what 50 Shades of Grey does. It does nothing on the literary front, rather than it's an easy read and a page turner for the majority of people out there. A stroke of genius, if you ask me.
All too often this will be criticised as being badly written, by all too often jealous authors who haven't reached critical acclaim such as 'E.L. James'. This collection of pages with ink printed on it should not be compared with the likes of your Remarque's and Eco's of this world, but it should be put aside with the rest of the other shite that 99% of the population want to read. I bet the author can write really well and if she did, she probably wouldn't do well. This book is both shocking and provocative and that's what the shite hungry populace is after.
I bet the author of the twighlight series must have thought..'My God! What have I done?' when they sold the amount they did. There is almost an immediate obligation to fulful the desires and fantasies of Twilight nuts out there by writing more sequels - a task the author may, or may not like. The author must then be very careful not to kill off likeable characters or those nuts may rise up in a Vampirical Jihad armed with hammer and stake.
Yeah, ahem.. sorry. In short - people don't read that much and if anything this is getting them to read, even if it is literally shite.
The Walrus | July 18, 2012 - 09:26
Too true. most of the folk that read this much hyped book would struggle to understand the Sun or the Daily Sport, and they wouldn't know a good read if you beat them half to death with it. Surely, though, that's better than them not reading at all and getting most of their buzz from an LED screen? I've heard women rabbiting on about this book in supermarket queues, and anyone whose work can capture the attention of a reality TV anaesthetised public like that deserves praise however crappy their writing. Once it gets on the Charity shop shelves I'll read it to see whether the scramble is justified.
My teenage kids are phenomenally clever, but can I get them to sit down and read a book? When I mention the arcane word 'book' they look at me with stupified expressions as if I've said 'crenulate that octagonal minaret for me, pray' (whatever that means), and I have to pull one off the shelves to remind them what books look like. They only read when they've been playing up and their digital fix has been denied - my daughter would talk complete crap on Facebook almost twenty four hours a day if we allowed it.
There's still hope for humanity, though. Late last night I was checking out the work of new members and I stumbled across a story by a 13 year old kid with the username 'one endless pursuit' who was inspired by the Harry Potter books.
His/her story was excellent considering the age of the writer, and I'm not just saying that because it was a child - check it out. I gave the kid the praise and encouragement I thought he/she deserved. It warms the cockles of my jaded old heart to see that some of the kids out there still nurture their imaginations, because most of the adults I speak to on my travels are so mentally damaged by the ingestion of prime time pap that they no longer possess one.
CraigD777 | July 18, 2012 - 09:57
I wouldn't say that the media are pervaying a wave of psychological/ mental transmutating warfare, but that it's an unfortunate period of our cultural evolution as a species. The good old paper book is dying out and with it, most of the thought processes it took to write a good one.
We should find comfort in the fact that it may be dying, but it isn't dead yet.
One question.. I'm not well versed in Kurt Vonnegut's rules (probably why I don't sell many books). Would 50SOG follow the rules? Are the rules applicable to all cultures of the human species? I would think that given a different place and world, then maybe tension/conflict in a story may not be held in such high regard.
As for 50SOG being sold in a charity shop, I'd like to see it sold in a Christian charity shop. It seems that it's perfectly okay to buy 50SOG,yet to reach up and pull down that Club International Magazine would raise eyebrows and have a different reaction. Yet surely both are the same, but 50SOG whilst more literally graphic is bereft of images. Definitley pornography. That's what the public secretly wants.
scratch | July 18, 2012 - 10:04
Craig and The Walrus.
You are both right. There's no question about that in my opinion. For the lobotomised masses to engage with a book of any sort is nothing short of a minor miracle. I haven't read "Shades" and I probably never will, that said my gut feeling is that whoever wrote it prbobably knows more and can write a lot better than he/she is being given credit for.
My Little boy (7 years) has all the books in a series called "Beast Quest" They are formulaic and predictable (although not without some merit) but he loves them. That he is reading and developing a love for books and the 'art' of reading is wonderful.
So whoever wrote "Shades" I say 'good on you'! I wish it had been me.
I hope that this does not sound hypocritical given my post listed at the top of this thread.
Very interesting thread all told.
The Walrus | July 18, 2012 - 10:40
My kids, Scratch, are thirteen and fourteen. When they were small I used to spend hours reading to them and I took them to library clubs and the like, hoping that the habit of reading would stick with them, but there comes a time when other temptations take over and their reading abruptly stops.
The delights of the internet are just like television. As an individual you can either say 'right, I'm chilling and treating myself to a couple of hours of mindless, anaesthetising entertainment and then I'm either doing some work or learning something.' TV and the internet can be used constructively or passively, and sadly the passive aspect is the daddy, it calls all the shots and it encourages physical and mental idleness. Saying that, though, there's nowt wrong with that as long as the mental chocolate gateau is digested in reasonable quantities and it doesn't replace healthy meals.
Some folk would say that reading is just as passive as watching TV, but I disagree because there's some effort involved to get into a book, however little. In my opinion the consumption of literature nourishes the imagination far more completely than any movie, because a movie only touches the surface of what it's communicating and it's largely restricted to the 'wham, bam, thank you, mam' approach.
I honestly don't know the solution to this problem, and I just hope that one day my not always delightful offspring will start reading again of their own accord.....
CraigD777 | July 18, 2012 - 10:51
@ Walrus & Scratch,
Well spoken. I agree about the moving picture in that it does all the work for the viewer, yet while a well written book exercises the reader into visualising the scenes. There are books that tell the reader what is going on much like the Twighlight (I'm guessing here) and 50SOG, but a well written one will have you on the brink of visualising without 'spelling it out', you are then forced to use dialogue and metaphor to assimilate a mental image in your mind.
Much like yourselves, literature is a very important part of my child's world and he enjoys the Beast Quest series also. He is also very fond of my wife's IPOD and I have noticed Youtube videos portraying 'First Person Shoot em-ups'. It's something we can't get away with, ostricizing a child from this world will increase the rebellion and should you harness it and cultivate a healthy respect for both the digital age as well as the physical, paperbound world then this may bode well in the future. - my opinion only.
shep5377 | July 18, 2012 - 11:43
I've talked to my wife about this as she is currently reading the trilogy. I started off by making (in my opinion) hilarious jokes about nipples and popping to the shops to pick up some porn, but she told me she had been surprised by the amount of sex in it, meaning there wasn't as much as she was expecting. Apparently it's more about the relationship.
My wife doesn't read complicated books in general, and even she admitted that it was an easy read, but as was summarised so well above, I don't think there is anything wrong with that. E L James could have been anyone on ABCTales, I imagine her as an aspiring writer posting her stuff on a site like this. Good on her.
pepsoid | July 18, 2012 - 12:16
"she admitted that it was an easy read" - the assumption being that this is a bad thing?
shep5377 | July 18, 2012 - 12:26
Not at all, as I said in the same sentence you've just quoted.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with that.'
It was the 'porn trash' label I was trying to dispell. I've no desire to read it, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be read by others. Other mainstream authors have made substantial livings off 'easy to read', such as Clive Cussler.
I'm also not delusional, I know that if I ever get published I will most likely to labelled easy to read. I don't have the skill to write a complex book.
pepsoid | July 18, 2012 - 12:45
Sorry, shep, yes you did - I should learn to read! ;)
You say "I don't have the skill to write a complex book" - but is there not skill in writing "easy" but compelling books? (I'd say Stephen King's books are "easy to read," but I happen to consider him something of a genius)
shep5377 | July 18, 2012 - 13:35
Oh there absolutely is skill in writing simple books. I love Stephen king, Dean Koontz etc. I just tend to read the more complex books, and I know I can't write anything like that!
I think my point was so many people are bashing the standard of the writing in 50SOG (rightly or wrongly, I've not read it so don't know), but we on a site like this should be proud that an Internet writer, like ourselves, has had considerable success.
maggyvaneijk | July 18, 2012 - 13:53
Sometimes the publishing industry gets pretty depressing. We've had the whole vampire/paranormal wave which then led on to a re-vamp (see what I did there) of classics: "Pulse and Prejudice", "Sense and Sensibility and Sea monsters" and now because of the whole erotica mania taking over we're getting "Jayne Eyre Laid Bare". I think this is easy writing, a bit lazy and just fan-fictional drivel.
CraigD777 | July 18, 2012 - 13:58
Where there's demand, there's a market. I'd write this drivel under a pseudonym to pay the bills and write seriously as a non-lucrative hobby.
The Walrus | July 18, 2012 - 14:07
I agree with you, Craig, in not forbidding kids from enjoying the digital revolution (except maybe for short periods as a punishment to encourage good behaviour), it is after all the future, but I think for them to be well balanced there should be limits. Too many kids (and adults) dismally fail to exercise their bodies nowadays, never mind their imaginations. To achieve a better balance I think kids should be encouraged to read and do physical activities and a whole lot of more traditional things instead of immersing themselves in the digital world 24/7. My son is very good at all sports and he's a brilliant Graffiti artist, and my daughter is an exceptionally talented swimmer and musician, but in my mind they spend far too little time on those activities because there are too many more passive alternatives dangling before their eyes.
sandyshores | July 18, 2012 - 16:11
I find it amazing that people on the site can critise and pass comment on a book - and then state quite clearly that that have not even read a small portion of it! They then feel that they can comment on the intellectual capacity of those that have read it (The Walrus) How can you label something as Porn Trash as so many of you have if you havent given it a chance and are merely following what everyone else are saying like sheep ! Yes there is a lot of sexual content in these books but there is also a twisting story line that compels readers to go on to the second and third books to find out what happens. I would have thought that any success by a writer should be applauded particulary by members of this site !
steve_elliott04 | July 18, 2012 - 17:52
That's a fair enough point, sandyshores. My personal view would be that it is not worth reading, simply because I've read similar books and really did not enjoy them. So, it is my personal opinion that it is not worth reading. That is not to say another person wouldn't enjoy or benefit from reading '50 shades of grey'.
Despite all this, I still have respect for the author. I have respect for any author that is published, whether their books are a new hit or simply tucked away on the bookshelf in the corner of some unknown shop on the outskirts of town.
I certainly do applaud EL James on her success. I won't be reading picking up the novel, but I'm sure she has provided enjoyment for the masses. What is exciting is the fact that people who wouldn't read very often, or even at all, will be losing them selves in the pages of '50 Shades of Grey' and that in itself is a success worthy of a standing ovation!
MaliciousMudkip | July 18, 2012 - 21:44
scratch | July 18, 2012 - 21:57
And besides all this, if you want sauce a-plenty for free follow sue dinum (real name Trev) on this site. I guarantee you'll go to bed horny - whatever your predilections!
sue dinum | July 18, 2012 - 22:04
I absolutely agree with you, sandyshores. I've never heard such a lot of tosh from that lot above. They seem to have a very high regard of themselves, must be brilliant writers, but I've never heard of them, apart from scratch that is, he's all right, good imagintion and communication skills. And after all that's what it's about, isn't it? Communication of ideas... regardless of the language used? Communicating powerful ideas using simple words is rather neat I think. Clever, I reckon, any writer that manages this trick, and without one iota of pretension.
pepsoid | July 18, 2012 - 22:57
"Communicating powerful ideas using simple words is rather neat I think."
- Yes! I would say suggestive perhaps of greater talent than doing so with excessive verbiage.
It has not been mentioned that 50 Shades (of which I am presently 330 pages into the 1st book, by the way) is written from a first person perspective - which necessitates directly getting across the character of the narrator/protagonist through the style of writing. I reckon it takes quite a talent to do this and also tell a compelling and entertaining story.
steve_elliott04 | July 18, 2012 - 23:19
This is, after all, the basis of Hemingway's economical writing style. He used the metaphor of an iceberg to suggest that, on the surface, ones writing portrays the simple facts and truth, yet underneath the water lies a more profound structure and symbolism.
I am totally oblivious to whether this does or does not apply to '50 Shades', since I haven't read it. However, the Iceberg Theory is what I base good 'simple' writing on.
To those who have read, or are currently reading '50 5hades": does the writing communicate powerful ideas with the use of simple language?
pepsoid | July 19, 2012 - 07:12
"does the writing communicate powerful ideas with the use of simple language?"
- well as mentioned, I am only 330 pages into the 1st of 3 books, but I would so far say that yes, there is a strong message about power, control and the nature of relationships. It challenges expectations and assumptions with respect of the above. A particular point which comes to mind regards the consensual use of physical pain (sadomasicism) within relationships.
jolono | July 19, 2012 - 08:59
Love it or hate it, it's difficult to comment without reading it. I haven't read it so have no idea if it's any good or not, but I beleive it's sold 10 million copies! I was on holiday recently and when i looked around the beach almost every woman was reading it! It must have something, if not then the author is some kind of mad, rich, genius!
Clinton Morgan | July 19, 2012 - 09:45
And after that I bet their husbands still had an evening without any sex.
CraigD777 | July 19, 2012 - 11:11
Regardless of what anyone thinks or what their opinion is, the author of this book will be enjoying a holiday in the sun and no doubt driving around in a Ferrari. If the author sold this at 99p on Amazon she'd have around... £2.6m.
I've got to agree with both Sandyshores and Sue Dinum that I was probably talking a load of tosh earlier on. I've got a lot to learn here and I might just read the damn book and get some tips on the character, plot and how it attracts the reader. I don't really have the credentials to say what's literally good and bad - so I'm going to be a little bit more wary of what I say in future.
jolono | July 19, 2012 - 16:03
I'm going to get up on my high horse here. It's a big horse cos I'm a big guy!
But, we are all slating someone who has found a niche in the market and had sold millions of copies, a bit like JK Rowling did a few years ago!
He/she, (not sure male or female) has written something that has become a phenomenon, we as writers should be congratualting them on this, not criticising because it's trash!
I have not read it and probably wont, but fair play to whoever wrote it because he/she has done what we all dream of!
This should be a wake up call to all of us. "We can do it, we just need to try harder"
If this piece of "porn trash" can do it, then there are about fifty writers on this site that can write better!"
Let's make it our mission to beat him/her on sales!
The Walrus | July 19, 2012 - 16:29
I agree entirely with craig, I'll keep my big mouth firmly shut in future. Unless I've read the book.
pepsoid | July 20, 2012 - 06:44
So it's 3 cheers for EL James! (or whatever the heck his/her real name is)
Clinton Morgan | July 30, 2012 - 21:32
Speaking of erotica, here's mine http://abctales.com/story/clinton-morgan/frost-faerie
Stan | August 6, 2012 - 14:04
I thought this was a forum about hair. When I had my hair cut last week, the hairdresser referred to what was left as fifty shades of grey. There's still a tiny black bit there, though...
At least I've still got it all. Apart from what she sheared off...
jolono | August 6, 2012 - 19:05
I thought it was a new colour chart by Dulux!
pepsoid | August 10, 2012 - 09:14
I've just come back from Cornwall, where there was a shop in Porthleven that sold "Shades of Grey Cornish Slate"...
Marketing gone mad!
denni1 | August 23, 2012 - 09:45
You are 50 shades of hilarity xx
Sooz006 | August 23, 2012 - 12:06
Never read the Potters, tried the first one but got bored a few pages in. Haven't read fifty shades but I feel as though I should just so that I know what everybody's talking about.
What I do think will be good is if 50 shades bridges the gap between erotica and regular novels. I've been touting Question of Sanity and Rat-a-tat-tat around agents for awhile now, and my friend Peej, who knows about these things, says that they'll never be accepted in a million years because the sex in them is so graphic, he says I need to tone it down.
What's wrong with writing a graphic sex scene?
If you were writing a dinner party scene you wouldn't say that she put the plates down and then cut to the next day without saying what they were eating.
Likewise if you were writing a murder you wouldn't have him pointing the gun and then cut to the next day.
So why can't we write sex real? It's only another subject and yet it's still taboo. What the hell's wrong with us? I object to the fact that if I ever get a publishing deal my books will be censored.
It offends me that I can write about a little girl being raped and murdered but I can't write a real sex scene between two consenting adults.
So whatever this 50 shades has done, good on it.
shep5377 | August 23, 2012 - 19:46
I don't think that it's you 'can't' write a sex scene between adults, it's just that before 50 Shades there wasn't really a massive market for it and it wasn't socially acceptable for a woman to buy that sort of book.
Now, they are books similar to 50 shades in WH Smiths etc, so I think it's a massive step in the right direction.
As I said in a post above, good on her for getting this out there.
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