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S, Shades of Grey

S, Shades of Grey

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Here is a re-post (times two) of my flirt with Fifty Shades of Grey




Picking up a copy of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, was like Regis Philbin buying crack with a bag of quarters. I slunk into Barnes and Noble, chosen for its size and the chance of an anonymous purchase. Collar up, I scoured the best selling racks, the fiction/literature section; the new authors stand. Nothing. I spied a woman in a smock with a name tag. But she was on lunch and directed me to the information counter I had been avoiding. I let a young mother ahead of me in line, and hoped for the least amount of attention, wondering when I had become such a prude.The young man at the desk was not fazed at all when I asked him where I might find the contraband. And thus he announced it to the world.

Cringing was I, slouching into the Teen Fiction aisle in humiliated retreat, when the young mother turned back from her stroller, cleared her throat and said she would like a copy – for her Mormon mother, to boot. And so I proceeded to the checkout counter with my new young mother friend and our two copies of mommy porn. Her little baby coo’ed approval. Only one more checkpoint to go, and now I had a partner in crime. I relaxed a little.My accomplice went through without even the slightest hint of a raised eyebrow.  I approached the smiling (was she smirking?) clerk.

“Will that be all?” Well yes for today, you see I am currently unemployed and have all this time to read and well you see I’ve just finished a light popular book that led me to some pretty enduring authors and timeless quotes that evoke the sense of purpose and truth in life and I really don’t usually pursue things like faddish literature or reality television but in this sense it seems like more a social statement that everyone is talking about, including members of my book club, and how can you measure it against the classics at all of course.. not (laugh) (uncomfortably). Yes, that’s all.

“Do you have a card for 10% off?” Well yes I have a card, somewhere here – or you could check my number but could I please just pay cash and don’t worry about the discount. I might not even read it – maybe just get the cliff notes. (laugh) (excruciatingly)

“Enjoy your book” – smiling (smirking?) Who knows. I high-tailed it out of there, blushing no doubt.Outside, my new friend, daughter of a mommy porn-reading Mormon, waited to continue our conversation.

“Do you think it will be too much for my mother?”

I told her it is a stretch for me to read explicit sado-masochistic sexual exploits and my Catholic mother would probably have a rosary bead malfunction at page one, so yes, I told her, I suspected it would.

“I guess I could give it to my sister, ” she mused.

“Or you could read it first and then give it to your sister,” I mumbled nonchalantly.

We didn’t exchange names or telephone numbers. She slipped her book into a paper bag, I put mine under my arm and we walked quickly in opposite directions, heads down, like we were never there at all.


4/10/13: Still no grey tie.


5/4/12  – So I finished reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.  While I couldn’t be happier for new author E. L. James  – and don’t begrudge her any one of her millions, or her newfound fame, I do understand her baffled look when she is questioned on the incredible sales and interest in her books. I’m not sure, also too (didn’t you think Tina Fey was better than Julianne Moore?), whether the phenomenon is due to the unrestrained descriptions of the kinky sex, or the media frenzy over the book phenomenon. And, forsooth, a media frenzy can sell a book, thereby creating a phenomenon. Actually the media frenzy was the only thing that had me reading to the end. I would have put it down at chapter two, if I weren’t waiting for the smut – just to be able to join the conversation.It’s true!Here is my opinion, unrestrained, but not at all kinky:

The protagonist is clearly an alien. That, or she has had a frontal lobotomy. She does a lot of talking in her head, trying to convince the reader that she was actually a 21st century girl. Oh yeah, she didn’t write the book, E. L James did. OK then, she seemed like she was acting… Yes, it’s true, she’s not real. Exactly my point! All to say, I felt I was reading a script, not a novel. Try as I might (and not in the way you’re thinking!),  I just could not buy the BID, TID aggressive sex, with pyrotechnic orgasms that rained down upon them.

The perpetrator, Mr Grey, although confounding to the young protagonist, Ana (victim? hero?), is not that hard to figure out. On one hand, he is the indecently rich knight in shining armor that we have been telling our daughters doesn’t exist. On the other, he happens to be extremely violent but kind, wounded, perverted yet non-critical, generous yet controlling, schizophrenic and single minded about a 22 year old who always has the perfect one-liner.  I got the feeling that the author didn’t quite know how he was going to evolve with the story, so he just didn’t.  It’s Meet Jack Black all over again – plus a good beating every now and again. Oh I miss Professor Higgins.

In the end, I didn’t particularly care if they were able to work it out, or not. I would like to know what happened to Mr Grey when he was a boy, but not enough to brave Barnes and Noble for the second round of the trilogy.

My husband, on the other hand, wants to read it now that he has read my review above – annoyingly illustrating my point. That’s just what happens when you join the conversation!


© Robyn T. Murphy




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