First, this post is based on my experiences as a reader and a consumer. As a blogger I'm allowed to step back and speak as a customer sometimes. I have never let my career as a writer define me in any way and when I write posts like this I'm thinking just like any other reader out there who loves to buy books.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James is interesting to me because I first learned about it a couple of weeks back by reading a horrific review by someone with an unpronounceable name. I came across the review on a well known romance review web site. I posted about my experience here on the blog, without mentioning names (I'm not linking to the post now because I didn't mention the book was Fifty Shades of Grey at the time and I don't want to single anyone out...or give them extra hits on their web site for free). Oddly, after I read the scathing review, a good friend in New York phoned me later that night to make plans for the following weekend and she mentioned she was reading the book and loved it. Much later I heard that Jay Leno had spoken about it, along with a few others in the mainstream media I won't bore you to death with now.
I'd already bought the book based completely on the bad book review. I'd made the purchase because I find that whenever I see a bad review on this one particular web site nine times out of ten I'm going to wind up loving the book. It's a fascinating concept I've posted about more than once. It doesn't make much sense. But it works for me as a consumer. All I can say is when a handful of like-minded people don't like a book, and hundreds (maybe thousands) of others do, something isn't quite right.
I'm still reading it now. I'll post more in the future after I'm finished. Because this isn't a book review site I'm allowed to post about books I'm reading just as much as I'm allowed to post about books I've read. And I want people to know Fifty Shades of Grey is one of those books that draws the reader in and holds them captive until they can't keep their eyes open any longer. I read late at night, usually until about one in the morning, and I've been staying up much later than I normally would. It's also a love story with BDSM, and I'm not even fond of BDSM.
I've heard the book was pubbed as fanfic, and frankly that doesn't bother me in the least. I don't know who set the rules up for fanfic, but I'm glad to see that the mainstream basically doesn't care about those rules. I've always believed that if something is done well, no matter how many times it's been done before, it deserves to be recognized on its own. And I couldn't applaud this author more for doing it so well.
I would recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read BDSM or erotic romance before and I haven't even finished. And in this case I can't say that people either loved it or hated it. I double checked this to be sure. As I write this post, out of 261 customer reviews on Amazon, 183 loved it with five stars and only 17 hated it with one star. This is not what I would call a love it/hate it book. This is what's called a few people with distinctly defined taste in books who didn't like it. Which is fine. It actually helps me balance what I'm going to buy when I'm shopping for books.
I will post more after I've read it in full. From what I'm hearing from friends I'll wind up reading the entire trilogy.