Kinky romance ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ gets movie deal

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesThere’s been a lot of buzz about E.L. James’ recently released “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The first in a trilogy, it’s become a book club favorite among women — despite its themes of domination and bondage.

Now, the Associated Press is reporting the novel has a movie deal: Universal Pictures and Focus Features have acquired the rights to the bestselling erotic novel. In a joint announcement Monday, Universal and Focus called the word-of-mouth sensation a “special story.”

Read the full story from the AP, or read on to check out a review of the “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Have you read the book? Would you?

‘Fifty Shades of Grey': Kinky romance is a hit

By JENEE OSTERHELDT
McClatchy Newspapers

Sexy or sick? That’s the big debate over the indie book “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James that’s taken over the Internet and suburban reading circles.

The book, the first in a trilogy, has been described as, err, well, “mommy porn.” It follows the story of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. She’s a graduating college senior, an innocent virgin. He’s a young billionaire humanitarian who enjoys domination and bondage.

Sultry and taboo stuff for a best-seller, right? While erotic books have long been around, it’s rare the genre sees mainstream success. But the ladies are loving “Fifty.”

Mom blogs and romantic novel sites alike are making it a book club favorite among women.

It’s hard to believe it started out as free: online fan fiction, largely inspired by “Twilight,” but definitely written for adults. The dark romance became such a hit that the British author reworked it into three books, which were picked up by a small Australian-based publisher last year. It’s sold more than 250,000 copies and has become largely popular as an e-book, recently earning the top spot on the New York Times e-books bestseller list.

The trilogy was acquired by Vintage Books. Talks of a movie are under way. Think “9 1/2 Weeks.”

Like that movie, this book is not without its critics. Television host Drew Pinksy called “Fifty” unhealthy and likened it to Stockholm syndrome on his show last week. His wife and most of the women (including a clinical psychologist) on his show disagreed with him, calling it a romance fantasy.

But ask Vivien Jennings, owner of Rainy Day Books in Kansas City, and she agrees that books like these send bad messages to women.

“It’s sad because there are so many wonderful books out there with healthy messages about relationships and real intimacy,” she says. “But the buzz surrounds a book like this that sends the wrong message to young women.”

Jennings doesn’t believe in censorship, so she will order a few copies to keep in the store. But she’s considering suggesting people read a few pages in store for free before they spend their money on it.

With so much hype in the webosphere, I finally decided to read this book. On my iPad.

I think the power to download and read it anonymously helped propel this book’s online sales. No one can see the cover when you’re on an e-reader.

But just what is it that has fueled the word-of-mouth popularity?

It’s not the writing. E.L. James is no Erin Morgenstern, whose fantasy-powered novel, “The Night Circus,” drew flocks of readers last year. Still, the allure of “Fifty Shades of Grey” cannot so simply be reduced to the steamy sex scenes.

I’ve never read much of the genre, so as I tried to figure out what is driving this “Fifty” phenomenon, I decided it’s equal parts fantasy and sheer curiosity.

With so many people talking about a dominant-submissive “love story,” which started out as Twi-hard fan fiction, women want to know what’s it all about. And I have to be honest — despite the clunky prose, James does cause one to turn the page. Just this week, I’ve sped through two of the three books.

I can’t say it’s because I’m suddenly a fan of S&M love stories. Frankly, it’s not exclusively about that, which is likely why so many different women are reading it. And for the record, I don’t agree with Dr. Drew. I don’t find this book harmful to women. It’s a gross overstatement to compare it to Stockholm syndrome.

Yes, there are unhealthy parts of this fictional relationship — creepy control issues and problems with trust and communication. Keyword: fictional.

I doubt women read this book and want to mimic the bad stuff anymore than they wanted to marry a vampire or run off with a wolf post-“Twilight.” It’s a fun escape from reality, like so many popular books.

For me, reading the series is like catching an episode of “Keeping up With the Kardashians” during one of the E! marathons. You’re both mortified and intrigued by the glamour and dysfunction. Sometimes, you can’t stop looking.

I keep reading because I now want to know what is going to happen to Anastasia as she becomes captivated by Christian’s world and he learns to love. And I am curious about Christian’s life story. He was born to a crack whore, abused by her pimp, adopted by wealthy do-gooders and lost his virginity at 15 to a woman who made him her submissive.

I don’t know if I hate or like the story. I’m not done yet. But what I can say with certainty is so far I find it 50 kinds of crazy.

About Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.
This entry was posted in Best-sellers, Book news, Book review, Fiction, Romance novels and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Kinky romance ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ gets movie deal

  1. Aw, this was a really good post. Taking the time and actual
    effort to make a superb article… but what can I say… I
    procrastinate a lot and don’t seem to get anything
    done.

    Here is my website: ecigsmokestore; fishertfjk.kazeo.com,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>