Fifty Shades of Grey:
Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
James, E L [Erika Leonard]
I just finished reading the latest new thing, Fifty Shades of Grey. My friend Mary loaned it to me before reading it herself, and thus we are both absolved from unattractive prurient interest in the erotic on-line sensation. It became so popular that the print people had to get in on it, and now Fifty Shades and its two sequels are one, two, three on many best-seller lists.

Its bondage and discipline theme is much more satisfyingly rendered in the classic The Story of O, but because each generation gets the porn it deserves, our politically correct and sexually insatiable narrator has to resist her naughty swain for almost the entire first book of this trilogy. It made me want to give her a good spanking myself!

While I believe that any book that even points toward an orgasm is fine, there's a lot of filler and rather ho-hum sex in this under-heated novel. The pages of emails between the impossibly handsome and incredibly rich master, Christian Grey, and what's-her-name, his slave, are more boring that our own.

The author is given as E. L. James, but her real name is Erika Leonard (and her earliest pseudonym turns out to be "Snowqueens Icedragon" --- which may tell us something about her younger operating systems.) She is not a bad writer, and is certainly a clever one, slyly holding back the severe disciplines and unusual penetrations we've all been looking for. There are two more books for that, sucker.

Still, if this book leads to just one orgasm, who can say it's worthless? Orgasms are a lonely shout against entropy, as precious as a poem or song.

Explicit sex is ubiquitous, but story still sells, and apparently people who read books are just as horny as their electronically inclined fellow citizens. These books are everywhere, If you happen to collide with one, I hope you get off massively. You have no chance of that with, say, Dick Cheney's bio.

--- Cese McGowan
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