LIFESTYLE

Featured blog: Why readers love Fifty Shades of Grey (and why the literati still don’t get it)

Kat Mayo

Here are some of the most frustrating things about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon:

1. The term ‘mommy porn’. Enough said.

2. Booksellers who snigger about how terrible it is while promoting it to within an inch of Christian’s, um, tie.

3. ‘If you like Fifty Shades of Grey then you’ll like…’ reading lists that demonstrate how badly genre fiction is understood by the literati in Australia. (Or I could be less gracious and say it’s snobbery, but I’ll give them the benefit of doubt.)

Fifty Shades of GreyLook, I get it. I’m stuck on chapter two of my 50 pages of Fifty Shades challenge because of the awkward prose, vacuous heroine and creepy hero. I get that this book isn’t going to win literary awards. I get that there are a bajillion better written books out there that booksellers, publishers, editors and authors would love to foist on readers.

Believe me, I get it.

But the thing is, the people who love the Fifty Shades trilogy aren’t in it for spectacular writing. They’re not even in it for salacious bondage scenes.

My guess is—because, of course, every reader is different—most of them love it because it entertains them and gives them a positive emotional rush with a touch of naughty of excitement.

They will not get this with the Marquis de Sade. They will not get it with The Story of O. They will not get it with any story that ends with separation, adultery, misery, death, pain, humiliation, incest or bestiality.

Just because someone loved Fifty Shades of Grey does not mean they will enjoy erotica. The primary objective of this book is not to provide an erotic thrill—it’s to provide an emotional one. The titillation is great—particularly for the marketing people—but take away the love story between Ana and Christian and I doubt it would have become so popular.

Read the rest of the blog here.

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