Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Fuss Friday

Wow, it's Friday already!
The kiddo is off from school today AND Monday AND had a half a day yesterday. Um...
What's up with that???
It's just Columbus Day, right?  When I went to school, you had Monday off. That was it.

Oops. Sorry to make a fuss on the wrong subject matter. But really!!!
All right. I'm done now. :-)

Anyway, I figured today I'd get this Book Fuss out of the way and talk about the dreaded but ever popular...
FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY.

**Dun-dun-duuuuuunnnnnnnnn**

Yes, even after all this time it's still dominating the Amazon and Barnes and Noble charts--and supermarket check-out lanes. (That's a whole other issue, by the way) So let me say firstly that I have not read the book (books) and I don't plan to read it (them).
WHY?

Well, besides the subject matter not being my "cuppa", there is the whole I-hate-following-trends thing. Yes, I know. I've broken that rule a few times, but I really don't like to do it.
It kind of goes with the Mark Twain quote I like:
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”  LOL

But I figured I'd talk about this book anyway.

Recently, I was over my neighbor's house and there was a bunch of women there (other neighbors mostly) and they were talking about this book. Mind you, NOT ONE word was flattering about it. And also mind you, I have a lot to say about the book in a general way because of what I've read from agents' blogs and other writers so I felt as if I could contribute to the conversation well.

Nevertheless, they told me I should read the book.
And when I asked, "Why?" the answer I got was "So that you can contribute to the conversation and we can know what you think."

Wasn't I just doing that with them?

I don't need cocktail party fodder. And when I told them that, one of the neighbors asked, "Well, you should read it anyway. What are you afraid of?"

I said, "I don't know, bad writing?"

Then they all laughed and went on and on about how terrible the writing was.

OK, so they just picked apart this book to DEATH using descriptions like predictable, bad writing, unrealistic etc.. but still insisted I read it. Um, that kind of defense doesn't make me want to rush out and read it.

So, again I ask, WHY? Why do they insist I read it?

Shock value? But it's not the first nor the last written in that genre, so I'm not entirely convinced that's the reason.

But I'll tell you as I explained to them that I don't have the time to read books I WANT to read and I know ARE written well, let alone books I DON'T want to read that apparently AREN'T written well.

So tell me...if you've read it, what's the fuss?
 
What do you think makes it stand out from other BDSM books that have been written?

Do you think it says anything about our culture that this book has taken off and stayed at the top of the book charts for so long?

I'd love to know what you think!

19 comments:

Julie Jarnagin said...

Honestly it just makes me proud to write sweet romance. I know there are other women out there looking for something different. FSOG is just not my thing.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I think it originally had a huge fan base since it was Twilight fan fiction.

And then, well, I'm not sure. I read in one of my craft books the other day something along the lines of, "Write well, but telling a good story will still trump it because readers are there for a good story."

I think under all the bondage stuff, there was a story about a broken boy who grew into that kind of man due to his circumstances. That story and his healing-- that came from unconditional love from the girl is a decent story. One most of us are looking for. Unconditional love, meaning, purpose. Healing. So readers who aren't writers, mostly, tend to ignore the bad writing.

And if you're a fan of erotica, I suppose that's your icing on the cake. Maybe some women picked it up for just that.

Just my opinion. I could be wrong. :)

Em-Musing said...

I read it to see what all the hoopla was about. I believe it's aimed at younger women who've never had a varied sex life and are curious. Actually there's not much in it except spanking. NOT my cup of tea. It's also about a young woman's first love...unfortunately for her he's a sadist. She struggles with that concept. I won't be reading the other two. I have better books to read on my nightstand.

Maria Zannini said...

I don't have enough time for good books, why should I waste it on bad ones?

I'm slightly amused and disturbed that society eats this up. Why are women suddenly titillated by spanking and pain?

I'd sock the first guy who'd suggest this to me. How's that for pain, buddy? LOL.

Laura Marcella said...

I haven't read those books either and I'm not going to. It's such a waste to read something you're not going to enjoy when there are so many wonderful books out there that should be read instead!

A 4.5 day weekend?? Lucky!! I went to Catholic school and Columbus Day was not one of the days we got off. That was a bummer. But we usually got to watch a movie or something at the end of the day which was nice! The teachers were probably bumming just as hard as we were that all the public schools got to be closed and not us!

Chelle Sandell said...

I tried to read it. I bought the book when it first came out to see what all the hype was about. Now...I don't buy BDSM books because they're not my cuppa tea, but I have a crit partner that is a fantastic writer and has found her niche writing BDSM. I actually love her storylines because the premises of her books aren't about inflicting pain on someone to get their jollys. :) The characters and their emotional journey make the story. So...I bought 50 Shades and I couldn't get past chapter four. I can look past bad writing, I just couldn't get into the book.

Enjoy your girlies time off. LOL. Hopefully you can get some quiet time to work on edits.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

You and I are just about on the exact same page with this one. Haven't read it. Don't plan to. Had a book club try to talk me into it. I explained I quit reading books I kind of like, why would I hang on with a book like this?

Besides, I'm a super creative individual in all areas of my life and I strongly believe in promoting intimacy as pleasurable for women. We should want that!

Okay, enough for now. :D

Happy Fifty-less Friday!
~ Wendy

Connie Keller said...

Seriously?! They wanted you to read a book they thought was bad? There are so many amazing books out there that we won't get enough time to read--why would we waste our time on junk?

And that genre...yuck.

Linda Kage said...

I'm trying to read FSOG right now because when it comes to books, I DO love following the trend just to see what the fuss is about. And I have to tell you, I'm not sure why it's such a huge sensation.

It's not the worst thing I've ever read by any means, but I can see where someone would say it has bad writing (lots of mutters and murmurs and whispering going on).

I can see why it's unrealistic too, but I don't mind escaping into a fake, fake world where the hero is a BILLIONAIRE, who rushes to the heroine's side whenever he learns she's upset about something and can fly, and pretty much do everything else that's cool. It's a good escape from boring reality.

But honestly the heroine drives me a little batty, always asking herself these really stupid DUH-you-know-the-answer-already questions. I know she's just gratuated college, but really...

I thought I would be drawn into the plot--outlandish or not--instantly because of the big deal about it. But it took me a while to get into it. And the shock value isn't really that shocking--maybe because I knew about it before I read it. I've definitely read naughtier books with more shocking plots.

Anyway, if you don't want to read it, then na, don't read it. You're not missing anything totally utterly amazing. And if you're not a trend follower anyway, then definitely don't bother! Happy Friday. Thanks for letting me rant about this book!

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm so like you! I hate jumping on bandwagons--especially when I hear the writing is bad.

I've had numerous people ask me about this book too. I respond with honesty. "My friends read it, they told me the writing is terrible, and I'm a total book snob."

Fight the fight, lady!

Laura Pauling said...

My book club jokes about it! As in that's the next book we should read. Not! :)

If you look at what has always been popular and is skyrocketing now with contemporary NA - it's the broken boy plus the sex. It's always done well. So combined with the huge push and paying for the book to be everywhere and her huge fan base...it took off.

It's impossible to figure out why books take off and others don't. Often it has nothing to do with the writing nor the author's attempt at marketing. It's the emotional story and what readers are looking for.

Fun to talk about the whys behind success or lack of success. And it's a controversy. So people are curious.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Haven't read it and don't plan on it either. I'm wondering if they wanted you to read it so it'd make them feel less icky for reading it. Y'know, that whole drag-em-down-with-you concept. :)

Linda G. said...

I haven't read it either, for the same reasons as you--no time for even the books I really want to read, and I'm not much of a bandwagon jumper. *shrug*

Robyn Campbell said...

I'm with you woman! It does say something about our culture. And taht's all I'll say about that! *wink* But I do not plan on reading this book. Not now or ever! I hope you are doing great. *waves*

Nas said...

Erotica is not my cup of tea either!

Great post.

Sandra Cox said...

I have no desire to read it. But I do admire any author that can sell that many books:)

Prixie said...

I have not read those books. But because everyone is talking about, my level of curiosity is increasing.

The same thing happened to me with those Twilight books...sigh...

LTM said...

Great post, Jennifer! I haven't read these books either, and like you, I don't plan to. For the exact same reason--I don't have time to read ll the books I WANT to read that ARE written well. LOL!

But, my little book club back home has all read it, and they're all talking about how terrible the writing is. But they found the story. I don't know. Maybe it's the community FSOG is creating? The talking about something other than kids and/or politics?

People like to connect over something, and I think for whatever reason, this is what they're using at the moment.

omg. LOL! :D

Cheryl Klarich said...

Whew!... I thought I was in the minority of those not wanting to waste valuable reading time on this!!

Bless you!!