For those who’ve remained blissfully unaware, 50 Shades of Grey is the latest publishing phenom. Discussed obsessively everywhere from the Today show to Newsweek, the plot can be teased in just a few sentences: Christian Grey is a 27-year old billionaire in modern day Seattle who proposes an unusual relationship to graduating student, Anastasia Steele. He offers her a contract in which she would agree to serve as sub to his dom every weekend for a period of months.
We decided to subject the book to the scrutiny of our Pandora. This time it’s Sandy AAR and Jean AAR who open Pandora’s Box.
Jean AAR: I really wasn’t sure what to expect, considering all the buzz, but there also seemed to be a lot of hyperbole in either direction – either it was the greatest thing since the Pill or the worst thing ever published. So I kind of took it in stride. If I had to grade it, I’d give it a C+/B-. Parts of it are weirdly compelling, but other parts are just downright amateur. Still, it’s not really any different from hundreds of other romance novels.
Sandy AAR: I agree. It’s a romance novel. I kind of land in the B- territory. I thought it was kind of like an HP in a weird way. Mysterious gazallionaire meets virtuous student and sweeps her away to his lair yadda, yadda, yadda. But then there’s the sex. Which is actually pretty raunchy.
JW: Do you think the raunchiness gets tiring, or becomes unnecessary, especially in the second book? I haven’t read the third book yet, but I feel that if you took out two-thirds of the sex, edited heavily, and compressed, there’d be a B/B+ in there somewhere.