Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey


By now, you've heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, the soft erotica novel that's making the mainstream media sit up and take notice. I haven't read it (yet) but say good for the author. Why? 

Those of you who have read The Taker already know there is a dark sexual thread that runs through the book. It is a novel about a character who goes from girl to woman, after all, and sexual awakening can be expected to be part of that journey. In this case, the heroine's awakening comes at the hands of a incredibly self-assured--some might say arrogant--man of the world, Adair, who is as adventurous in bed as he is domineering. 

When I wrote the Taker, I suspected the sexual story line would resonate with some readers. What I didn't expect is the conservatism that permeates our culture in the US. Most reviewers, and that includes book bloggers, don't seem to want to be seen endorsing a book that has characters whose sexual relationships are less than chaste. Shock at the sexual content of The Taker was a minor thread running through the reviews, but it was there nonetheless. 

I didn't expect the public at large feels this way, but in an age of such political conservatism, I suspected we've learned to hold our tongues and keep our preferences to ourselves. That's why I'm so happy to see Fifty Shades' success. It's evidence that we're really not a nation of prudes after all. 

In The Taker, one of the heroine's lessons is that she has to leave her Puritan home town, get away from all those prying eyes quick to judge, in order to discover who she really is as a woman. I hope that's a lesson all women are keen to take. 


HERE'S AN EXTRA STEAMY EXCERPT FROM THE TAKER.


Addendum: I'm up at the Huffington Post with an extended post on the same subject.

13 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad someone has finally expressed this relief. The articles I've read as well as Dr. Drew's public derision of the novel seem to express so much shock. Considering that romance is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) genres out there this reaction seems largely ignorant.

    Aside from all this I'm a quarter into the book and have to say its quite fun, especially if you've read Twilight and can catch all the riffs on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Poisongrl! Thanks for the comment. When it comes to women's sexuality, there never seems to be a shortage of clueless men ready to make a fuss. I wrote a post for the Huffington Post on the subject and in doing the research, found pieces written by women that have taken the same position--basically telling the naysayers to blow it out their ears. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy!

      Delete
  3. It's nice to have mainstream access to erotic works - both soft and hard- that appeal to women. I can remember reading The Story of O hidden inside the cover of another book, so no one would know. I've also braved the sketchy atmosphere of adult bookstores only to be disappointed at the decidely male orientation of most of the books. But while there's easier access and better choices, it seems for some unenlightened reviewers, the porn label has just been switched to "trashy romance," which is still demeaning to both the writer and the reader.
    BTW - I read your excerpt. great tension and intrigue. I definately want to know more about the good looking young friend and what Adair is up to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clare, Thank you for commenting. One nice thing that could come out of the FSoG phenomena would be if women could reclaim their sexuality a bit--in the public sphere, I mean. America is going through such a conservative period, but not one that many of its citizens subscribe to--not unlike Puritan times.

      Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

      Delete
  4. Hi Alma, enjoyed reading this, as well as your HP article, which I shared on Twitter. EW had a great, humorous review on FSofG this week. I think it's doing well despite the fuss. I'm betting The Taker is too! Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Alma,

    This is a very interesting post (like all of yours!). I couldn't help but think of my favorite classic--The Scarlet Letter--when I read it. One of the reasons I love that book so much is because Hester Prynne chose to follow her passion. Ultimately, she was publically scorned for years, yet she refused to wither beneath the (often hypocritical and) judgmental puritanism that surrounded her. You may recall that when it was published, religious leaders took issue with the novel despite its popularity. Have we not progressed?

    One of the countless reasons that I love The Taker is that you've taken some of the same risks with your characters and themes. Perhaps that is why the story resonated so well with me. Well done and bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so glad i enjoyed Christian and Ana's story. Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more. Thank you so much....Fifty shades

    ReplyDelete
  7. I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. and i watch Christian Grey's work it is pretty awesome to see on the screen Fifty Shades Of Grey

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can't wait for the movie. I loved the books. I should agree these are the best written books.
    50 Shades Of Grey Movie

    ReplyDelete
  9. So Ian Somerhalder!!! He should definetly play Mr.Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey.
    Christian Grey

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lovely characters Christian and ana.... Movie soon release...
    50 Shades Of Grey Movie

    ReplyDelete