Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James

Don't be fooled by the tame gray necktie splayed across the front cover — Fifty Shades of Grey has very little business inside. It also has very little clothing. The steamy novel, which tells the story of a budding relationship between naïve college student Anastasia Steele and hunky billionaire Christian Grey, has been called the "Twilight for grown-ups" and "mommy porn," because of its highly graphic S&M scenes. (Christian is fond of whips, and Anastasia is a willing submissive, guided by the "inner goddess" who narrates her sexual escapades.) At its heart, Grey is a love story, written by E.L. James, a London TV executive. Despite being released in June 2011, the novel only recently shot to the top of bestseller lists, prompted primarily because word-of-mouth sales and eager book clubs across the country. Since then it has been nearly impossible to find, as the tiny Australian publisher who published the book did not foresee the overwhelming demand. Thankfully for sex-starved middle-aged women everywhere, the novel was recently picked up for a large imprint by U.S. publishing giant Random House. And for readers without such colorful imaginations, Grey has already been sold as a movie.