Grey Areas of Fifty Shades of Grey

The book Fifty Shades of Grey is considered as one of the most best erotic romance novel ever produced. To date, this EL James original has already posted sales of more than a hundred million, and has topped the best-seller list in many different countries, including the US.

Centering on the sexually-charged relationship between college student Anastasia Steele and enigmatic but wealthy businessman Christian Grey, the book has opened the doors for previously tabooed subjects like submissive sex to be discussed without hesitation. As Fifty Shades of Grey also depicts in detail various erotic scenes including sadist/masochistic practices, this has also become an outlet for many women to live out previously repressed sexual fantasies.

Others believe that Fifty Shades has succeeded in presenting the many sexual fantasies of women when it comes to men. This is best seen in the character of Christian, held up in the novel as the ideal sex partner who is always willing to make his woman happy to the point of indulging in primal sex.

As to whether the book will radically change the way women views sex these days remains to be seen. Nevertheless, two sequels have already been released, namely, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, completing the trilogy. A film version of the novel is already being planned under Universal Pictures and this is expected to further boost its popularity.

Erika Leonard Mitchell, who used the pseudonym EL James in writing the controversial book, has been cited as among the “100 Most Influential People” by Time magazine in 2012. Despite the honor, she said she was pleasantly surprised at how successful her work has become.

Surprisingly, the plot of Fifty Shades of Grey was hardly an original concept. Indeed, the novel was initially made available as an e-book and likewise enjoyed great success. However, the idea for the story came from the novel Twilight where a fan fiction series was developed and later reworked on by James. You can learn more about the series and download a free audiobook by heading to the website.

Delving Deeper into ‘Fifty Shades’

Fiction novels have become popular once again. More particularly, they appeal to a wide range of readers especially the females. One of these popular novels that have surged into popularity more recently is the Fifty Shades of Grey written by E. L. James. The novel revolves around a college student named Anastasia Steele and the object of her affections – Christian Grey. The trilogy contains a lot of erotic scenes which include bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism (BDSM).

The trilogy (which you can download here) was originally intended as a fan fiction of Twilight noting the similar themes that both trilogies share. The trilogy also helped in the resurgence of the popularity of e-books as the story was originally an e-book format and a print-on-demand until Vintage Books acquired publishing rights. The story quickly became popular with teenage girls and college women and sold at a very fast pace. Audiobooks and kindle all became in-demand. Experts say that such popularity was because of viral marketing. The hype that the trilogy spurred helped E. L. James become the bestselling author in Amazon UK replacing J.K. Rowling. It also broke records such as being number one for 20 consecutive weeks beating Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games.”

The author, E.L. James (real-life: Erika Leonard), is a former television executive, and is currently married and blessed with two teenage sons. When asked about the popularity of the once-fan-fiction, she mentioned that she, too, was shocked on how popular it became.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is the first part, and it talks about how Christian and Anastasia started and the details of their supposed contract evolving into a relationship. Fifty Shades Darker is the second book and delves deeper in their relationship such as Ana being an open target for women who have had relationships with Christian, and Christian being more protective of Ana especially with the men at her environment. The last of the trilogy is “Fifty Shades Freed” which talks about revenge of people hurt in the past, and the people in Christian’s past.

The trilogy’s popularity has sparked a number of controversies and debates regarding feminism and its depiction of BDSM, and how it glorifies it. The series has become so popular that a film is currently in the making which stars Jamie Dorman and Dakota Johnson playing the roles of Christian and Anastasia, respectively. The film is set to be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. To date, the series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide.