It’s being called “mommy porn” by even the soberest of news media — so naturally I had to check it out. E.L. James’s erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction, meaning the characters and a few plot points bear striking similarities to Stephenie Meyer’s girl-meets-vampire love story. But James, a British first-time author, reenvisions the story with a bookish young virgin who falls for a hunky self-made billionaire who’s perfect in every way. Except that he wants — nay, needs — for her to be his kinky sex slave.
Studded with more steamy sex scenes than you can shake a riding crop at, the book’s buzz among undersexed suburban housewives has driven it to the top of Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” list. The Fifty Shades trilogy, including sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, occupies numbers one, two, and three on the New York Times best-seller list for ebook fiction. Hollywood studios are flogging each other for the movie rights.
I read Fifty Shades of Grey to see what all the fuss was about, and here’s what this mommy can tell you unequivocally: It’s a dozen shades of awful.