I feel a bit like the young boy in the Emperor's New Clothes here, but I have to say that I'm not sure how E.L. James has hoodwinked the rest of the world. I feel a little like I did after reading The Hunger Games series...really? Is this what all the fuss is about? Has the American reading public really stooped so low?
First, the writing is abysmal. It is trite, simplistic, and not interesting in any way. It reminds me of the beginning of a porno movie (oh wait, that's because it is). The situation is absurd, the dialogue is bad, and nothing is believable. Just a convenient set up so that the characters can start having sex. But wait, it takes almost 40% of the book (I read on the Kindle and did not mark page numbers..and not because I hide what I'm reading, I read most everything on the Kindle) before they even get around to the vanilla sex. What? If we have to go through tedious, hard to believe plot set up, at least get to the sex quicker!
Once they start having sex, it then takes another 30% of the novel before we see much more than plain old vanilla fucking. Certainly not enough to get my panties wet. (Not that this is a great comparison, but American Psycho was much more graphic, detailed, and at times more erotic and that has the added benefit of being well written and having some literary merit and commentary on our consumeristic society).
Third (and it's been a while since I've read anything this trashy), but this is far from the most graphic novel I've read. As a teenager I remember going through quite some steamy reads (lots of which were best sellers). VC Andrew's Flowers in the Attic series about incestuous siblings is the first to pop into my mind and was quite popular in its day and has not only graphic and frequent, but incestuous sex.
So what's the deal with this? The writing sucks, the sex is not nearly as prolific (or as graphic or as offensive to my morals) as other novels that have been very popular. Where's the story? I thought the big breaking news was that women now are reading porn because we can hide it on our Kindles. Not true. Not interesting. Not all that sexually revolutionary. So, I maintain, how come the rest of you think the Emperor's clothes are so stunning?