50 a year

Blogger "50 A Year" Review: Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey

I found a new blogger I love and the blog is titled “50 A Year.” What this means is she tackled 50 books last year, and has decided to do this all over again this year. I like blogs with themes like this, because I’ve always believed this is what personal blogging was intended to be in the first place when it first entered the arena. This one reminds me of a literary version of Julie Powell’s blog about Julia Child, where Powell took on the job of cooking everything from Child’s first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in 365 days.

In this case the blogger is taking on fiction in a year’s time, and she’s done an interesting review of the book Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey that’s an analysis of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s an interesting review to me because I wrote an essay for FWoFSoG and my piece was focused on how so many in the BDSM world did NOT accept the book very well…all for valid reasons that made sense to anyone in the BDSM lifestyle. Some were vehemently insulted. On the other hand, I also mentioned that I liked FSoG because it was written in a way that expresses common usage more than classic literary merit. I don’t know how else to put that either. And, I know very little about the BDSM lifestyle. Or at least I knew very little until FSoG hit the shelves.

The one thing FSoG has done is put BDSM out there in the mainstream for discussion. It’s so prominent now that my post before this one discussed the differences between rough sex and BDSM. And I never would have guessed I’d be writing a post like that a year ago. You can get there from here.   The only reason I wrote the post was to show that BDSM is, indeed, a lifestyle and an art form. And the book FWoFSoG wasn’t a book designed to praise the novel FSoG, but to analyze it and call out the strong points as well as the weak points.

But when all is said and done, FSoG appealed to the masses in ways that no book has done for a very long time. And I firmly believe this had a lot to do with the fact that the book wasn’t a literary masterpiece from an elitist POV. In any event, I don’t have the link right now, but FSoG did so well for the publisher the success trickled down to bonuses for editors who don’t make all that much money. And, I might ad, without blockbuster hits like FSoG in the publishing industry, there wouldn’t be enough money to publish those elitist literary books that are supposedly well-written and that win awards. If the publishing industry depended only on good taste, they’d be out of business in a year’s time. Think Snookie and “Gorilla Beach.”

But I digress. This is a great review with good insights. You can get there from here, and below is an excerpt from the review. I think it brings up some valid points and I recommend reading it, especially if you didn’t like FSoG. I have to agree with the reviewer, too. At first I didn’t think FSoG warranted that much analysis either. I really didn’t, and I hesitated a while before I agreed to do the essay for FWoFSoG. However, each essay is different, each is written from a different POV, and my essay talked about how so many other reviewers felt less than thrilled about the actual BDSM aspects. And this review talks about all this in more detail.

Second, another of the writers made the point that, however sexually liberating the book may be, it also encourages toxic relationships. Sure, you can have mind-blowing sex, but it comes hand in hand with stalking, emotional manipulation and a total lack of mutual respect.