Let’s face it: I went to a bookstore. I liked the packaging of a book entitled “Fifty Shades of Grey”. The pitch seemed astonishing, hot, twisted, vicious and delectable. And “everybody’s talking about E.L. James online!”. I should have known that it’s not always a right signal. Even if Bret Easton Ellis wants to turn the roman into a film, probably with Ryan Gosling.
So I started reading.
And I really have some strong concerns on how this book can be so successful. So the marketer in me is going to give his point of view. Be careful: I’m going to SPOIL.
You have a girl, still virgin, whereas she’s about to graduate, Anastasia Steele. OMG!
You have a mysterious powerful man, Christian Grey, desirable but scarrying. He’s called Christian, not Steve, I repeat…
The first 70 pages aim to explain how empty Anastasia Steele’s life is. There’s nothing but her work in a bookshop, how she loves her rich roommate, and how lovely her dresses are. The next pages, full of explicit scenes, explain how a young virgin discovers a sexual life (soft SM then hardcore ones) with a dominant man in a closed space.
Very strange for a smart graduate woman not to have any single passion in life. But ok.
Now I’m going to tell you why I hate this book. Really hate it.
– there’s no real story: there’s just a good narrative which uses diverse great marketing tricks. Copy Paste dozen pages of emails between Anastasia and Christian (oh-it-is-so-modern-love-story-oh). Some might call it style, let’s call it filling the lines
– play with girlish fears, but only with stereotypical means: how’s the first time? Do I really trust this bastard? Will I get rid of him? What am I ready to accept?
– mention some elements of luxury: use the name of a good Pinot Wine, pretend to know the differences between oysters and Saint Jacques etc.
If you’ve loved Twilight, you’ll love Fifty Shades of Grey. Unless you’ve grown up. Unless you decided that it’s not what women really are.
Don’t believe the hype.