Aunty is curious, does any of y'all ladyfolk have somethin' to say on this Fifty Shades of Gray phenomenon?
As a journalist, Aunty be thinkin' this phenomenon is quite odd-- it looks as if the Gray trilogy will surpass Harry Potter in volume of sales. That alone is astonishin'.
The book is an admitted derivative of a teen genre and the writing is simply abysmal. The material is overheated fan-fiction that grew from the Twilight series. For y'all what doan know that term, fans of stories (Like Harry Potter, or any number of fantasy, sci-fi books) write their own endings or sequels to the stories and post them. Thas' termed "fanfiction." Some authors permit their original work to be hijacked like this--it gives the original more publicity, I reckon.
Some authors doan allow it a'tall A few amateur authors who have done this has been picked up by real world publishers, encouraged to create their own series an' have had respectable success in their own right.
Anyhoo, the Gray author, Ms. James (UK), has a TV producer background. She spotted a hunger (heh) niche in the Twilight books, an' decided to rewrite it--spice it up with heavy erotic ingredients an' offer it to (starvin'?) older wimmen (as distinct from teens). It were a $50 million spice job fer the first year alone. Thas' publishin' history. An' it brings a heap of legal an' artistic matters to the debate:
If these legal and ethical issues can be overcome, one has to wonder if the success of Fifty Shades is evidence of a fundamental shift in public opinion of what can be considered original art. Fan fiction as a form of literature in its own right may have reached a watershed point, fueled in recent years by two factors: the seemingly bottomless devotion of fans of the Harry Potter and Twilight series, and technology.
This whole thang raises a boatload of questions about modern wimmen (uh, whar's Betty Friedan when ya need her?), the relationship between men an' wimmen in these progressive times the direction of the culture (how dark will it go?), why the fascination wif' fantasy once youse past 22, what do it portend fer the publishin' world, 'specially the self-publishin' route to derivative riches....so many questions.
Iffin' youse of a mind, see whar' another blogger (An Aussie lady transplanted in Provence with a lovely lifestyle blog) asks the same question, and, there are over a hundred comments, some rather enlightening.
What Aunty wonders most is:
1) has any of y'all read this book? Yore family or friends? Does ya' plan to read it?
2) how do "modern" wimmen identify wif' the woman character?
2.5) what is the lure in this story for grown wimmen?
3) would ya' suggest yore daughters/ nieces/ students read this?
4)what is Gray's significance in the world of publishin'/ readin/ writin'?
5) what is "original art" these days?
Some commenters at other blogs have said Gray is a "guilty pleasure." Doan hesitate to use ANON iffin' ya' want to--I git that. I'se more interested in the "why" of this than any "who."