Robert Pimm

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50 Shades: 5 reasons it’s a masterpiece, 5 reasons I hate it

‘I only finished the first volume,’ my friend says.  ‘It was so badly written.  And boring.’

‘I disagree,’ I say.  ‘I think the writing is brilliant.  It hits every target for a best-seller.  I read all three volumes.  But I ended up hating it.’

What to make of 50 Shades of Grey?  Last time I looked, it had sold 150 million copies in 52 languages and spawned a hit movie series.  The book has 85,000 reviews on Amazon.com with an average of 4*, and a further 21,500 on Amazon.co.uk – also averaging 4*.  A lot of people love it.  Why?

The following review contains spoilers.  Links in bold italics are to other blog posts on this site.

Each volume of “50 Shades” is substantial

Here are 5 things I found brilliant about the 50 Shades trilogy:

(i) everything is big.  In her book “How to write a blockbuster“, Sarah Harrison says a bestseller must have glamour in the sense of absolute, undeniable, gobsmacking allure… with all the maidenly restraint of Joan Collins on speed.  It’s got to be BIG, she says.  Everything about 50 Shades is big – Christian Grey is not just rich, he’s mega-rich.  He isn’t just talented; he is a concert-quality pianist and outstanding skier and linguist who excels at martial arts.  He’s not only a good person: he wants to help poor people around the world.  He’s not just handsome – every woman he passes is entranced by his charisma.  As Ana sums him up:

(more…)

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