|A Gorean Slave Girl - John Norman's Gor series, despite violating the laws of physics and being total fantasy, is perhaps more plausible than 50 Shades of Grey by EL James|
Let me begin by saying, that I do believe Serafina is intellectually honest, and certainly is capable of forming and holding her own opinions. But, I also know that a Master can have an overwhelming influence on their own slave's thinking. For that reason, I've delayed putting any of my own impressions into writing, as I preferred to avoid unduly influencing Serafina prior to completing her assigned post.
I'd like to start by addressing the audience for which this book was written. Now, I know that some authors don't believe in writing for a specific target audience, for instance kinky author and online friend Sadey Quinn said to me:
I don’t write for specific crowds, and I don’t think it’s fair to say one book isn’t appropriate for a group of people.You are a nice lady Sadey, but I'm very much of a different opinion. To my mind, if you are writing for everyone, you are really writing for no one. I think it's always necessary to think about one's audience when writing.
I'm very positive that Laura Antoniou is writing for a different audience than EL James. I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd be "all in" on a bet regarding those two author's intent. Anyone care to wager?
If 50 Shades of Grey were a movie, I'd categorize it among "chick flicks". It's much closer to being a harlequin romance than to any kind of serious literature.
At the same time I was reading 50 Shades of Grey, I was also reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, as well as rereading Tarnsman of Gor by John Norman. If I were to compare my three most recent reads against each other, the outcome will not be at all pretty for 50 Shades of Grey.
I'd say that as an author, EL James isn't worthy to shine Oscar Wilde's boots, there's that great a difference in the quality of the two works. Some might say I shouldn't be looking for real literary qualities in a book designed to titillate, and they might be right. Oscar Wilde wasn't simply rewriting fan fiction like EL James. It's ridiculous to try and compare 50 Shade of Grey to any kind of serious fiction, it's a different beast.
I don't know that anyone has accused John Norman's series of books about Gor as being a serious literary work, although in making that assertion I might upset a great number of online Gorean slaves, so be it. The comparison between these two books is much more apt.
If you aren't familiar with the world of Gor, it's a Counter-Earth on the other side of the sun that's shielded from detection by Priest Kings who apparently have the ability to overrule the laws of physics. It's a world where there are no guns or modern weapons, where power is won by guile and the strength of one's own sword arm. It's also a land where men are men and women are (mostly) slaves. As with most constructs, it's a world created in the imagination of a single man.
With that said, all of the science fiction elements asides, the individuals who inhabit the fantasy world introduced in Tarnsman of Gor are more believable than the characters introduced in 50 Shades of Grey.
I'm pretty sure that EL James was trying to create the impression of a Christian Grey who was sort of like a really pale version of blaxploitation film hero Shaft. He's supposed to be a complicated man, and no one's to understand him but his woman.
Instead he strikes me as an insecure weasel who's lack of personal self control would be more indicative of an individual destined to respond with queries like - "How may I serve you?" and "Would you like to super size that?" - rather than an individual who pilots helicopters as well as single handedly building a prosperous corporation.
Throughout the book I wanted to say - "Dude, take a deep breath . . . I guarantee it'll be better if it's not over in less than the length of a commercial break!" I know busboys screwing inside walk in freezers who had better stamina and longer actual encounters than Christian Grey's demonstrates with Anastasia, the story's narrator. He screws like a baby crawls, quick and in short spurts. He has the studied stamina of a rabbit.
He's not dashing, he's desperate, which makes perfect sense if you really stop to think about it. I'm not even going to get too far into the deep insecurities about his own sexual prowess that Grey demonstrates by pursuing a 20+something aged virgin. But I do think it's fair to say that the only woman who wouldn't recognize his inept lovemaking for being the height of personal selfishness would someone who is totally inexperienced, who'd never even had a boyfriend, not ever.
In that way, Anastasia might be a bit more believable than the ubiquitous Mr Grey (for God's sake don't misunderstand - I'm being sarcastic!) I'm still looking for demographics indicating there are great numbers of college women who not only have perfect IQ's and perfect figures, but who also enjoy a perfectly intact hymen and a perfectly blissful ignorance of the joy of orgasm at college graduation. Uh-huh! I'm guessing, if I went searching for such a creature in real life, I'd feel like Diogenes, wandering the campuses of North America with a lantern on an endless quest.
Still, despite all those flaws, 50 Shade of Grey was a fun read, if only for just a moment. It's like white sugar, it tastes good enough at the moment, but you know it's not good for you. There's nothing wrong with white sugar, but remember that too much is guaranteed to make you sick.
Despite all the hype that's surrounded the book, 50 Shade of Grey will never ever be considered for rereading here at Castle Samadhi. There are enough good fetish authors like Laura Antoniou and Patrick Califia who's works do deserve rereading, I simply don't have time for any more EL James.
50 Shade of Grey is really just disposable fiction, nothing more. Appropriately marketed, it would be printed on toilet paper. It's fair to good bathroom reading, and it would serve a more useful purpose when complete.