Friday, June 22, 2012

Too Hot

Too  hot to do much of anything.  I worked outside, pulling weeds and pruning back wisteria, till about 10 yesterday morning and gave it up to come inside, drink ice tea, and deal with some pages to be edited for my forthcoming workshop in popular fiction at Wildacres.

I'm not sure -- each student only submits 15 pages -- but one of the submissions seemed to be tending in the direction of erotica -- a genre I have trouble with because unless it's extremely well-written, it tends to make me giggle.

But, considering the fantastic success Fifty Shades of Grey has had (due, some suggest, to ebooks which one can read privately without the lady across from you in the bus knowing what you're up to) . . . well, I decided that, as a teacher of multiple genres, perhaps I should take a look at this blockbuster. So I downloaded a sample  from Amazon. 

After reading the sample, I wasn't tempted to go on. And it's fairly depressing to think that such mediocre (I'm being kind here) writing is selling so well. Though, perhaps I should find encouragement in this fact.

I did find one thing well worth reading. On big bestsellers like this, I always like to read the one-star reviews -- and there are some beauties -- Look HERE  The one by DS from LA is hilarious, as is the next one by Ebeth from TX.  These are terrific reading -- and FAR better written that the sample I read.

Still, a whole lot of folks enjoyed the book -- and as the sample I read didn't touch upon any naughty bits, I've missed the full experience. How about you all? Did any of you read it -- and what did you think?
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Ms. A said...

I haven't read a book in a long time. I barely keep up with blog reading, although some of those can be a bit risque, occasionally.

Mel said...

I refuse to read Shades of Grey on principle. Bad writing shouldn't be rewarded. I too tried to read a sample and found the reviews better written. I have a feeling this phenomenon is Twilight for bored housewives. I found Twilight appalling and only tried to read it at the request of my daughter. I couldn't do it. I know the argument can be made that any reading is good, but, really? Our standards are this low? It makes me a little sad.

Enough indignation. Thanks for the photos. Your lilies are sublime.

Novice Naturalist said...

No. I didn't read it, but I have several quite literate friends who did. They complained about the horrible dull repetitious writing but read the whole trilogy-- "for the hot sex," they said. Try this link for a response to 50 Shades that I found quite entertaining. It is Ellen Degeneres 'reading' 50 Shades.

Poetry24 said...

Coincidentally, this title came up in conversation the other day. It just sounded a little bit gimmicky, to me.

Merisi in Vienna said...

One-star-reviews, what a hoot! *giggles*
I would have to be paid, to read such crappy writing.
Well, I'd say. ;-)

"Pram" and "rucksack" are giveaways of the first order. Such lousy research - maybe she did not even bother.

I recently read William Boyd's "Waiting for Sunrise" and was utterly disappointed. I simply cannot fathom why it has an average of 4 stars, I'd give it a 2. I am sure it will be a success, the "right ingredients", Vienna before WW II (the biggest disappointment for me) and some Sex (made me cringe). More than one scene reminded me strongly of what I have read elsewhere (walking into water like Virginia Woolf, for example), the whole plot too far-fetched. *end of rant*

Pat in east TN said...

When the talk started going around about it, I was tempted, but then I heard more and thought this is not for me. I hear it's just one very descriptive romp after another, no real story line, and they're thinking of making this into a movie!?!? Yikes!

Kath said...

Got some chapters of Fifty Shades before hearing about the to do. When I read those chapters I was bored. The writing just did not engage me. i'm still puzzled at the phenomenon.

But then, while I enjoyed the first Twilight novel, I am not a fan. I did read all three of the Hunger Games novels, and again I'm not in the fan group.

color me an outsider.

Brian Miller said...

obviously good writing is not what sells....its market....look back at stephanie meyer....the whole twilight is not very well written at all...but she was in the right place at the right time with the right idea

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Thanks for the link. Loved the reviews! I may become a fan of one-star reviews.

Ellis Vidler said...

Beautiful lilies, Vicki. It's always a treat to stop by here.
As for the book, I didn't read it, but I did follow your link to DS's and the 1-star reviews. Painful! What they did though, is make me want to search my manuscript for repetitive actions and phrases. Now that's scary.
Good post. Thanks. :-)

Polly Iyer said...

My cousin, the literary snob, who hid my bookmarks from her family, read the 50 series. (Full disclosure: besides writing suspense, I write ERom under a pseudonym.) The success of the series has made erotica acceptable to many who would have otherwise turned up their noses. I haven't read them, so I can't comment on what they offer a reader. My cuz did defend them, however. Shocker.

NCmountainwoman said...

I loved the reviews! I often find books that were highly praised but I didn't really care much for them. Such was THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG. Not a bad book and I can understand how some people might find it amazing. (It's one of those books that seems a bit better on reflection than it did while reading it.)

I don't think that would be the case with SHADES OF GREY. I just don't get it.

Susan T said...

I'm generally wary of "blockbusters" but thought I was the only outsider. Thanks, Vicki for opening up a new avenue for laughs............the Amazon reviews. Not only were the 50 shades reactions specific, but were so very funny!

Jeannette StG said...

Hopped over from FB -I'm mesmerized at your third photo -it looks like a painting to me (what else!:) )
As for your discussion about books -erotica is so boring to me -one paragraph of it and I'll think of a thousand other things to do!

katy gilmore said...

The manager of our Farmers' Market just emailed his weekly newsletter and titled it "Fifty Shades of Gray" - referring of course to our Northwestern "Junuary" which is anything but hot. We could use a little heat - probably Fifty Shades, the book, very popular here! I'll have to ask my librarian friend. Katy
And Ellen Degeneres was the best- Thanks Novice Naturalist for that!

Vicki Lane said...

Finally got time to watch the YouTube of Ellen reading 50 Shades.
Pretty terrific! Thanks, Novice Naturalist!

Re the flowers -- my DIL said on FB that she liked my not so subtle pics of the flowers exposing their reproductive parts as illustrations for this post.

Christine said...

Don't think I'll be reading Shades of Grey; I'm not a fan of erotica. Guess I'm just old fashioned and like to leave some things to the imagination.