"Why is this book, 50 Shades of Grey, so popular?"
March 15, 2012 1:17 PM Subscribe
posted by changeling (97 comments total)
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E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey
started out as Master of the Universe
, an adults-only Twilight
fanfiction posted under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon
. The erotica re-imagining of Bella Swan as a 21-year-old college student and Edward Cullen as a 27-year-old billionaire -- with BDSM tastes -- was published by Australia's Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing in May 2011; names and details linking it to Stephenie Meyer's bestselling trilogy were changed (...for the most part
). In recent months, the book has gone viral
, selling more than 250,000 copies (over 90% in ebook format) and landing the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. Last week, E.L. James sold republishing rights for the Fifty Shades
trilogy to Vintage Books in a seven-figure deal.
The book's fanfiction origins and BDSM lite themes are undoubtedly huge factors in the book's success. According to The New York Times
, the book has been called "mommy porn" and "Twilight for grown-ups". In Time Magazine
, Erika Christakis asks "Why is it news that women like sex?
offers some choice excerpts. In the New York Daily News
, Frank Santo claims "It's all porn to me
." Although book blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
disliked the book itself, "Since women's sexuality and reproductive health are under political attack here in the US of WTF, anything that supports a woman's right to satisfy her own sexual curiosity is all good with me."