Thursday, October 04, 2012

Book Review: "50 Shades of Grey" by E.L. James

My wife and I had heard so damned much about this book. It's been all over the news, on Facebook, and talked about amongst Amanda's friends too (even fellow church goers). So both of us were at least a little curious to read it. It was only ~$10 for the soft cover, so Amanda decided to give it a shot. She liked it pretty well, so I decided to climb into a woman's mind and learn a little more about how their most prominent sexual organ (their brain, or so I'm told anyway) works.

 The biggest problem that I had with it is that I found myself comparing our current sex life to that of the characters in the book. But the circumstances of our life aren't anywhere close to theirs. Limited financial resources aside, when we were dating we may have equaled (or even surpassed?) their passion, and even perhaps when we were first married. But once you enter kids into the equation, sex gets pushed way down on the priority ladder. Factor in work responsibilities, financial struggles, time and location limitations (especially due to kids), general life stress, maintaining your material possessions, getting stuck in "parenting" mode, and any number of other difficulties, and all of a sudden romance and sex takes a lot more effort. It's still great and fun and wonderful when it happens, but our emotional and physical circumstances can't even come close to the story that I'm letting myself become engrossed in.

 Maybe that's part of the allure with books like this though, letting your mind wander to alternate scenarios apart from your own reality.  I can certainly appreciate that, as I enjoy that aspect about any book/story I read.  So why not one that includes graphic sex scenes too?  The best that could come out of it will be that it helps inspire me to work harder to make intimate "moments" happen in my own real-life marriage.  The worst that could result is that Amanda and I will find ourselves increasingly frustrated with our own situation and get discouraged instead of inspired.

Well, the jury is still out regarding its affect on our marriage, but I admit that I did enjoy reading it, and I didn't find any obvious annoyances with the story itself or the writing style, like I'd heard about in some critiques of it.  I thought Mrs. James did a good job of creating a believable female main character, and I appreciated her (the character's) introspection and ability to analyze the relationship, her partner, and also his "unique" requests/desires. 

I don't think this book is for everyone, but I personally enjoyed it and so did my wife.  Now if only Ms. James would write another sequel that includes the challenges associated with marriage and family life.  When taking young kids and a puppy into consideration, perhaps it could be called Fifty Shades of Brown and Yellow. :-)

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