What’s Hot: 50 Shades of Whatever

Sometimes I just don’t feel like I have anything to blog about. I’m a little under the weather today, so I thought I’d just share a bit of what’s running through my mind, ok?

I was at my doctor’s office this morning, and a woman who was probably in her 60s was talking to the receptionist about the great book she’s reading, 50 Shades. So in my head I’m like, “Really?” and I said to her, “Oh, that book is making a big hoo ha in the publishing world right now.” She told me, “Well, all the book groups are reading it.” And I’m sure she knows, being a Great Neck Lady of a Certain Age. Then the receptionist went on to say how she’s reading The Hunger Games, but she’s not loving it and doesn’t see what the big fuss is  all about.

What’s wrong with a little S&M Romance in the book clubs? How come the middle aged receptionist dabbling in YA dystopian didn’t get it? Let me just say, first of all, that I love that people are talking about books everywhere I go. Of course, if “all the book groups are reading it,” I’m probably going to have to read 50 Shades of whatever just to see what the big deal is. As an agent it’s part of my job to stay abreast of what’s going on in publishing. But honestly, I’m not looking forward to it. Sorry, but I bust my S&M literature cherry on that Sleeping Beauty stuff Anne Rice wrote back in the 1980’s. I suppose it’s titillating, if you’ve never read anything like that, but what. ever. If I had more energy I could probably pull a feminist diatribe out of my ass about S&M “Romance,” and how of course the receptionist didn’t get the point of The Hunger Games, because it’s about the disempowered rising up against the man, it’s about culture gone completely plastic, it’s about a society (our society) inured to violence, and the televisionization of our lives. I wanted to shake the receptionist.  How could she not like it? Maybe she’s just shallow or something. And clearly the old bat reading 50 Shades needs to feel all bad and excited and adventurous. All the book groups do, you know.

Or maybe I’m just a blabbermouth know it all with a fever. Oh wait. Of course that’s it. The doctor sent me home and told me, “drink plenty of fluids and rest.” Ok. I guess my fever and I will just go lay on the couch. We’ll read.

So? What do you think?

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “What’s Hot: 50 Shades of Whatever

  1. Fiona

    I loved Hunger Games. I thought it was very interesting and action-packed. (Is it great literature? No, but neither is 99.9% of books.) I haven’t read Fifty Shades, but my friend read a couple of chapters and said the hero is creepy and controlling in a way that sounds very much like those date-rape 70s Harlequins (which I read avidly as a preteen, so go figure). Twilight was so badly written that I can’t imagine a take-off of that book.

  2. I tend to be the last person around to read bestsellers, so I may never get around to reading 50 Shades. Somebody told me the author was inspired by Twilight, which pretty much ruined it for me. Can’t wait to read Hunger Games though — as soon as my daughters are finished with it.

    Drink those fluids!

  3. There’s no accounting for taste. On the other hand, obviously there’s an audience for every kind of writer! I think The Hunger Games is brilliant and would love to lead a discussion about it with teenagers to hear what they have to say. Thanks for prompting me to that idea.

  4. I loved Hunger Games! Like you I’m nervous about 50 Shades but I’m also curious so I’ll probably read it.

  5. One of the things I love most about The Hunger Games is the commentary on today’s culture. I would imagine that someone who doesn’t “get it” is too steeped in that culture to see the bigger picture.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  6. Sarah

    So sad when someone doesn’t “get” The Hunger Games. We HAVE to get it.

    I hope you feel better, Linda. Sending you cyber-chicken soup.

  7. Sing it sister!! Hope you’re feeling better!

  8. Wendy

    I had to laugh as I read your blog post; sitting on the train, with 50 Shades of Gray, open innocently on my IPad, not a book cover or image to reveal what I’m reading. Book clubs are reading this? Well I DID find out about it from several girlfriends who said they couldn’t put it down. All I can say us that: It’s bad. Really bad- in an outrageous, super kinky, erepetitive, predictable, erotic, curious way. I’ll keep reading to see what the fuss is about, or until I get to my destination.
    Feel better Linda!

  9. joeynga

    I think you’re damn right! Just do feel better and get well and read when you feel like reading.

    But do listen to your doctor, and go get for less than 3 bucks from your local pharmacy some generic zinc gluconate melt-away tablets b/c they kick any cold or flu to the curb rather quickly. Fwiw, I’m in healthcare, and my patients bring in all types of books with them so I do a “what’s hot” gauge by talking to them about it.

    If the lady wants to get worked up reading 50 Shades then more power to her! If the receptionist doesn’t get THG, then we can be sure she won’t get ATLAS SHRUGGED either.

  10. I think you should follow your doctor’s advise. 🙂
    Be well.

  11. Steve McCann

    Let’s see, the current economy has delivered a major thumping to the younger generation. The unemployment rate is bad enough for adults, but it’s unbelievably bad for teenagers and recent college grads. Oh, and you want to go to college, do you? Well, that’s more expensive than ever and after you graduate, you will most likely be consigned to debt slavery (can’t declare bankruptcy on student loans) for decades. Is there really any mystery why a dystopian novel of a society abusing its young adults for the idle amusement of an elite group resonates with young people today?

    And as for Anne Rice, I can no longer read anything by her without laughing. Every time one of her heroines is overwrought with emotion, that heroine expresses it by running. Honestly, does anybody in real life do this? Maybe Anne Rice was a track athlete.

  12. I hope you feel better soon!

    I went to a plot workshop this past weekend and the insructor told us that on the flight there, she was sitting next to a man at least in his sixties, and he was reading The Hunger Games. I thought it was so darn cool!

  13. “If I had more energy I could probably pull a feminist diatribe out of my ass about S&M “Romance,'” –> That. And I don’t even have a fever.