My inner goddess was doing the merengue
Posted April 23, 2012on:
I took a week off from the tough business of writing explicit sex stories last week and went to the London Book Fair. I was hoping to forget about sex completely and meet a suave, European intellectual who could talk to me about concertina folds, bump exposure and blind embossing. Instead I was handed a free copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Naturally I started reading it as soon as I got home. Not at the beginning, of course. I’m far too impatient for that. I wanted the sex.
It didn’t take me long to discover that the book was a page-turner.
Disturbed by the wails coming from my room, my flat-mate, Nora, banged on the door and burst in. “What’s wrong?” she demanded.
“Holy cow!” I cried. “Take this book away from me, please!”
“Is it that bad?”
“No, it’s that good! I can’t waste time with this shit, I’ve got my own shit to write.”
That was six days ago. Tonight Nora came into the kitchen. “I’ve finished that book,” she said breezily.
“Yes. I’ve never read a book so quick in my life!” (Nora is a slow reader.)
“And? What’s your opinion? It was crap, wasn’t it?”
“No, actually it was quite good.”
“You enjoyed it?” (Incomprehension.)
“Well, the BDSM stuff was a turn-off. I just like normal sex. But the normal sex was not bad, actually.”
“Tell me more. I promised Random House I’d write a review.”
“Well, there is nothing new in this novel, but it brings together many things from elsewhere that I think readers want. I’m a reader, after all. I’m not a writer. So, as a reader I have to say it’s not bad. I mean, many women, I would say, have the fantasy that a handsome man, a rich man, quite a clever man, actually, falls in love with her and pursues her. It may be unrealistic, but it’s a common fantasy, and, well, my first boyfriend was handsome but it didn’t work out with him and my next one — “
“Yes, yes, people don’t want to hear about your love life, Nora. Stick to the novel. Was it a good plot?”
“Yes. I thought the story was very well done.”
“Would you read the next one?”
“There are three!” I told her. “Would you read number two in the series?”
Her eyes lit up disconcertingly. “Yes, probably.”
“You would?” [Disbelief.]
“Yes, why not?”
“How many stars would you give it?”
“For Goodreads. How many stars out of five?”
“Oh, four at least.”
“Really? Not three?”
“Oh no! Four.”
“No, it wasn’t that good! Four.”
“Phew, but my books get five, don’t they?”
“Oh yes, she can’t write as well as you.”
Thank goodness for that! My inner goddess was doing the merengue with a zumba shimmy.