Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fifty Shades of Smut

Don't know what to get Mom for Mother's Day?

Well, here it is folks. My inevitable post about Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I had thought about reading the book first before blogging about it, but I just can't wait. I also don't think I could make it through the whole thing without stabbing a pencil into my eye.

Those at The Bookstore know that I have a knack for finding ridiculously smutty romance novels and holding my own storytime for my fellow booksellers. (I read aloud the back cover and if its really good - a random page.) This book I didn't have to seek out hidden among the stacks. I knew it was coming because it has caused such a media frenzy. In the weeks leading up to its publication in physical book form, women (and men) were asking everyday, "Do you have that Fifty Shades of Grey book?" Now, we have always had smutty and erotic romance novels in stock. What makes this book so special that it garnered such media attention? So it's about BDSM - there's nothing new about that! (Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy anyone?) Is it because it started out as a Twilight fanfic?


Let's examine that little fun factoid, shall we? It was a Twilight fan fiction...names and some other details were changed for obvious legal reasons, but this was Bella/Edward kink! I blame the Twilight Moms. Okay, I don't know if they really are to blame, but I need to pin it on someone and they are as good a scapegoat as any. Sorry, Twihards, but that pretty much ruined it for me. I was curious about this smutty book that was gaining such popularity, but then I learned the ugly, ugly truth. (I feel obliged at this point to toss in a "Harry Potter Rules!!'") There's nothing wrong with fan fiction, mind you. I'm just not a fan of Twilight fan fiction. There are loads of well-written fan fiction out there, you just have to wade through all the crappy ones to get to them.

Grandma is ready for her book club meeting!

So who's buying this book? It's being labeled "mommy porn" which just conjures up visions of Stifler's mom. Women of all ages are coming in for this book. Old ladies are giggling over it for crying out loud. There are book clubs discussing it. Old men are coming in for it. (Remember my buddy and his escapades?) I like the customers who try to hide it at the register between other books. "Oh, how did that get there?" We will see it because we have to scan it and yes, you are being silently judged by the cashier.

As stated, I have not read the book, but from the bits here and there that I have read, I don't think it is well-written at all. Dialogue is repetitive and the one sex scene I did read could have been written by a 12-year-old. "Oh, baby." "Geez..." "Holy shit." Who the fuck says "geez" in the middle of an erotic scene? Sorry...moving on. Here are some links to two reviews, one positive ( ) and one negative ( I give the author props for getting her work published, regardless of how I feel about the material. She has a book out, I don't. It's like when you're at a concert and the opening band is crap. Say what you want, but that shitty band just opened for Megadeth...where's my band? If you want to read it, go ahead and buy it. I'm a bookseller by profession and I will be the last one to stop you, but I also won't blame you if you return it. ;-)

I will conclude by talking about two other smutty works that I have read simply because the plot was too ridiculous to pass up. In other words, they were read for shits and giggles. (I love that phrase, don't you?)

"Welcome to the world of the Harvester—a warrior bound to take virginity, but never pleasure—and the servant who exists to prepare him for his role. For them, sex equals duty. Until the rules fall aside...and pleasure takes over. . ."
Forgive my crassness. His name is Chur and his sole purpose is to pop your daughter's cherry. It's a big festival and young girls are lined up before him all dressed up for the occasion. Then he's in, he's out, and you get on with your life. There's lot of sex and Chur eventually finds romance. From what I've read of Fifty Shades, this is better written. This saucy book was given to a new home by way of a Secret Santa present.

"She was to be the filling in a Wizard Sandwich. For a millennia, the Covenani Sorceresses of planet Sentmar have been separated from the Cauldaran Wizards, their natural mates. Deceit and blood have forced a reunion; destiny and passion have forced a bond. Brianna, youngest of the Princesses of Covenani, will be a consort to two handsome, virile Wizards. Will the union be forged in desire and love, or will she deny the union, as well as the two men who are bound to her, hearts and souls?"

"She was to be the filling in a Wizard Sandwich." Best. Tagline. Ever. By the grace of Aphrodite, this literary masterpiece ended up in our clearance bin and it was a no brainer. The writing in Wicked Harvest was better and there was a lot more sex in that one. I mean, by the gods, the wizard sandwich didn't even occur until Chapter 14!! I didn't even finish the whole book. Still.....Best. Tagline. Ever.  


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Everything's Coming up Zombies!


Let's face it...zombies are everywhere now. Not literally everywhere, mind you, because that would mean the zombie apocalypse is upon us and I don't have nearly enough ammo...yet. Zombies have been around a while, like vampires and werewolves, but they've seen an increase in popularity in the last couple years. Books, tv shows, movies, and video games....zombies are getting into everything.

 Somehow at The Bookstore, I've become the go-to gal for zombie paraphernalia. I really need to put up my zombie display again, now that I think about it. People come in and ask "Where are your zombie books?" Sadly, we do not have a zombie section. They are scattered all over, but I can point most of them out to you.

This book, in my opinion, really got the zombie lit genre going - The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. I remember when this book first came out I kept it at the register with me and tried to sell it to every customer. I sold all the ones we had. Of course, when I told them that he is Mel Brooks' son it helped. It's in his blood, people! On a side note, I am still upset that the day he just walks into the store and signs all his books, I am not working!!

I'm not sure why I prefer zombies over vampires and other "movie monsters". Think of how terrible it would be to see your dead loved ones as mindless, flesh eating, zombies. I'll be honest with you, I've had nightmares about such things. They are just morbidly fascinating.

I'll leave you with the latest zombie trend....adding zombies to anything and everything. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson are two of my personal favorites. So how about classic movies???

Titanic: The Ship of Zombies

The Zombie of Oz

Casablanca: The Zombie Collector's Edition

Now, go watch The Walking Dead!!!