Monday, March 28, 2016

Throwing Shade

Instead of reading semierotic thrillers like "Fifty Shades of Grey" late at night, I like to listen to a radio news show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. called "As It Happens."

That is a great name for a radio show, as it happens. And it was there that I heard the story about a charity shop in Swansea, Wales, that has asked people to stop dropping off copies of that pageturner potboiler "Fifty Shades of Grey" because they just have too doggone least 50 times too many, you might say.

The book came out in 2011 and was the first in a trilogy involving a young woman named Anastasia Steele (there's a fakey name if I ever heard one) and hard-driven young business dude Earl Christian Grey.  The writer, one Erika Mitchell, who churns out this turgid prose under the nom de porn E.L. James, realized early that hardcore porn written with the same sensibility as Penthouse Letters will always sell if you dress up the tawdry prurience in a nicely tailored suit.  There are lengthy sections in the book involving S&M, B&D, BDSM, and AAA, when the car breaks down.

The book sold 125 million copies in 52 languages, one of which was English, sad to say.  The entire Grey series has now sold more copies than the Harry Potter series, although the flying broomstick has demanded a recount.  It is estimated that only about 275,000 of those Grey books were actually read.  The rest were only thumbed through, you should pardon the expression, for the "good parts."

The inevitable movie came out in 2015 and had no "good parts." Don Johnson's daughter played the female lead, and one Jamie Dornan was Grey and then he became Invisible.

The books have piled up so deeply in the Oxfam Shop in Swansea, Wales that the staff has built a little house out of just a fraction of the inventory of "FSOG" books that people once ran to the bookstore panting to buy.

So they have asked the public to stop dropping off the books, but the manager of the shop says she has heard from a man who wishes to build a wall using the books as bricks, since they are all the same size.  But this might just be some crazy plan, because the man insists that he will get Mexico to pay for this wall.

***************************************************************** Please let me once again ask that Baltimoreans donate what funds they can to the Book Thing of Baltimore, which recently suffered a devastating fire.  Info on their website: This is the amazing FREE book exchange where you can drop by and walk away with an education...but they need money to help rebuild. And you have money to spare...maybe just a little? 

No comments: