Thursday, June 28, 2012

Page turners, bodice rippers and brown paper bags.

blog 2012 

In recent weeks, I have relinquished my obsession with knitting just a smidge
and have been reading a bit more.

My bedside table pile of books to read
has grown into three in the past year
and I am keen to work through some of them.

I read Enduring Love (Ian McEwan),
because it was highly recommended by a telly book reviewer
and the accompanying oohing, aah-ing telly host.

I felt like I was wading through mud to get through it
and am now reluctant to pick up Atonement from the pile.
I do enjoy a lighter read these days.

Mind you, I then watched the movie
which was so, so ordinary
I can say that I actually preferred wading through the book.

I read My Sister's Keeper (Jodi Picoult),
because I have never read one of her books
and I am scared but fascinated by her storylines.
But was it just me or was it a cop-out at the end?
(And I have the movie recorded.
Should I bother?)

Now I am reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne),
because it is one of those books that it seems everyone has been reading.
I am nearly halfway through and want to sit up tonight till I finish it.
It is short and in larger print
and I am already moved by the story
and scared of what this little story holds in its pages.

I am also halfway through The Fifty Shades trilogy (E. L. James).
Oh, come on. 
Of course, I am.
Just like the majority of heterosexual women in the world.

blog 2012

I heard a little about it a few weeks back,
included "New York Times best seller"
(and I am a sucker for best sellers)
but, as I took the first book for reading on the plane last weekend,
I didn't realise that I'd find myself making sure that no-one could read over my shoulder.

Oh. My.

For those of you not familiar with it,
think of a 1980's "Mills and Boon" written for the new millenium.

Think "Mills and Boon" on steroids.

Heck, think "Mills and Boon", knickerless, lying on its back with its legs wantonly splayed, panting ...

Get the idea?

The first book is the fastest selling adult novel to ever sell one million copies in print
and has sold faster than the Harry Potter series in the UK.

I don't actually think that the books are very well written
but they are very, well, explicit
and very, well, titillating.

Never under estimate the purchasing power of women who like a bit of erotica
(or the number of partners encouraging it. Just ask Mr Boozle)

I am no prude
but if you come and look at the books on the top shelf of my bookshelf,
well away from the reach of anyone who can't reach to 3 metres 
or has a ladder handy,
you will find Lace by Shirley Conran
and  Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins.
Guilty pleasures from 20 years ago
but after reading Shades, the characters from those are almost chaste
and could earn a place running through that field with Laura Ingalls
in the opening credits of "Little House on the Prairie".

The Shades set may need to be buried under the house
because when my kids are actually legally old enough to read them 
and emotionally old enough to understand them,
hands over ears,
 la-la-la-la-la-la, not listening.
I don't want to know about it.

Of course, the movie rights have been snapped up already
which has me thinking.

Firstly, if the films are made true to the books,
the rating is going to mean that you are purchasing them
from your local adult book shop in a brown paper bag.
Forget the choc-top and the popcorn.

Will the movie version make Sharon Stone, 
still idolised by some for that undie-free scene in Basic Instinct,
 a has-been?


A fair whack of the books are basically having sex, talking about sex,
having sex, thinking about sex, dreaming about sex, having more sex,
fighting about sex, fighting about not having sex,
crying about having sex, crying about not having sex,
and then having even more sex.

If it is reigned in for anything less than an "R" rating,
the earth wont be moving for some people.

Things may well become a little...bland.
(Shall I say vanilla?
That's an in-joke for those who have read the books)

Secondly, the rumour mill is working overtime as to who should play
the unbelievably rich, unbelievably hot, unbelievably physically perfect Christian Grey.

As soon as the film is released,  many women's fantasy bubbles will burst- into the thin air of reality.
No-one who actually walks on this earth could live up to the character James has created.
(No, not even Johnny Depp)

This is the point of the fantasy, people.

When I put my hand up for Team Edward after reading the Twilight books,
I was not fantasizing about Robert Pattinson.

I certainly wasn't impressed when he got the role.
 OK, so a trillion squillion adolescent girls  (the target demographic)
were impressed and really, that is what counts in the movie industry.

But as soon as they put a real face to the ideal fantasy figure,
they ruin the fantasy.

This isn't about making a movie version of the Harry Potter books
where the computer generated special effects are so amazing
that you sit there with your mouth open.

There may be other reasons that a movie version of the Fifty Shades trilogy
might have you sitting there with your mouth open
but it will be interesting to see if that is because of casting choices,
the script writing, the classification
or because of what the lead characters just did in an elevator full of people.


Nikki said...

My goodness. I need to knit less, by the looks of things.

Tasha said...

hmmm maybe I shouldnt have abandoned my reading either!

Tin Can Daisy said...

I've never read a bodice're kind of making me think I'm missing out on something ;)

Anonymous said...

I haven't done alot of knitting or reading in the last few years - though I'm starting to get back into now that Finn is getting bigger and I'm getting more free time (and my brain is coming back to me).
I've seen the movie versions of the 'Boy in the Striped Pajamas' (heartbreaking) and 'Atonement' (meh - though Jude Law was worth the time) and I recently read a review in the SMH of the Fifty Shades trilogy so I'm not totally out of the loop though I am quite behind LOL (I bought a copy of The Bride Stripped Bare while down the Coast at the Opshop - that's supposed to be a bit racy. There was publicity about it everywhere when it first came out). My current read is a little tamer than yours - some Kate Grenville that I've been meaning to read forever,courtesy of Fraser Coast Library.
And finally, I came here to say that you won my pad giveaway so I need to know what you want and your address!

SewDevine said...

If you are still reading the "Boy in the Striped pyjamas" be ready to ball your eyes out and get quite depressed for a couple of days.

Make sure you have something around you to cheer you up.