Fifty Shades of Grey – not the first and won’t be the last

I went away with girlfriends last weekend. There were eight of us. Like most girls weekends, it included lots of sitting around chatting, eating chocolate, flicking through trashy mags and a spot of shopping.

I spent my reading time alternating between John Irving’s In One Person and New Weekly’s coverage of Matthew McConaughey’s recent wedding (*insert gratuitous shots of Matthew here*).

So, what were my friends reading? Brace yourselves. Of the eight women there, FIVE were reading Fifty Shades of Grey or one of the sequels. Five! Of those five, four were loving it.

I’ve said my piece on Fifty Shades and I won’t be wasting any precious reading time on the sequels but it did prompt me to think about the appeal of these books. They’re not romantic but I guess they may be titillating for some. Though I reckon if you want a bit of raunch, you can’t go past some vintage Shirley Conran or Judith Krantz.

I came across an article in The Guardian a few weeks ago – Erotica: better reads than Fifty Shades of Grey – and it reminded me of those juicy retro reads (especially Conran and Krantz – eye-openers when I was in my late teens!). And of course Judy Blume’s Forever – I fondly recall standing in Angus & Robertson after school with a girlfriend, giggling over the ‘Ralph bits’… And being mortified when a shop assistant told us that if we wanted to read the book, we had to buy it!

Shirley Conran’s Lace has just been reissued – I say ditch Fifty Shades and go retro because who could forget the simple literary genius of “Which one of you bitches is my mother?”

shirley conran lace

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