A book review… of sorts

Seems like EVERYONE is blogging or FB posting or talking with their actual mouths about the 50 shades of Grey trilogy.  Even dear Bestie texted me again this morning to ask if I’d finished the book yet.

Nope, Peeps, I have not.  I’m still in the beginning, right after the bathtub b.j. scene.  Sigh.  Even the kinky bits aren’t keeping me interested.  I’ve read lots of books with kink.  Not sure I should be saying that with such pride.  But I digress…

What is bothering me about this book is that there are scenes that are directly copied from Twilight.  Entire scenarios are tweaked just so, but still recognizable as a scenario from Twilight.  I know the author began this story as fan fiction, so I knew to expect it.  I just didn’t know it would bother me so much.

I am not against fan fiction as a practice, as a writing exercise.  There are many instances where I have an idea for another author’s characters and I’m tempted to go there.  (OMG, especially TV characters.  Soap Opera characters to be most specific.  One day I’ll write about what happened next for Kendall & Zach)  But, I haven’t yet gone there.  And I certainly wouldn’t feel right getting such a piece of work published.  It would feel cheap and like I was fooling everyone, including myself.  I have my own stories inside me.  Those are the ones I OWN.  Anyway.  It’s not like EL James is the first person to do this.

I first encountered fan fiction a few years ago at the library.  I saw a slew of reworked classics. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre and Wuthering Bites were the two I decided to read.  Google it, Peeps, there are tons of them.  Even a Romeo & Juliet one.  Anyway, I loved the originals, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, of course.  The vampire twists were a little over the top.  But they were entertaining reads none the less.  Interestingly, even though I wondered how it was “allowed” to copy entire works from another author, it didn’t bother me as much as 50 Shades is bothering me.  Maybe because these authors were long dead and their intellectual property now belonged to the masses.  These originals were taught in classrooms all over the world, so, why not breathe new (preternatural) life into them?

So, I dunno, I’ll probably finish reading it.  I don’t have another book waiting for me yet.  (Well, I am also reading Writing Down the Bones- Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg)

The only book I’ve ever left unfinished was Becoming Madame Mao.  I still regret not finishing that.  So, yes, I’ll push on and finish 50 Shades of Grey.  I’ll let you know if my opinion of it changes by the end.



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