I vowed I wouldn’t, but now I am. I’ve started reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Love it or hate it, it is one of the best-selling books of all time, and as a writer, it benefits me to read it, for market research if nothing else.

Fifty Shades has received a lot of criticism for the quality of the writing. And it’s true that Toni Morrison isn’t losing any sleep, but it’s also a long way from being the worst writing I’ve ever encountered. Maybe with all the talk about how bad it is, it wasn’t too difficult to exceed my expectations. In any event, the writing itself didn’t stand out to me one way or the other.

The story, on the other hand … I don’t get it. I have no idea how this book became such a phenomenon. Are millions of women worldwide really fantasizing about subjugating themselves to a man? Are the naysayers of feminism right – do we all secretly want to have a man in charge? And call me crazy, but having to sign non-disclosure agreements and contracts before getting down to business is a real mood killer. That’s before reading the terms of the contract, where the man gains complete control over just about every aspect of the woman’s life for the duration of the relationship. Feeling sexy yet?

 Admittedly, I’m not very far into the book yet. Maybe it gets better. Maybe she changes him. I hope so. If not, I find this book’s popularity quite disturbing.