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Fifty Shades of Dreck or Homage to a Psychopath

The bestselling Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James (pen name of British authoress Erika Mitchell), which includes the books Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Free became the latest fad in the shabby genre of lowbrow female fiction. Unlike its earlier specimens like Twilight, the novels of E.L. James stood out for its celebration of sexual deviance, which did not prevent it from becoming a beloved, if embarrassing obsession of millions of grown women, becoming known by the nauseating term "mommy porn".

At the center of these pornographic novels, the first of which was recently made into a movie is a relationship between a college student named Anastasia "Ana" Steele and young billionaire Christian Grey, a psychopath suffering from sexual sadism disorder. Grey manipulates and browbeats the previously innocent Steele into becoming the object of his deviant inclinations.

In purely literary terms, E.L. James' trilogy is so poorly written that in the words of Salman Rushdie, "It made Twilight look like War and Peace" while the movie is a boring softcore porn flick that decades ago would never been shown in mainstream theaters. Christian Grey, the object of prurient obsession of Middle American housewives comes across as a preening, menacing, and controlling psycho who belongs in either an insane asylum or a maximum security facility for dangerous sex offenders.

I considered including some excerpts in the book in this article, but they were too nauseating even for the most mature audience. After spending the last several years of my life representing people accused of crimes of various degrees of severity, I can say that even the most vile sociopath I have encountered is no match for Christian Grey. 

The fact that both the books and the movie are accepted as legitimate literature and entertainment speaks volumes about the taste and proclivities of today's Western women. And the things to come will only be worse: more deviant and more nauseating. I would not be surprised if in the coming decade, books celebrating bestiality will become widely read bestsellers.

Eugene Girin

Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.

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