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"'Fifty Shades' Trilogy Makes A Splash, But Is It Breaking New Ground?"

on Thursday, 15 March 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

International Business Times

E.L. James' romantic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" -- the first book in a trilogy that includes "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed" -- has become a publishing sensation, but is the story really breaking new ground?

The story is about a virgin college student, Anastasia Steele, who meets the handsome and wealthy Christian Grey. The two engage in a complicated relationship that involves some pretty graphic carnal knowledge (think bondage, dominance, etc.).

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Romance genre experts are somewhat bemused to see "Fifty Shades of Grey" cause such a stir, as this type of story -- BDSM moments included -- has been done before.

"It's not reinventing the wheel," said Mala Bhattacharjee, the features editor of RT Book Reviews, a magazine devoted mainly to the romance genre.

Audrey Goodson, an associate editor at RT Book Reviews, read and reviewed the first book in James' trilogy. She said she "really enjoyed" it and gave it a thumbs-up.

That being said, she described the book as "pretty standard" for its type and pointed out that the plot (ie, young virgin meets really hot and rich dude) isn't exactly exclusive to the story, as readers can find variations of that same plot in many a romance novel.

"In a lot of ways it's a standard romance story with a lot of erotic elements," Goodson said. "It's kind of funny that it's caught on to the degree it has." ...

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