Our book club


We had our book club last night and it was great. Our subject this time? Sex! Someone suggested the subject and of course we all said yes, why not.

Inevitably 50 Shades of Grey has been making the rounds and everyone said how awful it is, how badly written it is, and some read it all, even all 3 books, and others got to page 35 of the first one and said Enough!

Is it our age? Or what?

Today there is an article in the Guardian that might shed some light on the issue:
It says that “you need only look at 50 Shades of Grey: at 5.3m copies, it is the biggest-selling book since UK records began. More than one in five British women owns a copy. On the basis that people lend things, let's say 10 million women have read it, or almost half Britain's adult female population”.

And then “People make arch remarks about how they wouldn't mind all the sex, if only it weren't so atrociously written. In fact, it's not badly written (the sequels are awful), but that's not the point. The story here is not the book, but the number of women who bought the book.”

The article is really good and is all about women’s attitude to sex so well worth reading. Whether or not we all read the Shades of Grey book is another question altogether.

Meanwhile, we turned to the more intellectual members of the group who were ready with their kindles and extracts from Fanny Hill and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (popularly known as Fanny Hill) is an erotic novel by John Cleland first published in England in 1748 and is classic in being explicit without being at all explicit, in terms of the passages with sex in them. S read out a passage and it was a brilliant example of how to use language without saying what you want to say but conveying it anyway. Wonderful. Then we read a passage from Lady Chatterley, selected by R, a book that was written in 1928 by DH Lawrence, and banned - despite a private edition being published - until 1960 in the UK. The book was famous for the physical and emotional relationship between Lady Chatterley and her working class lover, its explicitness and use of words that hitherto had not been seen in print. I distinctly remember when it was published and how it arrived in our school library although I think that was some time after, along with a lot of other Penguin books, and how we found it and sniggered at all the dirty bits, as only adolescent girls could do.

Anyway, we talked about all these books and  also films like Hysteria, and even the book the Big O, and had a good laugh. We probably managed to talk more about books this time than usual but then that was definitely due to the subject matter. Meanwhile, we ate fabulous food provided by everyone there and drank wine and listened to the rain falling outside. It was really lovely and even better since I only live 300 metres from where we all were meeting. A really great evening, thanks girls!


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