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Inspiring Insomnia

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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013
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Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker - E.L. James "You are a pervert."
"I know." He raises his eyebrows and his grin broadens.
"My pervert," I whisper.
"Yes, yours."

This is actual dialogue between Ana and Christian, the narrator and her billionaire boyfriend. These books have conflicted me. The dialogue, plot contrivances, and most of the characters are completely ridiculous. And yet, for reasons I don't fully understand, I am on book three of the trilogy. I guess I want to see what happens with these characters, even though every page makes me cringe and/or laugh. Starting with Christian, the billionaire...who is also incredibly hot...with an insatiable sexual appetite...and he pilots his own helicopter...and he's a philanthropist...and a concert-level pianist...and an expert dancer...and of course, he's completely head over heels in love with Ana. I am fully expecting that he will find a cure for cancer by the end of the third book.

Fifty Shades Darker introduces a new character who is a sexually harassing villain. He serves no other purpose in this book than to attempt to abuse Ana. We all know sexual harassment exists in the workplace, but E L James beats us over the head with it. The harasser is SO over the top, and it's stated that he's a habitual offender; it's hard to imagine he could exist and prosper in a real world workplace. But then, men like Christian don't exist either, so at least James is consistent.

On a side note, the most shocking part of this trilogy's success is that the movie rights just sold for $4 million. I will be very interested to see how these books could be turned into a successful movie franchise. I don't envy the screenwriter who, no doubt, will need to rewrite every word of dialogue.

All this said, congrats to E L James who has made a ton of money from a bad series of books and who has gotten me to read all three, despite myself.

Laters, baby.