Not too many authors in our genre get their works read out by Charles Dance or feature in major UK supermarket's Christmas ads.
It was the perfect Christmas. The kids played with their toys while Gran read about butt plugs and anal beads.
I'm not going to rubbish E L James's work. There are far too many people doing that already. I am a bit baffled as to why it's being made into a movie, though.
It seems to me that the reasons why the books were so popular was because they were books. I'm clearly not the only person who likes my smut to be directly fed into my brain via the printed page.
Changing the books to films seems to be missing the point entirely. It's like remaking The Full Monty with female strippers or replacing the puppets in Avenue Q with human actors.
Although, obviously I appreciate that films with sex in them are jolly popular. What with arty films like Lars Von Triers Nymphomaniac at one end and at the other, films which contain nothing but sex. Porn films are very popular, I'm given to understand. They built a whole industry on it.
It's possible that Fifty Shades of Grey: The Motion Picture will work by concentrating less on the sex and more on the plot.This would be a terrible idea because while E L James is pretty good at writing sex scenes, her plots are rubbish.
It wasn't even necessary to have much a plot, really. Two people meet, fall in love, overcome emotional difficulties together. Boom. Sorted.
Except that for some reason, James felt it necessary to pepper the books with fight scenes, car chases, escaped mental patients and kidnapping attempts. This is especially true in the second book of the series, Fifty Shades Darker. James seems seems to think that every single scene should take place immediately after the last one so they all happen at an alarming breakneck speed. It's not quite '24' but early morning fleeing from gun-toting madwomen are sort of forgotten by mid-afternoon because three other unlikely plot points have occurred since then.
I have, for reasons of science, I have cobbled together a timeline to illustrate my point.
As you can see, it all starts off pretty quietly as Anastasia mopes about at the beginning of the book following her break-up with Christian Grey at the end of the last one. But by Friday our happy pair are back together and everything becomes a big ol' mishmash of sex, violence and vulgar displays of wealth.
I present to you, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fifty Shades Darker Infographic. Enjoy.
(Click on the image to see it in all it's mad technicolour glory)