You’d think the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon would bypass Utah. But you’d be wrong.
The S&M romance trilogy by British author E.L. James is more popular than the hottest Danielle Steele bodice-ripper—and more controversial. It’s been in Amazon’s Top 100 for 40 days. And sales at sex shops in L.A. have spiked as women go in search of red room “tools.”
Meantime, Christian Grey, the stalkerish, dominating hero has sparked post-feminist treatises about how hard-working American women just want to be spanked at home and a predictable backlash.
While Hollywood likes to compare the book to the Twilight series (the author apparently based her main characters on Bella and Edward) for obvious money-making reasons, the books are not much like Stephanie Meyer’s save-it-for-marriage love story. And that’s probably enough to give many Utah readers reason to pause.
The King’s English in Salt Lake City’s 15th and 15th neighborhood has six books in stock and another four on special order. “It [appeals] to a different audience,” the clerk told me. “It’s not really our customer base.”
Despite the discreet cover featuring a silver tie, maybe that customer base still wants to read the book, but not OWN it: The waiting list for the first of the three books at the Salt Lake Public Library was pushing 80 last weekend. Fifty Shades is in even more demand at the Salt Lake County Library, where holds were climbing near 300.
At Blue Boutique in Sugar House, a clerk said a couple of women have come into the lingerie and novelty shop looking for toys. “One or two people have mentioned the book,” she said.