By Dorothy Parker of the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries, by J.J. Murphy
When I heard that the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series of novels exceeded 10 million in sales last month, I was fit to be tied (although not in the same way as the books' female protagonist).
Is that what is selling today? "Mommy porn"? Don't get me wrong. I'm no prude. Many of my favorite words are the four-letter variety. And taking the occasional dip into the murky pool of cheap fiction is something we should all do once in a while. But should we condone this trash? Should we raise our voices against this lousy filth? Yes, we should. Not because it's filth, but because it is lousy.
Envious, you say? Me? The foie gras doesn't envy the hamburger, sweetie. (Even if the hamburger has "4 Billion Sold" and the foie gras sits untouched except by a stray fly or two). But I have nothing to be jealous about. The collected works of yours truly haven't gone out of print since first published nearly seven decades ago. (Take that, E.L. James!)
And now there's news of a film version of "Fifty Shades." Believe it or not, there's talk of a line of bedding, lingerie and perfume. Who says you can't make a living wage as a writer these days? Selling sex and lousy fiction has never been more profitable!
How do I know it's lousy? Have I even read it, you ask? Well, no. But I don't need to bite a rotten banana to know it'll make me sick.
Well, fine! I'll put my money where my mouth is. I have a copy right here. Let's see what this crock of grey is all about. Hmmm…Listen to this:
“All those forbidden, unfamiliar feelings that I have tried to deny surface and run amok through my drained body. I flush, and somewhere deep, deep down my muscles clench deliciously.”
Oh, this is trash, isn’t it? Let me just read a bit more…
“Kiss me damn it! I implore him, but I can’t move. I’m paralyzed with a strange, unfamiliar need, completely captivated by him…”
What purple prose. Let me read some more of this—only for laughs, of course... I’ll just go into my room for a little while. Um, why don’t you come back later?
Matter of fact, I’ll just see you tomorrow, OK?“My mouth pops open as I gasp and swallow at the same time. That has to be the sexiest thing anybody has ever said to me. My heartbeat spikes, and I think I’m panting. Jeez, I’m a quivering, moist mess, and he hasn’t even touched me.”
Dorothy Parker appears in MURDER YOUR DARLINGS, which was nominated for an Agatha Award in the Historical category. She also appears in YOU MIGHT AS WELL DIE, now available online and in bookstores. Coming January 2013: A FRIENDLY GAME OF MURDER.