Honestly - I wasn't. It seemed like one of those things that happened despite everyone's best efforts ( much like Rebecca Black, or the global financial recession) and I was really hoping that I could ignore for a while until it went away and stopped yelping at me, or at least until the initial fuss died down. However, 50 Shades Of Grey is cropping up more and more in my life every week. There are people on my Facebook timeline talking about it. There are people on my Twitter timeline talking about it. And, more seriously and much more worrying, I have seen people in real life reading it on public transport. I can no longer avoid it.
50 Shades Of Grey is, from what I can gather, a very basic concept. A naive but beautiful student called Anastasia Steele meets a wealthy young businessman called Christian Grey, and falls in bed/love while ignoring his abusive nature in favour of the fact that he's super chiselled and rich. It was originally based on the author's Twilight fanfiction, and the excerpts I have seen certainly read like total fangirling wank. Let me assure you, this is not Saramago, or Hemingway, or Bulgakov. This is not even in the realm of the most insane fanfic ever written, 'My Immortal'. I'm fairly sure I'd rather read Kafka's The Castle again than attempt to trudge through 50 Shades Of Vom but I will in the name of Doing Science. Also because sometimes even when I know something is so awful that it will give me nightmares if I look at it, I can't help but look anyway. I blame my otter curiosity.
I won't bore you by going over the many issues that I am sure others have already covered in detail (the amazing stupidity of the protagonist; the fact that although she was supposed to be a student, she didn't have an email address until he set her up with one; the fact that the purported BDSM apparently amounts to little more than a light spanking, some rope and a buttplug; and something that bothers me more than anything else - the continued mention of Ana's 'Inner Goddess' and the unusual physical things her Inner Goddess gets up to during various events which include gymnastics, dancing and ice skating for totally inexplicable reasons).
If I do get around to reading it, I will of course review it for your reading pleasure. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this beautiful, amazing video, which you do not need any prior knowledge to enjoy.