I'll confess: I haven't gone near the 50 Shades of Grey books. It's not that I don't love a trashy read - au contraire, mon fraire. I usually just wait for the mass-pop books to morph into movie franchises. Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.
So it wasn't till a friend texted me photographed pages of 50 Shades that my brain stuttered in horror. No, it wasn't the filthy, deviant sex. It was the horrific sentence construction, the bland word choice and cliche of a plot.
Ergo: if you want a sleazy read but prefer something well-written, try one of these. It's not a definitive list, just something to wet your beak.
1. Hotel Iris - This is the bondage book you really ought to be reading. Penned by Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa, it's the story of a relationship between an underage girl and a cantankerous translator in a Japanese shore town. An ending like a torn shirt in a rain storm.
2. Myra Breckenridge - Gore Vidal's gender-bending sex romp that conservatives hailed as utter pornography. Considered by some as dirty as our next choice, which you may have heard of . . .
3. Lolita - Sex by one of the Russian Greats, Vladimir Nabokov. Has something so wrong ever been so right?
4. A Sport and a Pastime - Set in France, James Salter's slim novel documents an affair between an American student and one of the locals. Or does it? The most sensual book I've ever read.
5. Lady Chatterly's Lover - The original 20th century sex manifesto and primal scream against societal norms by D.H. Lawrence. I'll say no more.