Jilly Cooper slams 50 Shades of Grey as ludicrous porn

'How can ANYONE fancy Christian Grey' Jilly Cooper slams Fifty Shades as ludicrous porn – and says its protagonist is a 'terrible, terribly silly man with long index fingers'

|

UPDATED:

15:00 GMT, 23 August 2012

There is no denying that EL James is making waves in the literary world. But veteran romance novelist Jilly Cooper asks women with a certain class to take stock.

This is not writing, she claims. Porn may be a novelty for many modern women, many of whom might be experiencing their first orgasm reading the racy Fifty Shades trilogy.

But it can not compare to the lasting intrigue of our greatest storytellers, like Tennyson, Malory and Shakespeare – or, indeed, to the works from authors of bonkbusters from a bygone era.

E. L. James promotes

Jilly Cooper

Divided: Their page-turners were published almost fifty years apart, but are the boundaries that they were breaking really so different Jilly seems to think so…

Jilly looks back to the days of the
first bonkbusters, starting in 1966 with Valley of the Dolls by
Jacqueline Susann – almost half a century ago now.

Reflecting on the passage of time, Jilly recalls in an interview with The Times the romantic slang of the past, such as 'poke' from her mother's era, replaced by 'screw' in the 1980s, moving via 'bonk' to today's 'sh*g'.

Back in the day of bonkbusters, Jilly and her cronies Jackie Collins and Penny Vincenzi relished in storytelling, she says.

Television Programme: Riders Jilly Cooper's Riders television programme

Book cover of Jilly Cooper's novel 'Riders'

Breaking boundaries: Author Jilly Cooper looks back to her bonkbuster heyday. Picture here is the front cover of her bestseller Riders (right) and an image from the saucy Rider television programme

Jilly says that a massive amount of
research that goes into writing a bonkbuster – and that there is less sex in it
that you would imagine.

Know the Score! Does Jilly Cooper see E L James as her current day Rival

Know the Score! Does Jilly Cooper see E L James as her current day Rival

'My
books are usually about one fiftieth actual sex scenes, if that. But
Christian Grey is at it most of the time, isn't he,' she asks in the
Times, adding that all he seems to do in the books is tie women up and never do any work.

'I can't see how anyone would fancy him,' she says.

Jilly says that in her opinion, Fifty Shades protagonist Christian, a mercurial billionaire with a penchant for punishing his girlfriends, is a 'terrible, terribly silly man, with his “long index fingers”.

'To me he's a joke,' she says. 'But then again, I'm old.'

Jilly languishes in the memory of her
blockbuster classics, Riders and Rivals.

She mentions the character
Lizzie in Rivals, who became 'absolutely transfixed' by the tidiness of
the airing cupboard of the married man she was illicitly becoming
involved with – an innocent musing when compared with the 'porn' penned
by EL James, it seems.

'Lots
of women are coming out and saying how liberating reading Fifty Shades
of Grey is, but I'm not sure what they mean,' says Jilly. 'I don't think
there is anything very liberating about being bashed around by Christian
Grey.'

Jilly even puts down
the success of EL James to her graphic and basic writing.

'Porn is
obviously a turn-on for these women who are suddenly reading it for the
first time and finding themselves sexually aroused.'

One thing is coming into focus. Our revered romantic novelist may have found in EL James a current day contender for her creative pursuits.

Could the title of her international bestseller (above, right) describe how she sees her relationship with Ms James

Perhaps
only time will tell whether the values of the 70s and 80s will
prevail or the new genre brought to us by E L James will continue to
reign.