First of ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy grips Germany
BERLIN, July 21 — The first novel in the erotic trilogy series "Fifty Shades" has proved a smash hit in Germany, selling half a million copies in 11 days, publishers said Friday, despite mixed critical reviews.
The German-language version of the steamy best-seller by British author E.L. James has been flying off the shelves, with 500,000 copies of "Geheimes Verlangen", translated as "Secret Desires", sold since it appeared on July 9.
"The first print-run has gone. We're now printing more than a million new copies," a spokeswoman for the Goldmann publishing house based in the southern city of Munich told AFP.
"This is first and foremost a love story with an erotic element, so there is a large potential readership. Women are especially partial to love stories," the spokeswoman added.
The story of a 21-year-old English literature student and her sadistic billionaire lover has enjoyed huge success in the English-speaking world.
Print and ebook sales of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy in the United States broke the 20-million mark earlier this month.
Worldwide, the "Fifty Shades" books -- starting with "Fifty Shades of Grey" — have sold a total of 31 million copies in all English-language markets, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.
Hollywood is preparing a film version.
However, as in other countries, the critical reaction has not been universally positive.
"The only sado-masochistic experience consists in reading these 600 badly-written and deathly boring pages," wrote weekly Die Zeit.
Cultural magazine Cicero bemoaned the "almost obscene" interest in the novel, the first of the trilogy published in Germany.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily criticised the "subliminal advertising" for luxury cars, clothing brands or gadgets. — AFP-Relaxnews