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'Fifty Shades' brings grey to top of French bestseller list

AFP  Paris, October 26, 2012
First Published: 12:55 IST(26/10/2012) | Last Updated: 13:22 IST(26/10/2012)

The French translation of the sado-masochistic romance "Fifty Shades of Grey" has shot to the top of the bestseller list, shifting 100,000 copies in just a few days despite getting abysmal reviews.

The book, already a literary phenomenon with 40 million copies sold worldwide, has in the first five days since its October 17 release in France scored the highest sales since the last instalment of the Harry Potter series.

By comparison, Potter author J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults, "A Casual Vacancy", took three weeks to reach 100,000 sales and is currently fourth on the top 20 list, the French weekly Livres-Hebdo reported Thursday.

The "mommy porn" book's success comes despite devastating criticism from France's literary establishment.

"The book is as close to literature as Whiskas cat food is to gastronomy," L'Express magazine wrote, while the French edition of Cosmopolitan magazine called it, "insipid" and "dull".

The novel by British author E.L. James, which follows the relationship of college graduate Anastasia Steele and business magnate Christian Grey, was first published in 2011.

The two other books in the trilogy, "Fifty Shades Darker", and "Fifty Shades Freed", will be released in France early next year.

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