Book-Burning By Radio Show Host Alan Cox Draws Crowd

"Fifty Shades of Grey" reduced to ashes by WMMS host. Take our poll and tell us what you think.

OUTSIDE CLEVELAND, OH -- Fifty Shades of Grey was fifty shades of charred Wednesday night as a popular local radio host held a book-burning party for the best-selling novel.

More than 100 fans showed up to  in Westlake to watch WMMS show hosts Alan Cox and Chad Zumock set fire to the books, which were brought by fans who had read the erotic novel and didn't like it.

One woman even brought her Nook to be destroyed. Cox first tried to smash it on the side of the grill on Panini's patio, then gave up and tossed it in the fire.

Check out the video for Cox's take on the night, and why he did it.

Brian Hamblen, general manager of the Westlake Panini's, said the weekly post-show parties for the Alan Cox Show always bring a good crowd, but he was surprised by how many came out for the event.

"This is our first book-burning, so I wasn't sure how people would take it," he said.

An empty grill for the book-burning was set up in the sand of Panini's new beach volleyball courts, which will open in August. Leagues are being formed at Hermes Sports Cleveland, Hamblen said.

One of the common complaints from male listeners, said Zumock, is that women get so obsessed with the books in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy that they're neglecting their men.

The books, by British author E.L. James, had their defenders in the crowd. Molly Dalton of Westlake used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

She and her sister, Amy, of Avon, are both fans of the trilogy. Their seventysomething mom and their aunts are also into the books, they added.

"Guys don't understand what it's about," Molly said. "For years, they had catalogs, and Playboy. This is something for us women."

Amy said she connected with the character Anastasia Steele.

"She's so young and naive, and she's thrown into this new world that freaks her out," Amy said. "And she finds herself enjoying it, loving it."

Christy July 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I agree with you Jack!
Nicole July 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I think burning any book, is just foolish. I do think it is importaint however, to consider what books of this kind can do to relationships. This book sets up men to fail. This book is about a dysfunctional relationship and is about contolling and abuse as much is it is about sexual fantasy and fulfillment. The relationship in this novel is just not healthy.This is female porn. From my past experience, I believe men and women should toss out all porn, and spend time connecting sexually with a real person, one you love. Some fantasy, is just plain unproductive and not conducive to healthy relationships. Not many women can live up to the pornographic sexualization of women from pornorgraphy, just as real men, cannot live up to Mr. Gray.
Jessica July 19, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Alan Cox lost some respect from me after this stunt. Books should never be burned. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you should destroy it. I thought he was actually an intelligent man and wouldn't do something so foolish, but I guess ratings are ratings. That's as bad as Sarah Palin trying to ban certain books she didn't like from the library.
C. Minot July 19, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Men could and then the woman would write him off as a pervert. I haven't read the book so I apolgize for the following question. I really, really hate to ask this but is this another case of women going for the "bad boy?"
kip July 19, 2012 at 06:37 PM
why not read something worthwhile for once and turn some of that narcissistic energy outwards. i have a suggestion "life and fate" by vasily grossman and compare the universes where ideas mean something and not pathetic little twaddlle that should be embarrasing for preteens to be giggling about.
jim July 19, 2012 at 06:54 PM
luisa c rodriguez July 19, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Read the books and loved the story. I was expecting more sex. Harlequin books have more sex and are more discriptive. As a book lover (don't own a reader and doubt I will ever have one) I find burning books offensive. Agree with Jessica.
MARY P July 19, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Geez....it' just a story! Why people get bent out of shape is beyond me! Maybe the effort to burn and/or ban should be concentrated more on the criminal elements in real life instead of the stories of one woman's fantasies!
Jaguar6 July 19, 2012 at 07:55 PM
That book was hot.
Mike Rath July 19, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I read it, thought it was a little repetitive and on the tame side. I stopped @ Book 1 because my wife said the next 2 books weren't that much better.. That these hooples are regressing to book burning is ridiculous..This says an awful lot about the right wing mind set..
Mike Rath July 19, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Living a sheltered life does not put you in a position to determine what the "population neglects to see or acknowledge". These kinds of relationships are by and large reciprocal.. When they aren't, they usually wind up in the court room.. If the "many" victims in the "real world" are taking offense they need not be in the situation in the first place. Show me the part that says she was a prisoner and could not extricate herself @ any time.. Your limited experience does not qualify you to speak for all the women out there..
Jaguar6 July 19, 2012 at 08:35 PM
NOT SO. The Fifty Shades books were burned to show solidarity with liberal, progressive, feminist and gender studies proponents, who felt that the story line was objectifying and demeaning to women. The burning was an acceptable example of liberal tolerance for things that are not determined to be PC.
James Wilson July 19, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Idiots! I will defend their right to do this, however I still think the act of book burning is stupid. The article mentions that one person burned her "Nook." With children in America going hungry they could have sold these books and Nook and fed a few kids.
Mike Rath July 19, 2012 at 08:44 PM
You, my friend, are so far out of the loop, I won't entertain discourse with you..
Mary July 19, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Mary July 19, 2012 at 09:07 PM
LOL, I read it three times. It's a great love story and really can spice things up. :)
Jessica July 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Um, they actually did it more for "something to do" and to get people up in arms a bit. You could call and ask yourself. I purposefully put the show on today to hear what they said about it and no one even brought a book. They had to go out themselves and run to Target and BUY books to burn. The only person who brought anything was the person with the already broken Nook. In total they burned 6 books, all which they purchased. I personally just don't like the idea of burning books. I won't even throw out old text books because it just seems wrong. It had nothing to do with anyone's "agenda."
GetReal 34613 July 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Absolutely! The stunt was silly. What of the surface level message that it is okay to burn a book due to a person's dislike....Come on folks, all surveys show are 'next generation' is not all that bright .....
Michael Cleveland July 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Never heard of the book or the radio host, but very irritating when the story writer fails to define acronyms. What the h*** is WMMS? Why would you assume everyone will know?
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! July 19, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Glad I'm not the only one holding on to old textbooks!
Debbie July 20, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Our country was built on "freedoms", making a choice to read what you want is one of those "freedoms". Maybe the books should have been "over 18 only", but I still think that many "under 18" would find a way to read them. Sometimes people are really stupid and go around with their blinders on. Once you go against something it only makes it more popular. These book burners have only succeeded in making others want to know what the fuss is about. IMHO the Harlequin books are crap, poorly written and you read one and you have read them all. At least the Grey series was a story and not just sex. This is coming from a right winger.
Mary July 20, 2012 at 12:21 AM
WMMS used to be a hard rock station in Cleveland. I haven't lived there since 1997 so I'm not sure what their format is now.
Mindy Davis July 20, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I can almost guarantee that Alan Cox hasn't picked up a book of any kind in about 20 years. This is just mindless "performance art" to draw attention to his lackluster radio show. Nobody listens to him. His ratings are in the crapper. Despirate times....
Emily Jones July 20, 2012 at 02:14 AM
I've never read the book, but book burnings are just wrong. I mean, so what if this guy doesn't like the books? A lot of people do, and we should all respect each other's opinions, except when it's a silly stunt like this. The klan burned a lot of books, so did hitler...I thought that society was better than that.
Lisette July 20, 2012 at 02:40 AM
The trilogy was yummy and it made my husband extremely happy! Enough said! Boom!
Andrew Polcyn July 20, 2012 at 09:50 AM
When I saw who was behind this, let me just say, it didn't surprise me. The Alan Cox show is nothing more than a blatant wannabe Opie and Anthony. And for the criticism that 50 Shades has been given, I think I'll rent it in the near future.
I.M. Wright July 20, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Book burning? So, they're relegating to getting show material from "Footloose", eh? The only thing missing was John Lithgow running up and telling them to stop.
Fluffoo July 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Being in California, I've never heard of Alan Cox but any radio person that would resort to book burning must be some sort of idiot. I wonder if he's even read the book? I think many non-readers automatically think it's all about S/M and while there's some of that in the book, the majority of it is just hot sex (or maybe it's just my lack of, but I thought even the "vanilla" stuff was pretty damn good). I've been single and cellibate for almost two years and with my past male relationships unable to communicate their thoughts and desires, to have Mr Grey able to admit he has no clues as to what he's emotionally ready for...well, that was my porn.
TM July 20, 2012 at 04:01 PM
The books are not meant to be serious fiction. It's a good, light, mindless summer read. I enjoyed all 3 of the books. For years mn have been reading the "articles" in Playboy, Hustler, and OUI magazine and nobody said boo about it. Now women have something they can read for some mindless entertainment and the books have to be burned!?! Give me a break! Are our men in todays society that fearful? Really???
jen Melo July 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Jen I was in a relationship simular to this book and its degrading. To know that women nation wide have fallen in love with it makes me feel uneasy and I have to agree with Susan in that it is unhealthy and controlling. To be in love with a Narcassist is truely living in a abusive relationship because it all has to do with being in control and having power over you. And as for what Mike said about the fictional characternot wanting to leaving the relationship, may I just remind him that this is a "fictional" book and if we all could see the true outcome of a relationship like this we wouldn't be praising this book. A person like this will win you over with his charm and attention but once he has you in his "power" he can destroy who you are and you will depend on him for everything. The abuse goes hand in hand and to get out of a relationship like this can become extremely difficult because the love you have for that person you are always hoping and praying that they will change someday! This is not a true love story in reality. Its disfunctional


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