I wasn’t ever going to post on Fifty Shades of Grey. I am well aware of the fact that there are already thousands upon thousands of opinions out there regarding this first novel in E.L. James’ erotic romance trilogy. These novels have been discussed ad nauseam, by everyone who doesn’t live under a rock. What I have to say about it is neither enlightening nor profound, and yet, I still can’t seem to keep my pie hole shut regardless.
Now I haven’t read FSOG in its entirety, because the writing is so atrocious that I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’d rather get a gynecological exam, or have my nipples clamped, or my clit whipped, or…well, you get the idea. I’ve been reading excerpts of it in blog posts penned by a hilarious writer who is critiquing the book chapter-by-chapter, and just from those horrid excerpts, I feel I’ve seen enough. If you want a good laugh, you should check out her blog: jenniferarmintrout.blogspot.com. You won’t be sorry.
“Lighten up!” the fans say to us haters. “It’s just a book.” Ah yes, but to writers it means so much more. It signifies a poorly-written piece of work unjustly catapulted to the top of the bestseller list. There are so many talented writers in the world who have been toiling away for years, and yet their words will never see the published page.
Most writers spend hours upon hours painstakingly choosing the right word to use, searching for a way to describe something that causes the reader to see it in a new light, mulling over phrases so as not to be cliché, and yet here is an author whose heroine “flushes” or “blushes” 125 times. Really, I’m not kidding. Certain repetitive phrases or words have been searched for on Kindle, and here are some of the things that came up:
The heroine bites her lip 35 times.
Characters raise their eyebrows 50 times.
The heroine says “Jeez” 81 times.
The heroine says “Oh my” 72 times.
Characters murmur 199 times.
Characters whisper 195 times.
There are 92 repetitions of the heroine saying some form of crap, from “Oh crap,” “Holy crap,” “Double crap,” and when she’s on a really good one, “Triple crap.”
Now, I’m not expecting Jane Austen or even Anaïs Nin here, but I expect a writer to have some standards, for God’s sake! Yes, I know FSOG was originally written as Twilight fanfic, a methadone of sorts for all the Twihards going through withdrawals. Yes, I know that even though this is the author’s first published novel, no one, including her publisher, felt the need to use the services of an editor. Yes, I know E. L. James’s inner goddess, subconscious, Id, ego, super-ego, clitoris, spleen, and what have you are all laughing their way to the bank.
Sadly, this leaves me with only one thing to say to the fans of Fifty: SHAME ON YOU!
Shame on you for praising a novel that reads like it was written by an over-sexed twelve-year-old.
Shame on you for glorifying an extremely jealous, possessive and controlling hero, who at times, is downright creepy. (For all you wives out there wishing your husbands were more like Christian Grey, get thee to a therapist and fast!)
Shame on you for buying into the fantasy that the only thing a broken man needs in order to be “fixed” is the love of a good woman. Anyone who has ever been involved with an abusive man or a “bad boy” knows what a crock of shit that is. Just go to the local women’s shelter and ask some of them.
Shame on you all you bored, frustrated housewives out there who think light BDSM is way kinky and totally “out there,” and/or is a fetish that needs to be cured. I get that your husbands are passive vanilla pussies in bed, but please, do yourselves a favor and go buy yourselves some quality erotica that doesn’t degrade women.
I’ve come to the sad conclusion that based on what constitutes a bestseller nowadays, our society prefers their reading to be more on the Kraft macaroni & cheese and Wonder bread side. No one wants to have to look up a word, and based on the fact that the “average” American reads at a 7th or 8th grade level, or hardly at all, the choices of reading material is going to be limited. And probably have mostly pictures.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise though, considering we’re the same culture that has made the members of “Jersey Shore” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” millionaires.
So I guess I don’t begrudge the author of FSOG anything. If someone were offering me boatloads of money for crap I’d written, I certainly wouldn’t go on national television apologizing for my crap. In my humble opinion, it’s our society that’s fifty shades of fucked up.