Books I did not love #2

For my second rant, I decided to do a book many of us loathe,Fifty Shades of Grey.

But first, a caveat.


I wasn’t going to write about this book. I couldn’t read it. Literally, could not read it; my eyes would roll and after a paragraph I’d simply give up. I had to read scene by scene reviews because if I had to read it all on my own, I would have needed so much alcohol in my system that I’d have had to go to the hospital. So how could I write about it when I hadn’t truly read it, beginning to end, on my own? It seemed silly to write about it.

But then I remembered a dinner out with some acquaintances I’d had the year the book came out. These women were talking about their fabulous boyfriends (I’d met this guys and hadn’t been overly impressed), and one was talking about the super romantic evening they spent in while Dude read to her from an erotic novel. ‘What novel?’ They asked. I was curious too; there’s a lot of erotic literature out there.

50 Shades of Grey.

I gave a snort-giggle at this, and may have rolled my eyes. The others granted me contemptuous looks and oohed over her fab guy*. ‘So romantic and sexy!’ was the common refrain. Unspoken was the idea that anyone who didn’t like it was a prude. Because, y’know, 50 Shades was super out there, super erotic!

Sure. While the occasion was frustrating, it just reminded me of how much I loathed this book. So I’m gonna share why.

  1. It’s badly written. This fact pretty much hits most people in the face within the first page. Terrible story structure, poor grammar, redundant phrases, inconsistent character behaviour, un-likeable characters, poor scene description, the list is endless. There’s a reason rough drafts need revision, and this book is an example of why. How this drivel made it past an editor is beyond me. There are literally thousands of erotic novels out there, many of them well written; there are no excuses for the general crappiness.
  2. Affluenza. The shit Christian gets away with is disgusting. I blame the fact that he’s a millionaire; stalking, emotional abuse, gaslighting, etc aren’t romantic, but apparently if they’re accompanied by a private airplane and a limousine, it’s okie dokie. Blergh.
  3. Ana is so dumb it’s a good thing breathing is an autonomic function. She can’t walk, she can’t write, she can’t google worth a damn, and she has all the creativity and cognitive function of a walnut. How the hell she got through college is beyond me. Especially without an email account. *headdesk*
  4. Ana has no innate sexuality and imprints on Grey. Like a baby duckling, only with orgasms.
  5. When it comes to kink**, the stuff in this novel is either wrong (as in, the facts it presents are literally wrong) or boring. Like, I think I’ve read kinkier Harlequin romance novels. That is not a compliment, btw.
  6. It’s a romantic failure. The relationship between Ana and Christian is a lot of things (‘unhealthy’ being the top of the list), but there’s no romance. Why do people call it romantic?!?! Being sexually attracted to someone isn’t a romance, people! It’s just sex! Argh. Having to dress up one’s sexual encounters with the trappings of romance is weird, but it’s pathetic when it fails this spectacularly.

It baffles me that people love this book. I just don’t get it. Thousands of erotic novels on the internet. Hundreds of ‘classics’*** that get studied in universities across the globe, but this is a freaking bestseller? This book is the Velveeta cheese slice of erotic novels, and it annoys me that people think it’s the best thing evah****.

Recommendations to self: Think of all the unsold copies of this drivel that had to be destroyed. Ahh. Much better.


*I avoided hanging out with these people after this. 50 Shades? Seriously?

**Kink as opposed to BDSM, both of which are pretty much missing entirely from the novel.

***I had to read The Lover by Marguerite Duras in college. While the subject is creepy pedo stuff, you can’t argue that it wasn’t beautifully written.

****either one; they’re both kinda gross. At least the cheese-like stuff has some nutritional value.


3 thoughts on “Books I did not love #2

  1. I admit: I couldn’t even read the source material for the fanfic. Tried. Failed. Tried again. Failed again. (I used to teach middle school students to read. Several of my students wanted to read the series, which was above their reading level. I wanted to see if I could find appropriate selections for class, but wound up throwing it at the wall. *sigh*)

    So when I found out about the fanfic that seemed to magnify every complaint I had about the original, I just rolled my eyes.

    My response these days to being labeled a prude is to shrug. Maybe I am. I don’t think so, but opinions differ, after all. Petulant man-child is simply beyond unappealing. If my response to a character is to want to send them to the quiet work corner, it’s not going to work for sexy time imaginings.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember picking up a copy of 50 shades in the local BAM. I swear even before I finished the first crappy paragraph, I was looking around to see if people were watching. It was embarrassing just to be holding the book. I mean how could this shit be a best seller? There were piles of the book…taller than I was, and huge billboard. It was amazing. Well, I hate to say it, but it is a testament to the f–ked up reading public…that somehow got convinced that 50 was something of a sex manual. My dog could do a better job at writing. But from what I can tell, it was the worst book at the right time. Damn.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I remember trying to read the first book. I could not do it. I was just skimming, waiting to get to the good stuff, which never did arrive.
    Although it did remind me of the romance novels like those older ones by Diana Palmer(maybe, my memory is shit), where the male rom lead is an abusive kinda rapey creep who magically gets better in the last chapter. Bleh.

    Liked by 2 people

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