Daily Archives: August 18, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James

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This post will be brief because Fifty Shades of Grey was long. Too long. I thought it would be as unreadable as those bestsellers that boggle the mind with bad writing as soon as you crack them open. It was not. It was perfectly readable.  And it was certainly titillating, for a while. But, in the end, it’s just Twilight with all the dirty bits left in–not very dirty bits, mind you. The story hypes itself about being way out there and so depraved. It isn’t. What it is is another  deluded-woman-believes-she-can-save-an-abusive-screwed-up-guy-who-is-all- about-himself story, even as she’s subsuming her own life so she can be all about himself, too. And there is plenty of money and first-class-high-end everything–because this flawed human heartthrob is richer than the vampire Cullens. Extravagant gifts appear at every turn, swag that Our Heroine is morally bound to refuse because she has Too Much Self Respect and Integrity to be bought off. Huh?

The plot is a tease about sex that is a tease–tiresome. Ana, the Bella of the fanfic from which the three Fifty Shades books developed, creates complications and problems like a deranged spider spinning useless webs in mid-air–just to stretch things out. Because Not Much Happens. For 500 pages. And then it all goes to hell in about a page and a half. End of book. Buy the next one to see if she stumbles back into his bed, bondage, whatever. Oh, sigh.  The protagonist, Ana, is alleged to have a fantastic GPA. Not believable as she is too stupid to get off the seesaw of Mr. Fab Rich Guy with Amazing Good Looks Who is Tortured by Incidents from His Past Which He Cannot Bear to Reveal. He smiles. She relaxes. He frowns. Her world goes to sh*t in a heartbeat.  They have nonstop, high-intensity, earth-shattering, orgasmic sex every couple of pages and barely exist between encounters. The e-mail repartee is the best thing in the book–and it is clever.  

But Fifty Shades of Grey is erotica so what did I expect? Emma? Although I would rather have stayed up until 4 in the morning reading Emma.  But now I know what is burning up Kindles faster than global warming wildfires. So I can relate to the zeitgeist. Even if it is at least a hundred pages too long.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy   E. L. James | Vintage Books  2012