Monday, June 24, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey

This book has outsold Harry Potter on Amazon. It has outsold The Da Vinci Code altogether. It has probably made its author, E.L. James, as wealthy as her title character. So when everyone told me that this book sucks, I didn't really believe it. I mean, I didn't think it was going to be a masterwork of literary eloquence or anything, but neither is practically any popular fiction. I did think it would be fast-paced and engaging, because that is the sort of thing that tends to become popular. Right?


This book is literally the absolute worst crap I've ever read. Isn't it supposed to be kind of hard to get a book published? Isn't that why most people haven't gotten a book published? A cat could write a better book than Fifty Shades of Grey. My cat could. Actually I don't have a cat.

I'll admit I read only the first instalment and not the whole trilogy, and to preserve my sanity, I intend to keep it that way. But for those who have seen it, the first book is very similar in storyline to the Steve Martin movie Shopgirl. A chance encounter occurs between a man of significant wealth and status and an innocent girl who doesn't have much money. He stalkerishly discovers her address and sends her very expensive and inappropriate gifts. Presumably because she is so innocent, she doesn't call the cops on this nutcase but rather concludes he must be extremely mysterious and fascinating. Their ensuing relationship, if it can be called that, of course occurs entirely on his terms, and her self-esteem sinks lower and lower until she finally realizes he is not actually going to change and give her what she wants, at which point she ends it, utterly devastated.

I am sure I am nowhere near the first person to suggest this, but I am near certain that E.L. James did not have an editor. I was led to this conclusion not only by phrases such as "my inner goddess is doing the dance of the seven veils" and "he's my very own Christian Grey flavoured popsicle," but also by several seemingly minor but nonetheless terribly noticeable failures of plot.

For example, the heroine is soooooooooo innocent that she has actually never heard of Christian Grey until their chance meeting despite the fact that he is a 27-year-old self-made billionaire, which would make him both as young and as successful as Mark Zuckerberg. Hey you there! You look innocent. Have you heard of Mark Zuckerberg?

Also, the chance meeting with Grey occurs because the heroine's roommate, a very ambitious aspiring journalist, arranged an interview with him for the university magazine months before but then got the flu on the day of. The interview was extremely important because Christian Grey is extremely important. So naturally, the aspiring journalist, whom we are supposed to believe is pretty intelligent, sent her clueless roommate rather than someone else who worked on the school magazine who would have actually interviewed someone/heard of Christian Grey before. I mean, I have brain farts sometimes too, but this is more like brain diarrhea.

And then there's the fact that the author is British, but wrote a book that takes place in the United States. This would have been fine if she had been aware that in the United States, "fancy" is known as "like" or "want," "I've not" is "I haven't," and people do not generally call each other mister or miss under any circumstances, particularly in large coastal cities like Seattle. Or it would have been fine if she had HAD AN EDITOR.

Oh, I could go on about stuff like that, but let's talk more about our heroine, the erotically-named Anastasia Steele, a girl so boring she is pretty much a porno waiting to happen. She likes to read 18th-century literature and has neither been sexually attracted to anyone nor masturbated ever before. (I think she is supposed to be 21.) After meeting Christian Grey, she does sort of notice his scarily predatorial tendency to show up wherever she is even if it is literally on the other side of the country, but is prepared to forget about it for the sake of their mind-blowing sexual encounters, even if they do frequently include some overly aggressive butt-slapping.

And never mind the fact that when she finds out he was abused as a child, she uses this as an excuse to meditate on how he must have been really hurt and stuff and that's why he has scary sexual tastes and is an emotionally unavailable narcissist. She is both mystified and fascinated by his narcissistic tendencies and how he may have come to acquire them, a curiosity that he obligingly feeds with statements such as "a crack whore brought me into this world, Ana."

Which brings me to my biggest problem with this idiotic book: contrary to what it would have you believe, being a narcissist simply means that you do not care about anyone apart from yourself. It is actually neither mysterious nor fascinating to be a narcissist. Even if you are Christian Grey.


  1. I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. I am really happy for the casting.
    Charlie Hunnam has finally responded to rumors that he's a favorite to play Mr.Grey's role.
    Dakota is perfect for Anastasia Steele.
    Fifty Shades Movie

  2. Fifty Shades Of grey is wonderful book it show the twisted romance of christian grey and anastasia steel in the movie.