Books Reviews

Fifty Shades Of Grey: My Inner Goddess Is Beginning To Support Book Burnings.

August 2, 2012

 I have this shallow tendency to read books just because other people won’t shut up about them, regardless of the fact these days they seem to be mostly written by what I presume are lonely, deeply creatively challenged and borderline illiterate American women.

I read Twilight, I read The Hunger Games (which based on its competitors’ standards is something close to Shakespeare, and although Collins insists she’s never heard of Battle Royale, I quite enjoyed the trilogy) and about a month ago I finished 50 Shades of Grey. Anyone who knows me knows that:

  1. When I was younger I thought someone had painted the world sometime after WW2 because beforehand all photos etc. were in black and white.
  2. I still sometimes have nightmares about Peter Kay and The Wombles having a fight to the death.
  3. I dislike Twilight to the point where it’s actually a bit obsessive.

However, after reading Fifty Shades of Grey, I do not think Stephenie Meyer is the worst writer in the history of time. One of the most deluded, irritating human beings yes, but not the worst writer. Obviously, she was involved with the coma inducing foundation of E L James’ tiresome, repetitive, and over rated “book” as it is simply a fan fiction of Meyer’s tiresome, clearly pastiched and over rated “book” with some names changed. So it’s like shite squared with some sex thrown in it. Or maybe it’s because James, who in reality is named Erika Leonard but is also known as SnowQueens IceDragon, is BRITISH. Bronte sisters, Shakespeare, J. K. Rowling, SnowQueen IceDragon. Also, I have been to Homebase, there are only about fifteen shades of grey.

The end.

It isn’t even the topic, I’ve never been squeamish but I’ve also never been overly bothered. I just don’t think I’m wired correctly in the “girly-swoon-and-faint” department: my first love was Goku in DBZ, and at about nine I recall loathing Gareth Gates with a passion. It’s not that I’m fickle or trying to make a point that I don’t conform, I just thought he looked like lesbian and I wasn’t into that.

The fact that literature has fallen so far, along with general intellects and interests, that we find fan-fiction printed into a paperback instead of on a seedy corner of the internet so shocking that we read it regardless of the fact there are brain damaged horses who could write more eloquent and original work, just gives me hope that if I cannot think of anything to write about just write about a young adult female who falls in love with a monster and the shenanigans write themselves.

Fifty Shades is a whole new league of ridiculous that I don’t think I could compete with. Holy Crap – are the prose repetitive, the main character Ana has vague mummy issues, she’s a klutzy virgin and every man she meets is interested in her clumsy, plain, ditsy-ness. She has a shitty, unsafe car and likes British literature. Gasp… Now where has there been a female protagonist like that before? “I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror.” are the first words we read. No wonder this entire book is about people wanting to hurt her; she’s Bella Swan except she’s less broody and instead just a bit stupid. For example, she thinks putting her hair in pigtails will ward off borderline rapists. Of course, this entire book focuses on this naive, pure, oblivious woman who’s actually about twenty something, trying to get into some man’s pants and then whining about it, oh my.

This man, Grey, is all dark and twisted and she shouldn’t be with him but then she should, and he cares about her safety but wants to hurt her and again he reminds me that there is really no originality in anything anymore. I literally could not care less about this misogynistic, abusive, shallow fictional bloke as James has created a character with the personality of a shoe who’s only redeeming features are he’s handsome, rich and has a penis. Poetry.

The two meet as Ana goes to interview Grey for her friend who is ill but we can’t feel sorry for her because she’s attractive. Ana falls into the office, which I’m sure took all of about eleven seconds to concoct and label as “hilarious genius” in James’ mind, and this makes Grey want to punch her in the face or something, I’m not sure. A million billion holy craps later, they somehow manage to make that falling over in an extremely serious, business interview into some sort of relationship. Mostly based on coincidental meetings, or as a judge in reality would call it “stalking”. He has a playroom and I have never read anything less sexy in my life – and I’ve read ‘A Child Called It’. Ana loses her virginity and it doesn’t hurt and it’s all wonderful. This is where the reality in this book started to dwindle. This book is so awful it’s hard to find it humorous, except the tampon scene that was hilarious and disgusting. It’s the only remotely shocking bit in the whole book and that’s only because of their utter disregard for cleanliness. I took a moment of silence for Grey’s maid lady. Oh yes, and in this fictional world, women can’t get pregnant on their period. And men need to have sex every fifteen minutes or they start playing the piano and crying.

By this point, my inner goddess was banging her head against a wall and shouting “there is no hope for equality if these women keep being told they can write”. I presume that women who find this book romantic are also having an affair over Second Life. I hate Ana, and not in a sexy way. This book isn’t erotica, it’s a ‘How To’ on adopting abuse mentality or Stockholm syndrome. I find it hard to believe anyone who’s been physically abused in their life will find this book an enjoyably scandalous little novel any more than anyone enjoys Mein Kampf.

Whatever happened to female characters with strength and sense of self, who aren’t willing to sacrifice their values and free will to please emotionally stunted, mentally (and physically in this case, as though emotional and mental control had become a boring topic) abusive arseholes who expect the females to change their entire lives and yet can barely compromise on dinner plans?

Creating a movie of this will officially rule out any hope that humanity can progress. Instead it proves human beings are shallow and our lives will adapt to any fad that passes by; I just know there are women out there that believe themselves to be controversial and brave by reading Fifty Shades on a bus and talking about it in public because women can talk about sex these days, didn’t you know? FEMINISM air punch. Clearly oblivious to the fact they are supporting the further degradation of women just because instead of it being a movie in the latter channels on their telly, it’s published and sold at Sainsbury’s. I have a younger sister and I would be deeply disappointed if she were reading books like Twilight and Fifty Shades as a teenager and aspiring to be nothing more than an empty shell of a woman waiting to form herself around the wants of a man who can be as deranged as he pleases as long as his face is okay and he has no body fat.

In fact, I’m going to make a deal. If you are a female writer thinking of embarking on a trilogy based on a teenage/ early twenties young, slim, ditzy, clumsy, melodramatic, vaguely damaged female who falls in love (after she pushes away all normal, nice guys because she is one pair of converse away from being a lesbian or A-sexual) with the biggest arsehole they can find just because they’re handsome and rich, don’t. That’s the easy way to fame, that’s the Big Brother or X Factor equivalent of writing now. You’re better than that, well you’re not Meyer, but the rest of you are.

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