You don’t need to do it, because I’ve done it.
Yesterday afternoon, while my sister Jacqui hid in the cookbooks, I ignored my gut instinct to leave the book store. I swallowed all self-respect and purchased a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. Yep – that book. The one that was written as a Twilight fan fic and has some how morphed into a best seller.
I know. Insanity. Two of my favourite Authors, Marian Keyes and Freya North, had both tried to convince me that I should walk away. Marian Keyes was on The twitters calling it “Fifty Shades of Shite” and Freya North has written an excellent piece on her blog about the bonking side of the popularity of this book. You can read it here.
I knew it would be terrible, I knew it. But everyone on The Twitters and The Facebooks were talking about it. There were so many people in the know about this book and I didn’t know! Was it really as bad as they were saying? Was it porn for bored housewives and Mummy’s who needed to bring the bang back to the bedroom? I felt out of the loop and I needed to know what all the fuss was about.
Well I got my wish, and I have to say, I’ve never before wanted to unread a book so much in my life.
There are so, so, so many things that I almost don’t know how to get across to you the level of disbelief I carried through the hours of reading. But I guess I should have known it was never going to turn out well when I started on page one, and immediately wanted to fix up the first sentence.
Let’s get the story line sorted – Ana, young college graduate, virgin, meets Christian, 26 year old billionaire CEO, troubled past, who has a deep desire to dominate his sexual partners. He spends the better part of 514 pages sexing her up and attempting to get her to agree to be his submissive.
And so we suffer through half a thousand pages of constantly clumsy and over loaded scene and character descriptions. The author seems to really, really want us to know that Christian’s office building is made of glass, steel and sandstone. She mentions these words at least 4 or 5 times just on pages 4 and 5, and I will admit to laughing out loud, and reading out loud to my husband when Ana enters the lift and it takes her at “terminal velocity to the twentieth floor.”
Ana has serious hair issues through out the book. Every few chapters it’s refusing to behave, whether she’s just got out of bed, just got out of the shower, or has stuck it in pigtails. She is always chewing her bottom lip, so much so that I’m predicting by book three she may have to go in for lip reconstruction surgery. Not to mention her eyes which appear to be constantly rolling around in her head, and her turning crimson, flushing and blushing when ever Christian is near her. Which is on most pages.
Christian is rich but he has a serious problem with his pants. This seems odd since his side kick butler man Taylor seems able to whip up a car, a helicopter, or a bra and a pair of knickers at the drop of a hat, but still Christian’s pants are constantly hanging off his hips. Get the man a belt someone!!
There are too many things in this book that just don’t make sense. At one point Ana vomits profusely after too many drinks, and a page later ends up on the dance floor with Christian, who of course, is a top-notch dancer (CEO, billionaire, pilot obviously weren’t enough for this stud muffin) and even though she’s spent the pages before this tripping over her own feet, falling into his office and falling over, she is suddenly a candidate for Dancing with the Stars, if you can get over the fact her shoes are covered in spewed up champagne and margaritas!
And then there’s the fact that she graduates from college, and yet she seems thoroughly surprised when Christian gifts her a laptop and she gets her own email account. An email account, well I never!
I completely lost the passing of time in this book. I will admit to skim reading most of the second half, desperate to get to the end, so I’m not sure if all the sexing and the angsting happened over a few weeks or a few months. Not that it makes a jot of difference.
Go on, you’re reading this and wondering – what about the sexy bits? What about all the Mummy porn, the titillating twists and steamy sections? Surely there’s a bit of joy there?
No. Give me some of Freya North’s feisty romps over this tosh any day.
Let’s be honest. There’s a lot of sex. Every second or third page Ana and Christian are at it. But it’s all the same. Over and over again. She says “oh my,” and shatters into orgasm every time he breathes near her, and he is constantly finding his release. Yes, he has a giant penis, but this seems to surprise her every time she sees it. The first time might be a bit titillating but I tell you what, after 500 pages it’s just plain stupid, she’s constantly exhausted and so was I.
Then there’s the fact that Ana blushes and insists on referring to her vagina using the phrase “down there,” as if she’s writing in her diary and is worried her Mother might see what she’s written. But then suddenly in the middle of all the sexing episodes, she finds she can use the word vagina. Even if it is only once. She is always ready for him, and he is always wanting her to give it up for him. By the end I was begging them both to give it up. For all our sakes.
What ever the sexy bit, the dialogue remains the same, and since Christian is a twit, as well as a stalker with bad pants, by the end of the book I was as far as one could get from turned on. Depressed and tired would be a better description.
Please, please, don’t waste your money on this book. If you, like me, want to know what all the fuss is about, then you can have my copy. Take it. just please don’t remember to return it.
Please note – the only saving grace is that this book is such a total pile of bollocks that you have to laugh. And laugh a lot of people are!
Check out @fiftyshedsofgrey on the twitters… bloody funny!
Have a squizz at the reviews on Amazon, some of them are hilarious.
And you absolutely have to read this blog http://redlemonade.blogspot.co.nz/ for another take on this literary masterpiece!