A few weeks back I had a hushed conversation I imagine many other women have had recently that went along the lines of: Have your read it? It’s the best book! Great for your sex life! Really hot! You must read it! My husband has never been happier! And, much like Moses parting the waters, this conversation opened up a whole new world to me of which I had gone completely unawares. Suddenly I started reading about Fifty Shades of Grey everywhere. Literally. My curiosity was piqued, I went on amazon and read the revues, my curiosity plummeted and I figured I had better things to do with my time than read second-rate BDSM erotica.
Who’m I kidding? My snobbishness lasted all of five minutes and then I downloaded the first book on my kindle. I have now read all three, and figured I’d put my two cents into the Fifty shades discussions.
The writing is ABYSMAL. The plot is non-existent, you constantly feel like something is going to happen any minute, but nothing ever does, except for a lot of sex because apparently Christian likes to “fuck hard”. And while we’re on the subject, I simply cannot believe that the author couldn’t come up with any way to describe down there other than “down there” and every time I had to read that Christian “reached his release” I wanted to whack the author upside the head with the largest and heaviest edition of Webster’s English Dictionary. The writing was tedious. The characters were annoying. The sex was far-fetched, because honestly Ana, she was always ready. I swear to God. He looked at her and she was ready. Not even in the first five minutes of mind-boggling passion that is the start of any good relationship is the woman always ready. Four, five times a day. Every day.
At first I thought the author was a man, but it’s a woman. I couldn’t believe it. But then I thought, well, I wouldn’t mind having 4 or 5 (or more, as she often has multiples at each session) mind-blowing orgasms a day. But it’s unlikely, or rather unrealistic, so maybe the author’s just putting her own wishful thinking to paper. I mean, Christian, he’s like the sex master of all time, he always touches her perfectly, reads her minutest body cues and reacts appropriately, he tells her to come and she does, on command. Hell, I wouldn’t mind a partner like that (but without all the controlling, mind-fuck crap that constitutes the rest of the book). The truth, of course, is that in real life most women have more consistently satisfying relationships with their electronics than they do with their partners.
To say Christian is controlling is the understatement of the century, he makes maniacal stalkers look benign and friendly. Yes, he’s rich, and gorgeous (which we know because we’re told on every other page) but he is also completely psychotic, so there’s that. And Ana? Oh my God, the whining, the indecision, the ineptitude! She gets mad at him constantly, she never does anything about it, honestly, I never knew which character I wanted to stab the most all through the books.
So why, you may ask did I read all three books? Well, I really do have a hard time walking away from a series, generally I make sure I’m going to like the books before I start reading them, but there was so much hype around this one I didn’t think it could possibly be bad. Also, there’s the train wreck factor, once I started I simply couldn’t turn away from the train wreck. And I’m an optimist, I kept expecting it to get better.
Okay, I don’t want to seem shrewish, the books are readable, I managed to get through three of them. But don’t go in expecting a really good book. Some of the sex scenes are titillating, but they leave nothing to the imagination, so if you like to fill in your own blanks, you’ll want to skip over them, in which case you’ll be done with all three books in about thirty minutes. If you’re just looking for an easy beach read then go for it, but you need a high tolerance for annoying characters and bad editing, on the other hand since everybody’s talking about the Fifty Shades phenomenon you’ll be able to put in your two cents. These are mine, don’t be mad at me if you don’t agree, there are enough books out there to satisfy all our different tastes, these here just weren’t to mine.
Also, for a really hilarious review with a sentiment very similar to mine but much better expressed I suggest you head over to this site here: http://msannomalley.com/2012/05/21/fifty-shades-of-bullht-or-yes-i-caved/
I haven’t read them and I really didn’t want to, but now I feel so intrigued. It must be that trainwreck factor.
I know, it’s crazy, I kept reading reviews of people telling everybody not to read them and I read them anyway. I swear it’s like contrariness is an illness!! (also, now I know where my daughter gets it…)
Ever since I wrote *my* review (and thank you for linking to it!), I can’t stop thinking about how bad this book is. I do try to read things through to the end, but I just couldn’t go on with this book and it all boils down to Christian Grey. I can’t stand this guy. I find him so repulsive! But then I started wondering if women would react the same way to him if the character was not rich. Would they still find him so hot if he worked on an assembly line? Fixed cars? Worked in middle management? Are they giving him a pass on his behavior because he’s rich?
Last weekend, I was listening to a webinar that was given by a literary agent on those things they look for in the first thirty pages of a manuscript that determines whether they ask for the entire manuscript or send the sample to the slush pile. As this literary agent kept rattling off the “dont’s”, I kept thinking of specific parts of the first book.
Now I’m beginning to think that I should be a literary agent…
If it would save us from this sort of drivel, then definitely!
Hmmm. Not that I was going to read these books. And although your review was not favorable I a now intrigued. Not enough to read the books though. Too many blogs too read 🙂
Yes, definitely stick to the blogs, much, much better writing!
I’m not mad at you. I haven’t read them, they sound miserable. Like Twilight with rough sex.
Exactly like twilight with rough sex, though nobody sparkles in this series… and, unbelievable as it may seem, Ana is even more annoying than Bella.
Too funny. Yes, this is almost exactly how I feel about these books. I’m going to read them all, but they are definitely awful. I realize that sounds ridiculous. 🙂
Thanks for sending me your link!
I can’t bring myself to read them, but if I did, I think I’d rather read them on my Kindle, so I didn’t have to confess that I caved and read them.
I was with a girlfriend today and she bought the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. i asked her what she thought of the first one and she said “Well….it was ok…I mean not bad….but I want to find out what happens.”
Now there is a stellar recommendation. So if I do cave, ever, I’m borrowing from her. I’m even less motivated now.
Saw your comment over at The Mommy Therapy and couldn’t help following your link to read your review. I had already decided not to read this series but thankfully you have confirmed it. It sounds like a waste of time. And since I have very little time to waste when I finally get to pick up a book or my Kindle, I want to use it wisely.
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