Fifty shades of very bad literature

What´s the buzz, tell me what´s happening — that´s what the apostles sing to the Lord in one of the first numbers on the semi-blasphemous rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, and that´s also the thought that started popping in my head as I read more and more distinct, even opposing reviews of the new supposedly erotic literary blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James.

The reviews that got me particularly curious were those of some feminists who basically destroyed the book for (1) disguising the old quest for Prince Charming in some BDSM, (2) fantasizing about control freaks and confounding sociopathy with BDSM and (3) contributing to worsen self-esteem issues regarding the difficulties some women have to reach orgasm during sex. I found it odd that a book so theoretically forward in terms of its thematic could also be so backwards, and I decided to judge for myself. I now regret that decision, but alas: what is done, is done. Let´s make something of it.

Let´s go first for the literary aspects of the book : it´s horrendously written and it has given me the impression the author has had no meaningful emotional experience in her whole life, as if she was herself actually a teenager with the depth of a Beverly Hills 90210 character. The self-esteem issues the main character and narrator Anastasia has lack credibility; her inner dialogues and conflicts are unnervingly pathetic, as she spends the entire book in a bizarro struggle between her “inner goddess” (what the fucking fuck?) and her “subconscious” (WTFF 2), two aspects of her personality who in a television cartoon would correspond to a little sex driven devil on one side of  her shoulder and Larry David on the other.

The author has a very disturbing obsession with some awful narrative images she repeats over and over again throughout the seemingly endless pages of the book: the way Christian Grey´s pants hang from his hips, the sound of the condom foil packet being ripped open (she mentions it ALMOST. EVERY. TIME.), the way Anastasia bites her lip. All characters are very superficial stereotypes, all dialogues are poorly constructed, it´s all just so… sad! Yes, it makes me sad that a book as bad as this one has made the cut and attracted such a massive crowd.

Having reviewed the absent literary aspects of E.L. James´ work, I must say I also agree with the criticism regarding the backwards-pretensely-forward approach to love and sex the author develops in her book. The BDSM in the book is basically null, except for a lot of talking about it, objects in a red room that remain for the most part unused throughout the course of the events, and some spanking that scare the shit out of the girl. The rest of it consists of blindfolding, tying and conventional sex toys — sorry, that´s not BDSM, that´s almost not even particularly kinky sex anymore. Also, Anastasia, a 20 years old virgin, has countless orgasms in her first day of sex, including one during her first time — and she has never ever masturbated. What? All due to her being masterfully manipulated by sex genius Christian Grey. Virgin girls, please, believe me when I tell you, take responsibility for your own orgasms. Your partner´s ability certainly count for a lot, but there is much we must learn about ourselves first, and work to be done by us every time we have sex if we want to get there.

Grey is a spoiled, filthy rich control freak, and everyone encourages Anastasia to love it because it´s just so great to be the object of those wild displays of affection translated in new cars, phones, computers, clothes, airplane ticket upgrades and showing up without invitation or early notice… right? Isn´t that what every woman wants in the bottom of their hearts? Fuck, no. I like ridiculously extravagant gifts, but I also enjoy being consulted about their convenience from time to time, and most of all, I do not want to exchange my freedom for your expensive presents, thank you.

There´s popcorn literature, I accept that. It´s like Indiana Jones, but written. Popcorn literature, as popcorn movies, can also be brilliant works — think Mario Puzo, Ken Follet, Tom Clancy at their finest (I´d mention Harry Potter but I have not read a single line of it — did love every one of the movies, though, and do find the world J.K. Rowling has imagined a work of welcome creativity). Fifty Shades of Grey is not popcorn literature. It´s just bad, really bad.

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2 Comments to “Fifty shades of very bad literature”

  1. LOL I wrote about this…it was so bad. I broke it down by word count. If you want to check it out, click on the picture on the left side of my page.

    I couldn’t believe this book made it big.

    x,
    Becca
    Ladyornot.com

  2. Hahahah you crack me up! Just from the title of your posts and strong voice in your posts. You’re not afraid to write.

    Don’t stop. xoxx Addie

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