Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

One time, a few years ago, I endeavored to read Twilight. My wife, a vampire movie fan, watched the first one and deemed it complete crap. I managed to get through about four or five chapters before I wanted to murder both Bella and Edward for being complete morons. Well, I thought, after reading the hilarious excerpts of E.L. James’ Twitter Q&A fiasco, I should read through 50 Shades at least once.

Well, not only was that about five hours I’ll never get back, this book was one of the worst pieces of drivel I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. Poor grammar. Faulty and overblown sentence construction. Moronic overuse of e-mails as a narrative device. Padding out the book by at least two chapters by reiterating the contract Grey wanted Ana to sign THREE times. Did we really need to have the fact that Christian Grey wanted to perform anal fisting on Ana driven into our heads that many times? This book is an embarrassment to the English language.

The memes are completely and totally correct: If Christian Grey wasn’t a billionaire, this story would be about a crazed stalker in a mobile home somewhere. And like most billionaire characters, Grey isn’t really a cipher – he’s just a cardboard jerk. He’s basically Bruce Wayne, but into spanking instead of fighting crime. And yes, I understand there are those who enjoy this sort of thing, more power to them; you have to follow your bliss. But could someone not have written it better?

Ana’s character isn’t any better. The most preposterous aspect of her, besides her stupidity at getting involved in this multi-leveled abuse situation, is that we’re supposed to believe that in the 21st century, she managed to get through four years of college without having her own computer (and possibly not even her own email address – it’s a bit unclear on that aspect). I could understand vampires in a story like this, but there’s no way I can suspend my disbelief for that.

The characters I’d actually like to know more about, like Kate or Jose, are the ones that, of course, we’ll never hear from again. Maybe if James would rewrite the book from their perspective, it’s be a lot more readable.

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