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50 Shades of WTF?!
Fifty Shades of Grey - E L James
Member Name: verabird
Fifty Shades of Grey - E L James
Advantages: Taboo breaking, brings sex to an older and wider audience
Disadvantages: poorly edited, badly written, grammar mistakes, flat characters, unrealistic and dangerous sex
I think we all know why we picked up this book in the first place. An insatiable sense of curiosity about this previously taboo genre, and also because everyone was reading it.
Well I didn't want to be left behind in the rush to read the new wave of 'mummy porn' so I found a copy and began to read.
Many have called this book shocking, and I would agree with them, but not because of the explicit content, but because it is in fact horrendously constructed. I was left confused as to how anyone could let this book reach the New York Times Bestseller list, surely there is better written porn out there.
Following in the steps of Lady Chatterly's Lover and The Story of O, 50 Shades of Grey attempts to bring sex to the masses, the older generation who either have bad sex or no sec, but its execution is poor.
Maybe it has since been corrected, but my first edition copy had several spelling and grammar mistakes. The work of a poor editor? Page 187 contains the cringe-worthy error of "You're innocence and enthusiasm is very disarming." Flipping through the book while writing this review, this was the first error I came across, but while reading I found many others.
Perhaps the writing style could be forgiven if we were provided with some well rounded characters. Alas. Ana is an awkward, one-dimensional shell of a woman. No real substance or personality, plain and understated, she easy allows for women to put themselves in her place while reading. The first person style allows for this and perhaps this is why the book has been so successful.
It is no secret that this novel is based on a fanfiction written for 'Twilight' by Stephanie Meyer, originally published on fanfiction.net under the name 'Master of the Universe.' Ana is Bella and Christian is Edward. However, even Stephanie Meyer managed to put a little life into her sparkling vampires.
Now maybe we should move onto the sex. The main selling point for this book. I don't think it's too hard to say that it's awful. I found it mostly off putting and unrealistic. Ana is a 21 year old virgin and after having sex for the first time climaxes within 10 seconds. She climaxes after just a minute of Christian pulling at her nipples. Her first time having anal sex, she easily copes without lubrication and orgasms in under 20 seconds.
Yeah, just a little bit unrealistic.
The repetition in this book is nauseating. Christian has grey eyes, and don't you forget it. Don't worry, you won't, we're reminded on every page.
Ana has an inner Goddess who pops up on every other chapter and serves to only be distracting and annoying.
This book has received loud criticism from the BDSM community for being an unrealistic and unsafe representation of the practice. People are using this book as an instruction manual for their own sex lives, but they're using instructions that don't guarantee safe sex practices and in many cases could end up with women hurting themselves.
Overall, this book is a literary travesty. I can see why it's so popular. It's taboo and for many people sex isn't on their list of things to discuss in public. In many ways it has served a good purpose, to get a conversation and dialogue about sex out in the open, but it has been executed in such a poor fashion it's a struggle and a pain to read.
Summary: A literary travesty, opens up a conversation about sex with poor execution