Monday, July 16, 2012

50 Shades of Torturous Writing

*let's play spot the typo - I'm leaving it in, it's too funny to mess with*




I read Fifty Shades of Grey. A friend was so insistent I read it that she went out and bought it for me (no, seriously).

I have to admit, I was happy to receive it because I was curious to find out if it really was as bad as I’d heard it was without having to wait forever on the library loan list, because sure as shit I wasn't spending any money on it. I had my fingers crossed that it was going to be one of the "so bad it's good" books... I was wrong. It’s pretty shit. Actually it’s quite painful to read. BUT… I’m going to defend it... well a bit.

A lot of people have written how the book encourages abusive relationships because Christian admits he likes to control everything Ana does and even says he likes to hurt her. Well, I have to admit, barely a few pages in and I wanted to seriously hurt her and her bloody inner goddess too.

But calling it the end of feminism is going a bit far. Hello, it's a Dominant Submissive relationship… control and pain is what BDSM is all about. Consenting adults are allowed to have sex however they want and yes, some have fantasies involving inflicting pain and others receiving pain. A huge chunk of Feminism is about women having the right to sexual freedom and if a woman chooses to enter in to a relationship with full knowledge that it’s gonna be full of kinky shit then power to her.

As far as full knowledge goes, a contract with negotiable limits clearly defined certainly checks that box. If she doesn't want to leave that relationship (as she is encouraged to do), despite not liking part of it because "she'll miss him" and believes she can change him, that's not proof it's anti-feminist, it's proof the female protagonist is a horny dickhead.

BDSM is nothing new and has graced (or disgraced, depending on how you feel about it) the pages of thousands of erotic novels and novellas, I don’t understand why all the fuss is being made now and never before, particularly when this one pales in comparison to some I've read. Perhaps because this one claims to have more of a storyline and is not just sex, sex, sex? From the reviews out there all I can guess is that a lot of people are having trouble differentiating between a Dominant and a misogynist prick. Christian happens to be both but they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Swathes of reviews mention that it's entirely unbelievable. Ummm, yeah, it started as Twilight fan fiction. You know, VAMPIRES. What did you expect? I don't see anyone banging on about that shit being unbelievable and yet the main characters are mythical creatures. That aside, this is no less believable than any of the shite “romance” novels out there. Girl falls for boy, he wants sex, she wants love, tries to change him, yaddah yaddah yaddah. The only difference is that there happens to be a couple of whips and chains thrown in.

If your problem is that the characters are insanely attractive then how about you show me a movie or TV show where they aren’t? No, really, show me. Don’t point out Shallow Hal because that movie used skinny, beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow in an attempt to make the point that skinny and beautiful aren’t important.

If your issue is that Ana goes from inexperienced virgin to insatiable, multiple orgasming, sex machine in a matter of pages you won't be alone. But show me a Hollywood sex scene that portrays sex, particularly fist time sex, realistically and you may have a point. 

So, should you read it? If you like good books with proper storylines and character development I’d steer clear. But if you can handle reading the thoughts of a chick who quite obviously needs to see a doctor about her serious vascular condition and has a penchant for rolling her eyes, biting her lip and "hitching" her breath on every. single. fucking. page, then go for it.

It might perk up your sex life, it might give you a laugh, or it might make you want to poke your eyes out with a swizzle stick. Or, like me, a bizarre combination of all three. It’s free from the library and only $10 from the shops. With the amount that have sold worldwide, maybe the author can pay for some writing lessons and a much needed fucking thesaurus. 

As I said, it’s incredibly painful to read… but since it’s about BDSM maybe that’s the point?

Have you read it? What did you think?

64 comments:

  1. Am going to DM you about this.

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  2. Ugh, I never, well hardly ever buy, or even borrow, books with this much hype surrounding them. So, nope, not interested...

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  3. Are 7 pages in... and those 7 pages i have read over three days.... think that kind of says it really. As I was reading this sentence kept running through my head "this one time at band camp....."

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  4. nope, haven't. and won't be. i never read all the hyped up books, i'm usually left wondering wtf all the hype was about.

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  5. I'm a masochist, but I think I'll steer clear of this book and keep my pain in the bedroom ;)

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  6. I'm tested on account of the hype, but I really don't want to read anything horribly written just cause people say I should. That's not a great use of my time.
    I was string on the fence as to whether to read it or not, but I think this has firmly pushed me over. Not gonna waste my time.

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  7. I will wait for the movie x

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  8. I read the first ten pages from an iBooks sample and decided the author cant write to save her life. its an awful excuse for a book, a fad somewhat like harry potter and twilight yet no where near as interesting.

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  9. kelley @ magnetoboldtooJuly 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    'particularly fist time sex'


    LMAO. I totally forgot what I was going to say.


    I love you.
    x

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  10. Initially a typo, left in to see who would pick it up. You win my endless love and devotion!

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  11. It doesn't get any better the further you go, so kudos for doing the ten page trial. I've never read any of the Harry Potter or Twilight books :S

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  12. Sarah the sex in it wasn't very exciting at all for me, but I can see how perhaps someone who didn't have a good imagination or was very timid might think it was.

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  13. I reckon Ron Jeremy should play Christian...

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  14. It is a waste of time and yet I still had to finish it to find out what happens. Took me a week though, which is a lot for me.

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  15. PMSL. I don't think my mind will ever recover from her blushing, flushing and turning crimson every two seconds.

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  16. I was reading in bed next to Map Guy saying "34 pages in, still no sex".... "72 pages in, still no sex".

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  17. There are far better things to do with your time, Dorothy! For me, it's play on Twitter :P

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  18. I read the 3 books withing a week i never read books was probably hoping it was going to get better. But i did like it.

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  19. I don't read books. If you can't tell. So I don't really care about this book lol.

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  20. I started reading it on the weekend, and I'm already terribly tempted to just skip to the sex scenes. I paid $10 for it so I keep thinking I should just read it properly!

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  21. Oh you read all three? Can you confirm that they get a little better as it goes on?

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  22. I *ahem* couldn't let my friend down. Yes, that's it.

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  23. ME TOO! I have an unusual urge to buy an Audi now too...

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  24. Glow, if you had seen him lately there is no way you would say that.... Dude creeped me out.

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  25. I would hate to know what some people would do if they ever read the erotica that can be found at a bookstore in Mt Lawley... Some of that stuff is messed up!

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  26. GOT it...apart from the fact that you write beautifully...FIST time sex sounds a bit ouchie.. love me a typo challenge. Thank you Ma'am

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  27. That was one of the best reviews I have read in a long time. Good work. I no nothing about the book other than seeing a few "I cried at the end" or "It was amazing" comments around the place. Hmm. My think differently about those people now...

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  28. That was one of the best reviews I have read in a long time. Good work. I no nothing about the book other than seeing a few "I cried at the end" or "It was amazing" comments around the place. Hmm. May think differently about those people now...

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  29. Excellent review Glowless. Chuckled where you also wrote "fist time sex" ... A Freudian slip typo perhaps?

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  30. THEY CRIED?!?!?! Wait, maybe with relief that it was over :P

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  31. Ouchie indeed!!!! :P Oops xxx

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  32. They get worse and the repetition continues throughout all three books. Ana must have no lip left and those stupid fucking jeans of Christian's still hang from the hip just so.

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  33. He complains of vanilla sex in the book and yet the sex scenes in this are what I'd consider vanilla BDSM compared to some of the other stuff!

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  34. PMSL! I kept shouting as I was reading it "How else can pants hang if not from the hips?!" Map Guy kept shaking his head at me.

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  35. I blushed/flushed/turned red/coloured crimson when I saw it... but had to leave it in for hilarity :P

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  36. As ever, you say what I a thinking far more eloquently than I even think it. Although I would add that it made me think about sex more, and I found myself having sex more. So there are benefits.

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  37. I could have handled that description ONCE (just barely). It is just beyond me as to why the author thought to write it (and other stupid phrases) every single time in ALL of the books. I think another one was about Christian cocking his head to one side.

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  38. HAHAHAH this is hilarious, the girls at work that have read it say I should give it a go....

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  39. I liked it.
    Sure the sex scenes became so repetative that I found myself asking the children if they moved my bookmark more than once, because fuck I swear I read this word for word only five pages ago.
    But it's a tacky book and really I did not expect some fantastic piece of writing, I just read if for the porn scenes which I enjoyed. I'm quite curious on a few things now. I do not have an adventerous or exciting sex life, so it was pretty exciting for me.
    But yeah, bad writing, and easy read in the way of plots and story lines and the fact that every couple of pages you're wondering if you've actually gone back a few because it's a tad repetative. I guess there are only so many ways one can put into words a multiple orgasim.

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  40. You had to give it a good whack didn't you. You tried that's all that matters.

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  41. I read all 3 books before the hype so perhaps without the whole world telling you it's a must read it was more tolerable. The writing is atrocious - so effing bad it makes me sick how rich the author is. I was so bored of the sex scenes i started skippping them before ( not sure if that says more about my shocking sex drive or the repetitious writing!!) I enjoyed them well enough - who doesn't want the most attractive and richest man in the world to desire them - that's why it's written for depressed bored housewives. What amazed me is how she got away with it being such a rip off of the Twilight books. The characters from the two franchises are so alike it's almost word for word. The storyline about being controlling and even forcing the female to drive a safer car is in both. The male characters dad's have almost the same name. Then there's the BDSM sex and the vampire thing - violence in a different guise. Good point about the thesaurus.

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  42. whiningattheworldJuly 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    I wasn't going to read them at all. But then I figured that I should really read the first one so that I could accurately pinpoint what irks me about it. With all the hype my impression was that there was a big age between ana and Christian but it turns out that

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  43. I read it and I had mixed feelings about it. I actually read the whole series just because I was curious. By the end I really wanted it to end, but I am OCD and once I start reading a book I have a compulsion to finish it, no matter how bad it is. It's really annoying. On one hand I wish Christian hadn't changed because that's more true to life and I got a little annoyed at the "fairy tale ness" of that. On the other I just kind of found the whole thing amusing. It's just a book.

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  44. I read it and I had mixed feelings about it. I actually read the whole series just because I was curious. By the end I really wanted it to end, but I am OCD and once I start reading a book I have a compulsion to finish it, no matter how bad it is. It's really annoying. On one hand I wish Christian hadn't changed because that's more true to life and I got a little annoyed at the "fairy tale ness" of that. On the other I just kind of found the whole thing amusing. It's just a book.

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  45. Ah, now there's a thought. It's an experiential reading experience - feel the pain while you read about the pain. I think you're on to something. This cracked me up: "that's not proof it's anti-feminist, it's proof the female protagonist is a horny dickhead." I'll make the button: 'feminists can be horny dickheads too'.

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  46. I haven't read it, but a part of me kind of does. Mind you, I have read heaps of Twilight fanfic (Don't judge me!) so I could probably get through it :P THANK YOU for making these points though, I get quite frustrated with people who think that every relationship has to be 'vanilla' to be 'right'. I haven't read the book, but from what i've read other people write, it sounds like a pretty normal BDSM type relationship. I have to say, best typo EVER!

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  47. What's more the BDSM sex is so far from BDSM it's quite hilarious. Bit of spanking and some tying of hands? Hehe.

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  48. YES! Get it mass produced and sell them for $1. You'll be a millionaire in no time.

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  49. I was kinda pissed that the book wasn't a stand alone book. It's more of a "to be continued" where one gigantic book is just split. But I can't bring myself to read the rest of it yet. Maybe one day if I'm bored.

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  50. Oh really?! Well lucky she's making a lot of money because she'll probably be sued soon. I've not read any of the Twilight books but I knew it started as fanfic.

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  51. I thought I must have knocked my bookmark out too!

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  52. I'd gave it a go based on that. If nothing else you can join in the conversations :)

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  53. Absolutely! Definite benefits. I told Map Guy I might skim read some of the sex scenes again - I can skip all the boring, repetitive crap and go to the good bits.

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  54. People have been recommending this book to me left, right and center. I'm not sure if they're telling me I'm sheltered, or that they just really like the book. Considering, it is the same people who told me I had to read Twilight back during high school, it never really piqued my curiosity. Mostly because I haven't forgiven them for recommending said series back then. I'm still undecided, I may just pick up the Hunger Games instead.
    Also, how does one hitch their breath?

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  55. Hunger Games is AWESOME! Well, except for the second half of the last book which was SUCH a let down and felt really rushed. But the rest of it was so amazeballs that even that couldn't ruin it.

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  56. P.S. No idea how one hitches their breath, but I think it would happen if I punched her in the throat, which is exactly what I wanted to do the whole time xx

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  57. Coolness, I shall blow my 36 bucks on the series then.

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  58. My issues are that Ana is a college graduate and a virgin - sorry that's suspending disbelief a little to much for me. Also I've got a background in the finance industry and am irked by the Grey character being a 27 yo billionaire without explaining how he achieved this monetary feat.
    Mumabulous@mum-abulous.com

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  59. FIRST... I THINK YOU MEAN FIRST not fist. because fist time sex is another story.

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  60. You found it! Most people still don't see it, even with the spot the typo game at the top :) Too funny to fix though!

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