It is a sad day when a poorly written novel makes the New York Times bestseller list. It’s an even sadder day when one of the most talked about books in many female circles today is one that a teenager with poor literacy skills could have probably constructed better.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James made me blush 50 shades of crimson, and no, not because it was “saucy” or “taboo”, but because it made me so embarrassed for my gender. I blush for the females recommending this book everywhere, touting it as “riveting”, “addictive”, and an “amazing read”. I even blush for those obsessed with the main character Christian Grey, who has a penchant for S&M with innocent virgins.
I could go into the plot, but unfortunately, there really isn’t one. All you need to know is that young virgin Anastasia Steele falls for a high flying Seattle businessman who can only be with her if she signs a contract agreeing to be his submissive in a S&M relationship.
The novel has been labelled soft-core porn but that’s an insult to the porn industry. In reality, it is a kinky sex scene that seems to be regurgitated over and over for a whopping 500-plus pages. I wanted to put it down after 50 pages but I thought, surely the characters will develop and the plot will thicken with another 400 or so pages to go. Boy, was I wrong. Aside from the repetitive drivel I was subjected to, the main characters were unlikeable and impossible to relate to.
Anastasia is so irritating, weak, and pathetically flawed. If I could have a dollar for every time her subconscious uttered “oh my” or “oh crap”, I would have made a pretty penny by the book’s end. And speaking of her subconscious, that internal battle she constantly had with her “inner Goddess” was lame at best.
And don’t even get me started on those disgraceful email exchanges (or should I say page fillers) between Anastasia and Christian. She felt uncomfortable with the S&M, she didn’t even want it, but she went ahead with it anyway because she fell for a cute rich boy with swoon-worthy eyes. Those who argue otherwise are fooling themselves. How much did she know about him really?
Christian Grey is no better. This is a guy who tracks a girl’s mobile to the bar she is at and appears in record time because she is tipsy, and he is a control freak. I might add that they weren’t even dating at that stage. Yet intelligent women all over the world are now drooling over him. What does that say about our gender? Anastasia is a one-dimensional, poorly developed fictional character, what is your excuse ladies?
And the way he went wild when Anastasia bit her lower lip got old very quickly–much like the overhyped sex scenes. When I first heard about the book, I knew it centered on an innocent girl who fell for a possessive, controlling male. I know strong women who have entered into relationships with these types before, only to become shadows of their former selves–emotionally and physically abused with their self-worth and self-esteem completely shattered.
I thought Fifty Shades of Grey earned its bestseller tag because it was masterfully written and delved into the initial attraction and subsequent dangers of entering into this type of relationship. I thought wrong. As for the topic of S&M, you know you’ve got problems when Rihanna’s hit offers a more riveting insight into this form of sexual activity.
Will I read the rest of the trilogy to see if it gets better? No chance. I refuse to further contribute to its bestselling status. I already feel fifty shades of shame for having read the first instalment.