Friday, July 13, 2012

I Read It So You Don't Have To

Canvas Blog
'50 Shades of Grey' Review
I apologize in advance for the harshness of this review, but I had a visceral reaction to this book. My rage cannot be contained. I'm all for romance and I like manly men, but QUALITY I MUST HAVE QUALITY!! The review contains snippets of the review I posted on 

Feel free to disagree with me. I won't take it personally and you shouldn't either.
I don't usually review books, but considering the phenomena that this book series has become, I felt the need to add my two cents. I finished the first book last night so the book is still fresh in my mind--not in the good way. This is perhaps the worst book I have ever read. Yet this book is on the New York Times Bestseller List and has sold about 20 million copies. What madness has overtaken the world? Why has such a mediocre book been so successful? CNN thinks they have the explanation, I however do not. 

I do not make a habit of trashing authors, as I know how hard it is to put pen to paper, but the sheer awfulness of this book and it's subsequent success is nothing less than shocking. Admittedly, I was curious about this book and I wanted to give E.L. James a chance. It didn't bother me that the book started as 'Twilight' fan fiction. I have read and written fan fiction, but nothing could prepare me for this. I feel like I read a 13-year old girl's dream journal.
E.L. James as captioned by Perez Hilton
Some of my fellow Amazon reviewers summed it up nicely.
"This novel (if a bunch of childish, repetition words comprise a novel) is the biggest load of crap I've come across since visiting a dairy farm in Wisconsin when I was 7. My tabby cat could write better sex scenes than this woman. For all of you who think this book is precious and well-written - I'm scared, very scared for you. It's a sad day when so many women appear to get "hot" over this book. Time to re-adjust the thermostat, ladies." By Cynthia Ivers
"I can't believe this is a best-seller. Honestly, I can't believe it ever made it to print. Read Kushiel's Dart instead.  It is very badly written, repetitive, poorly edited (if edited at all), boring ... the only thing I can think of, is that this was written by an illiterate for illiterates. It shows badly on our world and our education system that it is a best-seller. I suspect there is a higher literacy rate among the feral cat colony outside than among her readership. Still, she is laughing all the way to the bank, isn't she?
There are enough reviews that give details. I just want to cast a surprisingly minority vote for absolutely awful. I admit, I couldn't finish it. I did try, but this is god-awful. I really don't get the appeal of badly-written, soccer-mom porn. I'm going to feed the cats now. The back of the can of cat food is better-written than this." By Diane C. Howard 
"Don't waste your money. There are plenty of 99 cent romance books to get you through your boring commute on a train if that is what you are looking for. The story line is as interesting to read as reading the back of a fiber cereal box." By stocrunner
Once I finished the first 100 pages of '50 Shades of Grey,' I knew I made a mistake. This book is so poorly written and so terrible that I'm convinced this is a practical joke. Somewhere a publicist laughing their butt off. If you are that publicist then please contact me. I want to hire you. You are amazing.

So I don't seem overly judgmental, I would note that even those who enjoyed '50 Shades of Grey' admit that this book did not see the working end of an editor's pen. When one considers all of the wonderful authors who fall through the cracks in lieu of trash like this, it's a sad commentary on our society at best. At worst, it's a bad joke. 

If this is a joke, then unfortunately, the joke is on us. Has appreciation for good writing completely gone out the window? First it happened to film, then television (a la reality television and 'Housewives'). When did it become acceptable for a reputable publishing house (Vintage Books) to publish literal garbage? Worse yet, now the movie rights have sold for millions of dollars? Enough is enough.

The author herself is barely literate and doesn't seem to own a thesaurus. The author 
does NOT understand technology, American culture or speech, plot, nor does she have the ability to write in legible sentences. The author's use of one word over and over again is particularly irritating. She uses the word "murmur" more than any person should be allowed to. In fact it should be against the law to use the word "murmur" as much as she does. It's on every page, multiple times. Murmur seems to be the only way these people communicate. They don't "talk," they don't "yell," they don't "say," they don't "speak." They just "murmur."

After reading this tripe I started to get delirious. If I read the word "murmur" again, I will petition that the word be stricken from the English dictionary. Likewise, Ana seems to repeat the same phrases to herself over and over again. Hint: ** it starts with "Holy ...." It's like these are the only American cuss words the author knows. IT'S CALLED GOOGLE!!! 

Most importantly, the characters are awful and unrelatable. Perhaps if the book had been written in 3rd person instead of 1st person it would have been tolerable. Hearing the world through Ana's foggy haze of stupidity was torturous. Anastasia is perhaps the dumbest character I have had the misfortune of reading about. She's not just a typical naive coed, she's a complete idiot. Somewhere the author confused innocence with stupidity. She also has little to no self-respect and 0 common sense.

Christian is a pig of a man. I don't care how good looking he is, any woman with an ounce of self-respect would run for the hills. Christian's character and actions are clearly the product of a male dominant fantasy wrapped in a bubble gum wrapper. Part of the reason this book was so successful is because the author plays into the delusional female fantasy that women can change men. In fact, Ana's "appeal" is so powerful that it can change a sadistic man like Christian Grey. Yeah right?

The book is maddening at best and a joke at worst. DON'T buy this book. If your curiosity gets the best of you, go the Library. Don't put one more dollar in this woman's pocket. Please note: There's a reason the first book is poorly rated and the latter books are not. After reading the first one, most people threw the book in the trash and declined to read the 2nd and 3rd ones. (*Spoiler-- Bella aka Ana and Edward aka Christian get married and live happily ever after). The end.
"Laters baby."


  1. Ha, don't! Unless you want a good laugh!

  2. So I guess I don't have to ask when your reviews of the two sequels are coming. :-)

    I haven't read this, but I figured some day, somewhere, I'd run into a copy and pick it up out of curiosity. It sounds like Dorothy Parker's famous quote applies here: "This is not a book to be lightly tossed aside; it should be thrown with great force."

  3. Amen, my sista! I write erotica and I could not believe the tripe contained within these pages. I wanted to put my eyes out after the first 50 pages. She has no concept of how to write a "hot" scene. We writers of erotica have been creating far more intelligent and steamy material for decades and yet, no one in the "general masses are asses" public seems to get that. This is erotica light for the same crowd that thinks Jersey Shore is great television and Nicholas Sparks is the most romantic writer ever.

  4. Chip-- I think Dorothy was on to something!

    Melissa-- Yes, that's my main problem too. I don't know how/why this book became so popular when there are "real" writers out there.

  5. Hahaha! And this is why I love you, my friend. ^_^

  6. Ha, I love you too Katchups! Thanks for your comment. Katchups is my college friend and former roommate!


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