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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey? WTF???

I am a patient person. In my whole life, I’ve only walked out of three movies. The Trial of Billy Jack, Wild Bill with Jeff Bridges, and sorry George Clooney, but even your cutey-patooty factor couldn’t save Solaris for me. I used to slog through every book I ever picked up. No matter how painful. But in the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that time’s a’wastin’ and there are way too many books out there to waste my time on, well, crap. However, being a patient person, and due to the overblown hype that “Fifty Shades of Grey” received, I stuck it out for quite a while. Alas, I wasn’t strong enough to finish. I hardly know where to begin…..

I picked this one up, mostly due to the above referenced hype. I heard about it all over the place; good grief, even on national news shows. One day I was talking to a neighbor who asked if I had read it. She has a lingerie shop and said her customers were constantly asking her if she sold it. She figured she’d better read it and stock it soon. I know the book has been called ‘mommy porn’, which made me go….’huh?’ What does that even mean? So, I bit the bullet and began the book.

I don’t read romance novels……ever. I don’t care what color the ruffles are on the bodice of the heaving bosom of the heroine. Nor do I care about the particular shade of steely gray eyes the rapscallion hero has. That said I was willing to give Fifty Shades of Grey a fair shot. Suspending disbelief, and patiently ignoring the flowery language and stilted dialogue. (I did mention…I’m a patient person…right?) I found I had a sort of internal dialogue going throughout the reading of the book:

Hmm… if I ran into the author, what would I say first? Maybe -- “Seriously babe, if you’re going to pretend to be an American author, maybe you should read some books actually by American authors and become a wee bit better versed in the vernacular.” Or possibly, “Umm…those publishers that told you that you could write? Yeah…those guys? Who apparently have an unlimited budget for advertising crap and convincing the world its art? They LIED!!” “Hey, I’ve got an idea, since you’re British, what say you set this book in Great Britain? Or are you too embarrassed to think that British people would behave this way, but tickled pink to think we Ugly Americans are this crass?” “Wow… anything for a buck?”

As you can see…I was, shall we say, less than impressed…

The internal dialogue continued, directed at the ‘fans’ of the book.

“Good God…you women should be ashamed of yourselves. Seriously???!!!!??? Domination/Submissive?? Okay, so it exists, I get that…and I can do the whole *shrug* different strokes for different folks, non judgy thing…but Seriously????!!!!!??? A young impressionable, naïve young woman with possibly the worst self esteem issues ever, meets older wildly wealthy and totally cuckoo bird nuts guy, and signs herself over to him? Eats what and when he says? Wears what he says to? Speaks when spoken to? Obeys in all things? Including all forms of kinky weirdness? Wow…we’ve come a long way baby…."

Yeah, okay, I’ll confess. I was OFFENDED by this crap. And I am pretty hard to offend. I think the last time I was really offended was over 10 years ago when I went to see Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. And it isn't the kinky sex stuff that offended. It was the master/slave crap. Do what you want in the privacy of your bedroom/dungeon....whatever...consenting adults and all that. Hell, have a threesome with a parrot, I don't care! Nope, my problem was the whole ‘contract to give total control of one’s entire life to someone else’. Sheesh….

I am not a wild eyed feminist, heck, I’m the most traditional person I know. Married for decades, four kids, one just newly married. A cat, a dog, a house in the ‘burbs. Geez, I even drove a station wagon for years. I helped raise at least 5 dozen kids over the years in my home based daycare, so I could stay home with my own kids. Yeah…I’m that boring. So my disgust for the book doesn’t come from any deep seated feminist values. Nope, my total and complete feelings of *gag me*, come from the fact that I actually respect people and I expect to be respected in return. This ‘book’ is poorly written, badly plotted, stereotyped and clichéd up the whazoo, but mostly, it is just downright disrespectful of ….well…everyone.

I'm stunned that this book is the first of a trilogy...just when I thought the world couldn't get any nuttier, some chick makes a gazillion bucks writing this tripe. Sigh....maybe I'm just jealous that I didn't think of it first....

I gave it a shot, I made it to page 241 before I decided the book needed wings, as I threw it across the room…My advice, don’t waste your time, I’m pretty sure there are some plain wrapped magazines in the back of the newsstand that probably have better stories in them, and you’ll at least get pictures as well. Mommy porn….my a$$....

My rating:

(And I had to develop a new level, because my old rating system doesn’t go low enough)


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Love your new rating level! I haven't read it, but it seems appropriate!

Anonymous said...

I think you're right. Thank you for the clear-minded assessment of a book that many women out there have managed to hallucinate IS "literature" when, in fact, it's just gossip rag heavily dosed with 'slip my hand between my legs' porn.

Ricky Bush said...

I have no plans to read this and you've solidified my decision. I think that people that don't read, bought this one...and the next, and the next.

Archana said...

Here is my review:

Ok, don't hit me - but can you try and finish the series? I'm unaffected by the BDSM angle ( I didn't read much into it and ended up skipping a few pages) - the second book is decent.

The Brunette Librarian said...

:) I agree with Archana. I kind of enjoyed the second one, I was drawn in!