“This man is insatiable, or maybe all men are like him. I have no idea, no one to compare him to.”
My relationship with Fifty Shades of Grey is a tumultuous one, and one that I’d like to put out of my head as quickly as possible. I never jumped on this band wagon, ever expecting to be impressed, but I’m always intrigued to see what is capturing the attention of a mass of people. I may not be as informed; I have not read erotica before. Pop culture has a tendency to attach itself to the lowest common denominator. I don’t mean to insinuate that people aren’t intelligent or anything of the sort, but it always seems that trends that catch on turn out to be “the easy way.”
When I cracked open Fifty Shades of Grey, I had the lowest expectations possible, there is always some, and to doubt that is plain dishonesty. But what I received in turn, was lower than my initial investment, a loss of profit if you will.
Nearly everybody knows that this novel started as Twilight fan fiction, under the name Snowqueens Icedragon. The book invariably suffers from this connection to its vampiric predecessor, as it relies on a first person narrative eerily similar to Stephanie Meyer’s notorious character Bella. So much so that I expect to hear of a failed edition of the book called Midnight Grey, all told from the male lead’s perspective. It doesn’t stop there, readers are treated to banter from its Edward-like character, THE Christian Grey, often musing how he “can’t read her mind.” There are numerous scenes within this book that reminisce, for instance, the introduction of Ana to Grey’s family has a character that is way too Alice, even for Twilight. The equally polarizing scene that see’s Grey coming to the rescue of Ana who is being taken advantage of by the clearly too drunk José, made me laugh out loud, and wishes it were four guys down an alley. (Holy fuck, I am a man, and I know way too much about Twilight than I should.) All of these points are laughable and just downright lazy.
In many ways, the character of Anastasia Steele is a reflection of Bella herself, only a slightly older college grad, who’s never been deflowered. With a bachelor’s degree and that much age under her belt, and no prior conviction or explanation as to her virgin status, the character is unrelatable. Curiosity, without a stance will inevitably take over. I’m not saying that there are no women out there who hold steady to their virginity, I’m saying that they have reason too. Whether that reason is personal belief or faith in something greater, Ana however, treats it as not finding “the right guy,” when in reality she has never even dated a man. It is worthy to note that there are actually two men interested in her at the beginning of this book, but she has deemed both of these guys unworthy. I feel particularly bad for José, who is past the friendzone, chilling with Zod in the phantom zone.
Christian Grey is another matter himself; a psychological mess, attributable to a bad childhood or the woman dubbed Mrs. Robinson (Could we get a little more unoriginal.). The track that Grey is currently one was molded by Mrs. Robinson, a woman obsessed with a Dom/Sub and BDSM lifestyle, which is another matter to be discussed on its own. Grey can’t be touched and he’s not much for love. In short, everything a man should be, well mostly, only with commitment issues. He’s an interesting character for sure, but one that’s never explore at all. You get teases of his past, but you’re never offered even bite size chunks. Fuck, that’s one of the reasons I go to Sam’s Club! Free samples man! Instead he just rams it in her and two minutes later he’s done. A tactic to sell more books, no doubt, that turns in to a tiring affair after 300 pages.
The plot of this book is weak, mainly because there really isn’t one. By random happenstance, a girl interviews a guy, they somehow fall for each other. They have sex numerous times, and it ends with her leaving him because he slapped her on the ass. Did I mention that she asked for that ass slapping too? Even more puzzling is the use of emails as a form of communication when texting would have been more acceptable. At times, they were witty and enjoyable, but about as relevant as the subject of Maroon 5’s song “Payphone.” The sex in this book, wasn’t all that great, when you consider how BDSM it comes of as. It was vanilla, like you fucked missionary the whole damn time.
This book is about as classy as a hand job from a hobo, and believe me when I say that’s as kind as I can be. Icedragon…I mean James isn’t all that bad of a writer, where prose is concerned, but she didn’t exactly keep my attention at all in this book, and kind of killed my libido along the way. Despite this, I think this book can be a tool for women to explore their sexuality with their partners, and more so, a vehicle for women to open up with others about the subject. At the very least, I hope this is a gateway for people to pick up books and make reading a regular habit, instead of falling for the “next big thing.” Honestly, shut of the TV and pick up a book, it’s way more stimulating.
My Top Five Favorite Lines from Fifty Shades of Grey (Mainly because they’re hilariously shitty)
“I have no idea what he’s thinking…he hides his thoughts and feelings so well.”
Fifty Shades of Grey reminding us that we’re all mind readers.
“I want to brush my teeth. I eye Christian’s tooth brush. It would be like having him in my mouth.”
I threw up a bit when I first read that.
“His voice was husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel…or something.”
Never forget how important sentence structure is.
“I don’t remember reading about nipple clamps in the Bible.”
Like either one of you have read the Bible!
“Ready for some contraception?”
Yes, he really did say that.