Okay, so some of you may be surprised to hear that I’m reading 50 Shades of Grey. (Frankly, so am I). This book has been in the news, so when someone in my book club recommended that we check it out, I was game. After all, I took Danielle Steele novels to the beach years ago, how much worse could it be, right?
It’s worse. Much worse. And I’m not just talking about the content (although that is definitely on the seemy side), this book is JUST.SO.BADLY.WRITTEN. Granted, it was written as fan fiction and therefore was probably never professionally edited, but wow, I just can’t believe people are so in love with this book. The prose is badly worded, she repeats herself too much, and as a friend of mine said, you almost want to celebrate if she uses a word with more than two syllables.
But my dislike of this book runs deeper than just bad writing. One of the main literary techniques the author uses is an inner dialogue within the heroine’s head (if you can call her that, the term victim might come more to mind for me). Her ‘inner goddess’ and her ‘subconscious’ battle it out as she decides whether or not to play in an ugly, dangerous sex game with a very rich and troubled man. All of which has my ‘inner feminist’ pretty pissed off, to be truthful. Our mothers, who marched for equal rights in the 70’s, would have to be fuming if they knew what we were reading. Maybe I’m biased because I come from a long line of very smart, independent women who don’t need men to tell them what to do. I love my husband, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not my boss – because we’re equals in this relationship. Add to that the fact that the heroine in this book is the exact same age as my daughter, and that just makes me cringe.
The other thing that troubled me about this book is the way the author uses the fact that Christian Grey (the male main character) was abused as a child to explain why he likes to inflict pain on others. I’m sure the real BDSM community kind of cringes at that, and I have to believe that adult survivors of abuse do too. I seriously want to call this character up and suggest that he needs counseling.
So, if you liked the book, I hope I haven’t offended you. I try to be pretty open-minded and I’m all for letting adults believe and behave in any way that they choose. That said, given the plot and the amount of just plain bad writing, this book was a serious slog. I decided last night that I’m giving up, so if anyone wants a free copy, drop me a note because I’d be very happy to be rid of it.
I’m off to read some Jane Austen, I think. I need to clear this junk out of my head and read someone who can put together a whole sentence without using the same word twice.
Happy Thursday, everyone.