Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

In case you have been lucky enough to avoid mass/popular culture for the past few months, Fifty Shades of Grey is the recent bestseller commonly referred to as “mom porn” and a favorite of suburban housewives everywhere.


Saturday Night Live – Fifty Shades of Grey by BigBlueBruiser

The book began as a work of Twilight slash fiction; with a few changes – names, s/vampire/billionaire S&M enthusiast/g, s/high school student/college student/g, etc. – it has blossomed into a standalone book (trilogy, actually).

Now, on to the review.

I knew going in that this would be bad, however it is worse than I expected.

First, the writing is horribly amateur.  Lots of “telling” rather than “showing”, and a total lack of any atmospheric details; it’s a generic setting in a couple of generic cities.  This only grates because the cities are two that I have spent quite a lot of time in, Seattle and Portland, but they come across as two city names that the author picked at random on a map, probably because Twilight took place in the Pacific Northwest.

Second, it really does read like current teen fiction.  The main character, Ana (“Anastasia”), has exactly the same traits I found annoying in Bella from Twilight and Katniss from The Hunger Games:  She is (we are told) beautiful, extremely popular (for no apparent reason) and has multiple guys romantically interested in her; yet she feels plain and alone and is completely oblivious to her own popularity.  In short, she’s a popular girl with an unpopular girl’s personality.  It’s a sad projection of a lonely fat girl’s daydreams about what it must be like to be pretty and popular while not letting the popularity change her as a person.

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually read the entire book.  Here’s as far into the storyline as I’ve gotten:

Hot virgin college student Ana goes to interview sexy billionaire Christian Grey for her friend Kate, who writes for the school paper but can’t interview him herself for some contrived reason.  [blah blah blah lots of contrived crap pushing the plot forward].  Then after she signs an NDA he takes her back to his house via helicopter and shows her his awesome bondage room. He has her sign a bunch more paperwork, then freaks out a bit when he finds out she is a virgin, but then bangs her anyways (twice!) in non-bondage style (because it’s her first time and he’s a nice guy like that).

At this point, I have no plans to read further.  I understand that it is all (or mostly) bondage-themed porn from this point forward, and I fear that reading further may put me off of BDSM.

 

PS: I apologize for the lack of a Friday Night Video last night; there were circumstances not under my control preventing me from being online.  Also, I’ve been averaging 4 hours of sleep a night for the last week and a half, with no more than 2 hours at a time (and more like 30-60 minutes).